Terrified of riding
   

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Terrified of riding

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  • I nonly fell off a horse once but now im terrified of riding
  • I am terrifird of ridibg ny horse

 
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    03-06-2010, 01:48 PM
  #1
Yearling
Terrified of riding

I am so completely frustrated with myself. I have been riding for about 20 years now, I used to event, foxhunt, game, trail ride everywhere, pony club, everything. I'd have no problem getting on ANY horse broke or not, hang off the side of a galloping horse for mounted gaming, or maybe jump a 3" fence bareback. Now I am terrified just getting on my horse and walking him aroud the yard. My fiance gave him to me in November. I've ridden him maybe 5 times, which is horrible seeing I used to ride daily. I just "rode" him today.. lasted about 10 minutes. Its like I have an anxiety attack just thinking about getting on, the whole time I am tacking up my chest is so tight. I force myself to get on, walk around a bit in the yard. Five minutes in my horse bolts, takes me about 20 feet to turn him and about 10 circles to even stop him. Then of course we are just both on edge after that. I just walked him in a few more loops until he stops trying to bolt, then get off because I am trembling so bad. Its so competely ridiculous. Then I untack and con't help crying for 20 minutes because I feel so mad at myself.
I should have gotten an OLD as dirt school horse that wouldn't even think of taking off. But no.... I have a 6yro OTTB, huge mistake. He's not the only horse I've been terrified of. I sold my QH over the summer, he was the spookiest thing. Seems like I have only felt this way for a year or so. I had a bad fall off of colt I was breaking 2 summers ago and ever since I haven't gotten my nerve back.
I've been just riding in "safe" areas, and have been just keeping it at a walk (well except the bolting). I wish I had an old guy to just hop on until i'm comfortable, but I don't. I don't want to give up riding, but I don't want to have an anxiety attack everytime I pull my saddle out! Not to mention its terribly embarrassing to even admit to being so frightened!
     
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    03-06-2010, 02:01 PM
  #2
Yearling
I'm sorry about this :( Maybe just give yourself some time off from riding, and try to bond with you're horse and do groundwork?
It might take some time to relax around you're horse, since with what happened.
Horse's know how we feel, and with you being nervous, he get's nervous you need to relax :)
Do you take some lessons with him? It might be a good idea to start ?
     
    03-06-2010, 11:03 PM
  #3
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseluver250    
I am so completely frustrated with myself. I have been riding for about 20 years now, I used to event, foxhunt, game, trail ride everywhere, pony club, everything. I'd have no problem getting on ANY horse broke or not, hang off the side of a galloping horse for mounted gaming, or maybe jump a 3" fence bareback. Now I am terrified just getting on my horse and walking him aroud the yard. My fiance gave him to me in November. I've ridden him maybe 5 times, which is horrible seeing I used to ride daily. I just "rode" him today.. lasted about 10 minutes. Its like I have an anxiety attack just thinking about getting on, the whole time I am tacking up my chest is so tight. I force myself to get on, walk around a bit in the yard. Five minutes in my horse bolts, takes me about 20 feet to turn him and about 10 circles to even stop him. Then of course we are just both on edge after that. I just walked him in a few more loops until he stops trying to bolt, then get off because I am trembling so bad. Its so competely ridiculous. Then I untack and con't help crying for 20 minutes because I feel so mad at myself.
I should have gotten an OLD as dirt school horse that wouldn't even think of taking off. But no.... I have a 6yro OTTB, huge mistake. He's not the only horse I've been terrified of. I sold my QH over the summer, he was the spookiest thing. Seems like I have only felt this way for a year or so. I had a bad fall off of colt I was breaking 2 summers ago and ever since I haven't gotten my nerve back.
I've been just riding in "safe" areas, and have been just keeping it at a walk (well except the bolting). I wish I had an old guy to just hop on until i'm comfortable, but I don't. I don't want to give up riding, but I don't want to have an anxiety attack everytime I pull my saddle out! Not to mention its terribly embarrassing to even admit to being so frightened!
Being scared is completely normal! They are 10 times your size, the injuries they can cause can be fatal AND you've already had a few bad falls. IN all fairness, I can see why the poor guy bolted-if you were scared it would have translated in your riding which would have scared him. One of those things where you are going to be feeding each other.

Would you be able to send him for training? Maybe put up an add for a free lease, or free rides and have someone else put some miles on him. Would you have access to some lessons, in a controlled setting on a horse who is experienced with more nervous riders?

You know, I know it was a gift, but sitting down with your honey and explaining the situation to him shouldn't hurt his feelings. When it comes down to it, it's a safety issue for both you and the horse, and if it's more stress than fun-then you shouldn't be putting yourself through it.

Start off slow and take baby steps. It sounds like you're a true horse person at heart so horses are for you, you just got to take it at the right pace.
     
    03-07-2010, 07:01 AM
  #4
Trained
Do you have anyone with a seasoned horse that you can ride with? Just being out with a good lead horse will make a big difference to your young one and give you time to regain some confidence.
     
    03-07-2010, 07:49 AM
  #5
Showing
I've told the story several times before so I won't bore anyone with it again but the short version is that I had a life altering crash several years ago from a horse I was trying out. I nearly died - didn't but was in very bad shape with a damaged pelvis, cracked ribs, a severe concussion, and a lot of bruising.

I had ridden my whole life and taken a lot of falls but none as earth shattering as this one.

Nearly 2 months latter, when I was well enough to sit the new horse I got while being layed up, I saddled her and took her up to the field. I remember actually being in tears with fear. It took several attempts to get on and it only lasted a few seconds. It took well over a year and several different horses to get my courage back.

What it took was the right horse and a lot of determination to get past the fear - which, incidentally, never goes away. I'm much more cautious about getting on a strange horse now but I do. It's taken years to get to that point.

My point is that you need the right horse - the horse that you would have turned down before the fall. The horse that is totally bomb proof, even a little poky. The same horse that you would tell a brand new rider to buy but was so far down the list from the skills you have that you would never consider him. Your courage may never come back the way it was but that's OK. You'll be a more cautious rider and that's OK too.

You'll get over it - it's just going to take the right horse and time.
     
    03-07-2010, 08:28 AM
  #6
Yearling
Thanks for the responses, it helps a little - I don't feel so ridiculous for being scared to get on. In my head I think about galloping across the fields on my horse... then when it actually comes to getting on I tense up. The thing was when he had bolted yesterday, I was completely relaxed. We had just been poking around the yard real slow, he was being great, I was feeling comfortable. I wasn't prepared for it at all, I actually had to grab my saddle horn to stay on he swung around so fast. I used to ride a finished reining horse and he couldn't even rollback so fast! I can just feel my horse constantly coiled up so its so hard to relax on him. Then when I actually do relax is when he usually tries to bolt. He's the type that if you let your reins loose on him, he takes advantage. He's just plain green really. I have doubts that he will ever make a good trail horse.

I think a lot of my fear has to do with the fact that I have a really bad neck. I usually have mild pain and headaches just doing my everyday tasks, so the idea of falling off a horse seems just aweful. I don't even know how I injuried it really, but have been to the doctor several times for it, had x-rays... I'm supposed to be doing physical therapy but my money just seems to keep disapearing into the form of hay.
I never had a terrible fall, it was just a series of falls I guess. I think my last actual fall was off that colt and that was 2 years ago. I had a sort of "fall" off the QH last summer. He had spooked, reared up and knocked me right in the face, then almost fell over backwards himself. I would have stayed on if I wasn't seeing stars and I new which direction was up! I can remember my first pony bucking me off at LEAST once a week 20ish years ago, but that was back when I was a kid and made of rubber

Unfortunately lessons are out of the question, winter is a really slow season for us for work (landscapers) so extra cash is non exhistant, plus our wedding is this spring. I was thinking of maybe leasing an old bombproof horse, but then I don't know what to do with my own gelding. I tried convincing my fiance to ride him, but he wasn't too interested. I can't imagine why haha. I think if I left him to stand out in the field too long it would be like getting on a bomb when it came time to riding him.
     
    03-07-2010, 03:56 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Iride, that was great advice. I've also been seriously injured as an adult rider and you don't bounce back like you did as a younger rider might.

When I was finally healed (took 10 weeks) and given the okay to ride, I was even a wreck on my bombproof, trusted mare. In tears after only mounting and lasted only 10 minutes.

Thank goodness for the friends I have. They knew what I needed to do so they kept "organizing" little trail rides (we don't have any arenas) and eventually got my confidence back on my mare. Then it was onto my gelding, who I had the accident with. Tiny steps is what it will take. And it needs to start with a horse that is probably the dullest to ride! LOL!

Maybe you can find someone who has riding experience but no horse right now to ride your gelding to get the miles under him he needs. Then you can get your confidence back on a bombproof leased horse .

Just know that you are not alone. But if you truly want to ride again, it can be done. Just tiny steps. Good luck to you.

BTW, Walka, my gelding, has shown that he is a wonderful trail horse and has shown how much he trusts me on numerous occasions. I'm still developing my trust with him, it's a work in progress.
     
    03-07-2010, 11:54 PM
  #8
Started
I think it's your horse that is keeping you from getting your confidence back. It sounds like to me that when you are able to relax a little and enjoy the ride, you're horse does something to make you regret it. I'm no horse expert, but I do know what it means to have a fall and be afraid. If you can't send the horse to a trainer then I would sell him. Get yourself something that will build your confidence with every ride.


I just wanted to edit to add that I think it is very courageous of you to be able to get back on the horse at all. With my own horse, after a few incidents, I quit riding him. I had to hire a trainer and even then she had to help me to get back on. Even though your ride ended in tears, at least you had the courage to get up there.
     
    03-08-2010, 10:33 AM
  #9
Weanling
I had the same experience with a 7 y/o OTTB some years back. I hadn't ridden in a few years, was 40ish, and this boy fell in my lap. He totally wrecked my confidence and it got to the point I was a basket case even climbing up on him because I knew he was going to blow some sort of way.. and he usually did.

It's carried with me for years now and even effects me on my QH in a few areas... that old apprehension creeps back in. The only way since I've ever been able to totally relax is to ride an old deadhead.

Like you, before my OTTB I was fine, rode anything and everything with confidence... age takes a toll and we just become more aware of injury, but I guess it's better than the alternative.

Good luck to you, and I hope you find a solution
     
    03-09-2010, 09:27 AM
  #10
Yearling
I really really appreciate what you all have written here, I see I'm not alone. I don't feel so terrible not wanting to get on my gelding again. I think I had spoke too soon about not wanting to hurt my neck... cus I definitely did again. I've been pretty useless for the last 2 days, and for what? A 10 minute ride?
     

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