After bad fall, how to get back on? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 25 Old 07-05-2010, 09:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
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MIE, I will take your comments as constructive criticism, but I never have considered myself a victim. I am an adult with responsibilities and cannot blindly throw myself at things without keeping the risks in mind. I love JT and know we both have shortcomings that time and training will fix, but getting on a horse while still having dizzy spells and with a concussion is madness.
What I was hoping for were ideas on how to spend the time I'm not allowed to ride constructively and stories of others who also had to overcome some confidence issues.
I'm a 34 year old woman with many responsibilities myself, a husband, a household, 2 jobs, school, bills to pay, and animals to feed - but if I allowed my fear to get the better of me, I wouldn't be jumping today.

It is perfectly natural to feel fear and be scared and want to run away, it would be very easy for me to say "well, maybe I should just do flat work today" and not jump, but then by me doing that, I'm playing the victim and allowing my fear to get the best of me. I can't let it win.

I never jumped for a very long time after my accident. Quite a long time, and it took alot of empowerment to get me over a fence. I remember the first time I was asked to jump an x rail, and I broke down and cried.

I still get scared when I am asked to jump. I look at 2'9" fences and my mind makes them out to be 3'0"+ and I start to cower and I want to go into the fetal position. But by shouting my "catch phrase" outloud and empowering myself, I get over it. Then when I am done, I realize that it wasn't as bad as my mind made it out to be, and then I'm able to move forward and continue.

That is what I mean by empower yourself.

There's lots you can do to help yourself while you aren't riding - the positive affermation cards will help you out. By reading them daily, you learn to get the negative thoughts out of your head from your accident, and replace them with positive thoughts about yourself, your riding abilities and how to handle situations when they arise again. Just by being around the horses as MyBoyPuck stated, doing ground work, getting into Natural Horsemanship even. Handling, walking, lunging, ground driving - what have you, will help you baby step your way forward, to empowering yourself. Gaining your confidence back. Believe in yourself, empower yourself.

I played the victim far too long after my accident, which by doing that, it hindered my riding, it hindered my ability to move forward - and I wasted far too much time.

Anything can happen to the best of us when we are on horses, they are afterall animals with their own minds, thoughts and abilities - but by empowering your "perspective" on the situation, will enable yourself to be that much more stronger, that much more confident for when you are ready to get back on and ride.

Accidents happen to the best of us, heck, I don't know 1 rider who hasn't had a nasty accident - it happens. But, the important part is, what do you do with it after it has been delt?

I still get scared. It is natural for us all to allow "what if's" to run through our heads, especially at our age - we break easier than those younger than us - but I would rather try, then allow my fear to defeat me.

I hope Jane Savoi can help you out - she has lots of video's out, and she is on Facebook as well. You can send her a PM and ask her for advice, she is a wealth of knowledge where equestrian sports psychology is involved. She has books out as well - maybe go to the library and see if she is available there?

I am horribly sorry for what you had to go through, if I could take it away, I would or if I could go back into time to prevent it from happening, I would. I hate to hear, see people in pain, that's why I am going to school to be a Nurse - but remember, it isn't what happens to us that matters, it is what we do about it, that does.

I wish you all the best, I look forward to reading threads about your feats and your accomplishments.

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post #22 of 25 Old 07-05-2010, 11:02 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western US
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Hello there
So sorry for your fall! And...very happy that you and your horse are doing okay! Thank goodness for helmets even tho they dont always do the trick.

About fear.
Fear is amazing. We as humans can really allow "fear" to consume us in every way.

There were some great things suggested to you here. I like the possitive thoughts and affirmations methods. These work for me in many areas of my life.

While i have not had a terrible fall like this, I can relate to allowing fear to comsume me.
There is two kinds of fear. Healthy and unhealthy.
When fear starts to consume your thoughts and everyday life it has entered into the unhealthy category.

Right now i will not say that your having an unhealthy amount of fear because it is still a very very fresh accident!

This is something that will take work on a daily basis for you.

Recently a gal at my barn who owns a 17.2 friesian had a freaky thing happen where he spooked in the indoor arena and got his legs a bit discombobulated and fell over. he fell on her and she is about 5 foot 5. Not a real big gal.

This has caused her to have great fear about riding him. He generally is not an excitable or dangerous horse although when she first got the horse about 3-4 years ago he was a bit of a handful.

So there are some things that she has done to deal with this overwhelming fear.
One thing she has done is too work with a sports psychologist. At our barn we are fortunate to have a USDF gold medalist Dressage trainer that also has a Ph. D and she specializes in sports pshchology. In the first days after the incident she had some provate "talk" sessions with the trainer/psychologist and then later on had her do some self hypnosis stuff with her.

She is back on her horse! She did get on her daughters haflinger who is quiet at first to start her off in the saddle again. I know that she uses a number system to help to communicate to the instructor where her fear level is. If she feels the number is creeping to high they stop and walk and take a breather.

No I totally understand that not everyone can do this exact thing. So here is what i might suggest to you.
First and foremost to help with your feelings of "security" take a buddy with you when you work with your horse. Or make sure someone is around so that your not completley alone.

If you feel your horse has some issues that your unable to deal with at the moment and you can afford to have someone work with him a couple days a week or work with you both this would be the best option.

The trust has to be rebuilt and confidence needs to be put into place again. Your horse will sense that this is missing.

Not everyone can just "get over and get on with it" that works for some and is great but doesn't always work for everyone.

Take your time but please do watch the kind of "Self-talk" that goes on in your head. I say this because if we keep telling ourselves something then we likely will learn to accept this as truth!

You stated that your a fairly good rider so you know already that it is in you! Keeping that mindset will be the key. Just because you had a fall doesnt mean your a bad or poor rider etc etc....sometimess things happen and there is no need to search endlessly for the "reason why"
It just is....
Accptance of this will also be something that you will have to come too. I suggest surrender to what is....and then possbily it will be easier to move on to the acceptance of what has happend portion of this recovery phase.
Please also remember that your brain has taken a huge blow......Thinking will not be just right for a while so give yourself a bit of a break there. :)

I think that an important thing to do is to proceed with moving forward from here....follow the docs orders and when you are cleared do what is with in your comfort zone. Dont set unrealistic goals for yourself. baby steps if you need to.
you can do this just may take a bit of time.
You can always have someone put you on your horse on the lounge line for a while to start to regain your confidence with each other....
Hang in there....It hasn't been that long yet and your body is still healing.

Remember that you have a choice in how much of the fear you will let take takes time and practice and good self care and self talk to over come fear!
Best of luck!
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post #23 of 25 Old 07-06-2010, 12:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Solway MN
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I had a very bad fall a couple years ago. I had my foot hang up in the stirrup when my horse stepped wrong and fell. I was clipped in the head by a back hoof and went lights out.

I was nervous to get back on, but what I did was have my brother walk my horse on a leadrope with me on his back on the round pen. Once I lost my nervous nellies and relaxed, I had him take the lead off and away we went. The extra stability of knowing my brother was there and could control my horse should I panic was what I needed.

Spent a whole hour today laying in a pasture, waiting for a sparkling vampire to show up. Alas, I woke up and looked over, only to find a mound of horse crap. Sigh.
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post #24 of 25 Old 07-06-2010, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Flower Mound, TX
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I wish I could try riding again tomorrow, but neither my husband nor the doctor would be very impressed. These stories really help though and there are some really good ideas I'm definitely going to use. It really helps to know I'm not a big wimp and more people have been nervous about getting back on. I'll never be an eventer or jumper, but dressage shouldn't be something scary.
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post #25 of 25 Old 07-06-2010, 11:35 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western US
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Well I am glad to hear that your considering riding again as soon as your doc clears you to do so. I do not think people are whimps for not getting right back on again. Some folks just need a bit of time.

Dont discount being a jumper or eventer just yet! One goal at a time. You just never know what may come your way! :)
Keep that chin up and you will get there....
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