Long story short I had no confidence due to past horses and horse experience. Cantering terrified me and jumping? Forget it! I was very confident on my first pony star, a 12hh chestnut gelding with a blaze. I would go anywhere, any speed and jumping EVERYTHING (im not exaggerating either!!) But when I grew out of him and got new horses, my confidence was shot to hell. I currently own Oscar, my third horse, and although he's incredibly funny, handsom and well trained, I was still very nervous. I was having private lessons once or twice a week but I still couldnt do cross country or jump and I had become a nervous wreck at competitions.. In April 2007 at a competition, Oscar had twisted a plate in his back and had done his stifle and was out for a minimum of 8 weeks.. after bringing him back in all went well and I got slightly more confident but still didnt like jumping, cross country and I couldnt go on trail rides.. My instructor had told me that with oscars injury and my nervousness at the moment, it wasn't a great mix so we decided to look around for a new horse. I had seen a chestnut X-bred gelding who the owner said "could jump magnificently". I rode him once before we got my instructor to look at him, and all went well.. beautiful topline, bouncy strides and very responsive. And yes, he could jump! That was when we decided to ask my instructor to come look at him. All was going well, a mini lesson on him was just what I needed to seal the deal.. that I DIDNT want him!! My instructor hopped on and used a whip to see what he was like. She shook her head slightly at me and I knew it wasnt good news.. She told me that as soon as she picked up the whip he tightened in the back end, meaning he was not comfortable in the situation and is unpredictable. Only 3 horses that she'd been on had done that. One came good, one landed her in hospital with a broken back and the third was him.. So that was one off the list!! In december 2007 my instructor heard of a gelding who sounded almost perfect! His name was Barney and he was a 16.2hh bay thoroughbred gelding with 3 white socks and a diamond on his forehead.. there was only two problems, he was a windsucker and had a bowed tendon :S we went to check him out anyway.
I fell in love instantly because he was so gentle.. I rode him around in the paddock, catering, jumping, riding next to cows and I never once felt scared. It was perfect! The next day he was dropped off at my pony club grounds for a lesson and after I would have him on free lease.. All went well in the lesson and although I was still nervous, I felt safe.
My instructor told me to get some Bach Flower Remedy to help calm my nerves and it really works!
Barney has taught me to not be afraid and i've only had him since just before christmas!! I'll go for rides all day with friends, cantering, galloping, jumping and I feel fine!!
I owe Barney and my instructor everything because without them, I would've given up riding and took up knitting! (joke) I still own Oscar, and he's currently out of action dude to his stifle but will be brought back in in february..
Thank you Barney, my special boy!! XX♥Xx
I was wondering, has anybody else had a special connection with a horse?