Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
I think most of us have been there at some point. I remember when I first got Dancer (also my first horse) who was a trained-for-the-track-but-too-slow-to-race-TB and I spent the first year on her.. then off of her. I swear I spent as much time in the air or on the ground as I did on her back. It totally wrecked my confidence. Since I was young when I got her, I had spent most of my previous riding career on trust-worthy ponies and older horses, so this was a complete 180 for me. I went to my lessons crying and came home crying, but my dad (bless his soul!) didn't let me quit or sell her. He told me I had to work through it. At some points I hated him and riding, but I kept going to my lessons, kept falling off, and had some pretty darn nasty ones that my parents thought would be my breaking point, but slowly (gradually) I started falling off less often... Dancer and I started to become a team rather than working against one another. It seemed that at our year anniversary, we just "clicked" and all was well after that. My point it, I know what you're talking about.
My best advice for you would be to talk to your trainer and see if you can ride one horse consistantly for a while, and make sure that horse is well-schooled, one that knows his job so you can concentrate on gaining your confidence back.
Another suggestion that really helped me: Before a lesson, imagine what you'll be doing that ride, and ride through it in your mind, and make sure you have a good ride in your mind. I once had a terrible show at this one barn (I fell off over every course I did, my horse almost killed herself on our trailer, I just about lost a thumb... it was a terrible show.) and so the next time it came to show at that barn, I was extremely nervous. So the night before the show, I laid in bed and thought through every class I'd be in. I rode the courses (it was hunter, so not hard to figure out) in my mind, not making any mistakes. I fell asleep to that and woke up confident instead of nervous, so maybe try that?
Your best bet is to see if you can ride a really reliable horse to ride and build your confidence again.
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