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Scared 9 year old

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  • 8 years old terrified to be around people she doesnt know

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    08-28-2013, 12:16 AM
  #11
Showing
Like Cherie said, make it fun! Build obstacle courses where silly things happen, like being led backwards between two cones.. or doing an around the world.

Just anything to get her mind off of how far off the ground she is, or how big the horse is... just anything fun and silly!
     
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    08-28-2013, 12:22 AM
  #12
Green Broke
Just because someone is scared, doesn't mean they don't love horses or want to get braver. I have always been a scaredy cat and horses actually help me work through my fear issues.

Once I am comfortable on a horse, I can trail ride them by myself and do just about anything with them, but getting to that point can sometimes be hard.

For instance, I now have a 3 yr old gelding and every time he bucks or seriously spooks I feel like the sky is falling. I stay on and ride and correct the issue, but it shakes me up so badly I often go home and cry about it. (Falling off can set me back weeks). But that doesn't mean I don't want to get to a point I am comfortable on the horse and I am still working on that. I know I can get there if both the horse and I get a little more confident and get more mileage under out belts. It's not that a person doesn't have the passion......I have been addicted to horses since I was in kindergarten. I don't think anyone can love horses more strongly than I do. It's more of an anxiety attack or something along those lines. Kind of like you just missed a car accident and your brain is telling you, "wow, I could have gotten hurt just then."

Yes, make sure it's the girl's idea. No use pushing her if she doesn't love horses. But if she does love horses, then working through her fears with horses can help her work through her other fears in life. Because I doubt her fear doesn't show up in other areas as well. It's no fun being scared of everything.
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    08-28-2013, 12:23 AM
  #13
Green Broke
I am a very firm believer in not over horsing a child or pushing beyond their limits. The two horses she has been on are DEAD broke, they are therapy horses. If I "down grade" the horse she is riding the horse would either have to be dead or be "Peggy" the vaulting horse. The one she typically rides has a sitting trot to DIE for. She is 100% capable of getting the horse to trot, but she doesn't like to be firm with him. I try to play Simon says with her, give her "Challenges" to boost her confidence, I chat with her to make her feel comfortable, etc. All of our lessons have been fine until the fly biting issue. Unfortunately its a natural reaction for horses, its not like he is ripping the reins from her hands or dragging her around.
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    08-28-2013, 12:37 AM
  #14
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
Just because someone is scared, doesn't mean they don't love horses or want to get braver. I have always been a scaredy cat and horses actually help me work through my fear issues.

Once I am comfortable on a horse, I can trail ride them by myself and do just about anything with them, but getting to that point can sometimes be hard.

For instance, I now have a 3 yr old gelding and every time he bucks or seriously spooks I feel like the sky is falling. I stay on and ride and correct the issue, but it shakes me up so badly I often go home and cry about it. (Falling off can set me back weeks). But that doesn't mean I don't want to get to a point I am comfortable on the horse and I am still working on that. I know I can get there if both the horse and I get a little more confident and get more mileage under out belts. It's not that a person doesn't have the passion......I have been addicted to horses since I was in kindergarten. I don't think anyone can love horses more strongly than I do. It's more of an anxiety attack or something along those lines. Kind of like you just missed a car accident and your brain is telling you, "wow, I could have gotten hurt just then."

Yes, make sure it's the girl's idea. No use pushing her if she doesn't love horses. But if she does love horses, then working through her fears with horses can help her work through her other fears in life. Because I doubt her fear doesn't show up in other areas as well. It's no fun being scared of everything.
I have no doubt she likes horses and typically enjoys riding. I also have no doubt she is probably fearful and anxious in other areas of her life. I'm more then willing to work with her on her fears, that's what I'm here for, but this is something that is out of my control. Do I let the horse bite at flies as many times as it take for her to realize it's not a big deal? God forbid the horse hits her leg or bites her... will it ruin horseback riding forever? Is it easier to take the safe road and do unmounted or teach her driving until the flies are gone?

On the other hand if and when she moves on to another horse and riding more independently I can't have her screaming her lungs out and throwing the reins down in the middle of the arena. Its dangerous to herself and possibly the people around her. Our horses are specifically trained of selected for their non reactive personalities, but they are still horses.
     
    08-28-2013, 12:39 AM
  #15
Showing
What about leading her around instead of having her ride solo? So if the horse does something silly, she can hold onto mane and you're there to comfort her if she's truly scared?


With students that had no confidence at the therapeutic program, I'd give them one on one "hangout with me and the horse" rides. A little more involved and stimulating than a pony ride.. but it helped them out.
     
    08-28-2013, 12:40 AM
  #16
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Like Cherie said, make it fun! Build obstacle courses where silly things happen, like being led backwards between two cones.. or doing an around the world.

Just anything to get her mind off of how far off the ground she is, or how big the horse is... just anything fun and silly!
I will probably do half unmounted with and build the obstacle course next week depending on how a chat with her mother goes. She really doesn't have a problem with the size or anything else that I (and my sister) have notices. It's just the fly thing that has sent her off the deep end.
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    08-28-2013, 01:11 AM
  #17
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlideStop    
........Do I let the horse bite at flies as many times as it take for her to realize it's not a big deal? God forbid the horse hits her leg or bites her... will it ruin horseback riding forever? Is it easier to take the safe road and do unmounted or teach her driving until the flies are gone?
I think she is just going to have to get over the fly thing. Hopefully she will understand that horses don't like being bit by flies anymore than she would. If a fly were biting her, she would shoo or slap it off and the horse is just doing the same thing. She should hopefully understand that. What if a horse trips, as all horses do? That will probably scare her too but she will also have to get over horses tripping.

I know she must be frustrating to work with. She would be frustrating for ME to work with, and I understand. I think my riding buddy thinks I'm frustrating to work with, because she is totally fearless and I'm not.

I don't have any good answers. I just know for me, getting a lot of successful rides under my belt overcomes fear. And then it becomes a partnership with the horse that is truly enjoyable. Pretty soon the horse is my best friend and we are exploring the world together. That is a wonderful goal for someone to obtain.
     
    08-28-2013, 01:23 AM
  #18
Green Broke
When she calmed down I awed her what she did when she gets bit by mosquitos. She answered hit them. I said he is doing the same thing. I showed her the bumps on his neck from fly bites. I did my best to get her to sympathize with him.

She isn't all that frustrating to me. It's her lesson so if she wants to sob over a fly or not put effort into getting the horse moving I get paid regardless
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    08-28-2013, 12:35 PM
  #19
Foal
I have two sons that began riding with me at a very young age. While Chance was always fearless with the horses Brody was far more timid and cautious. Moving cattle one day, the boys insisted they help. The unthinkable happened and the boys had a runaway with their two deadbroke quiet horses. Even Chance was very shook up from this experience and this was a kid who always rode my barrel horses. All the talk and groundwork didn't get the boys over the fear that they had. So out of pure frustration I turned them loose on their geldings and told them to play tag. The boys went from gripping the saddle horns shaking in fear to tearing around the arena and hanging off the horses trying to tag each other. Before this Brody had never even loped a horse he was far too timid. To this day if I am ever working with somebody who has some "fear" issues or is timid we play tag. Then we go back to regular lessons.
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    08-28-2013, 12:55 PM
  #20
Super Moderator
My #3 son was like this when he was young after a few bad experiences and we let him give the riding a break and he just spent his time grooming and leading etc then when he was a bit older he suddenly asked if he could start again and he was like a totally different child - if anything a bit too fearless
You can only really be patient with children and allow them to work these things out in their own heads so they either confront them or they don't
We had a lot of children come to the riding schools that I hung out at when I was a teenager and then later on worked for a while in one. They were madly in love with horses and the idea of riding, inspired maybe by the whole Black Beauty TV series and the Black Arabian type things but the reality of it was so different they soon quit
     

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