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rider confidence issues and very green pony! Can I really do this?!

This is a discussion on rider confidence issues and very green pony! Can I really do this?! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    05-21-2012, 11:52 AM
Falling sucks wind, there is nothing more scary to me then falling off lol I fell last year, well I kind of took a dive really, pulled a one reined stop my first but I felt myself slipping and decided this was as good a spot as any to land on lol I ached for weeks after (I'm 46) and for at least 6 mos I had a tenderness in my shoulder. Those aches and pains kept my fear levels up and I didn't ride much after that, just helped everyone else, I made myself ride him a few days later just to make sure I wasn't afraid but I have to admit I really wasn't feeling it with this particular horse.
I just went on my first trailride a week ago, it was heaven. I let that gelding rob me of my confidence.
You can do this but there is nothing wrong with waiting on the trainer to get back and having that for support to get you over this hump.
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    05-21-2012, 12:05 PM
The "trainer" was my BF when we where kids and she thinks Im crazy! She doesnt get why im scared or why I feel like I can't deal with this. I think the difference is I've had a five year gap and two small kiddies! While she's been breaking wild ponies off the mounain in spain to be riding ponies for trekking. Iam defenatly going to ask her to help me put a few manners back on him. Once I get into the swing of things I know I will be ok. I love riding and I don't wanna give up on this pony either. Think though if she comes home and jumps on him and he stops and wont go then he will think he's going to die, and that's probably what he needs. Shame I just freeze when I feel his back lifting up! I will keep at it until then though because theres no guarantees she will return although her flight is booked! ATM feeling like a massive failure after everyride because im not pushing hard enough
    05-21-2012, 12:30 PM
Well this will probably annoy you since I'm pretty sure you already know this. It can be helpful to be reminded sometimes, that is if it doesn't just piss us off all over again. LOL
It sounds to me like the problem isn't what you're DOING or what the horse is doing but rather with what you're THINKING. Your confidence is shaken and you seem to be leading with your fear and uncertainty which appears to be coming out as anger and frustration both with yourself and the horse. He is responding to your energy and your intent. No riding aid or technique is going to fix this problem. You have to get centered in yourself before you can get that horse to trust you. Instead of focusing on the horse's behavior, try focusing on your own thoughts and internal dialog. Somewhere in there you are expecting trouble, visualizing it, replaying it and projecting out to your horse. They can smell it in your chemistry before you even get near them. When you think about it, he's really doing just exactly what you are asking him to do; act up, be unpredictable, and halting in his follow through.
You can do this! Just take a minute to breathe in and out, in and out and, forgive me,--think happy thoughts!
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    05-21-2012, 01:15 PM
Tell me about it, I know Im feeding him with what I feel. Its hard to relax though and think pretty when he stops and putts his back up the more I ask for walk on! Then im thinking that I should react with a sharp smack on the backend to send him on but too chicken to do it coz I feel like he going to freak out on me! Hence the question am I doing more damage than good! Can't help feeling would he even have challanged my friend with any of this nonsense?
Im not as crappy a horse person as I sound on this forum to be honest I was teaching him pretty good until "the fall". Since that though I feel worthless. Im taking it easy with him until friday hoping she comes back and then she will step it up a level with him then. If he does continue to pull this nonsense on me then I suppose ill have to deal with it as it comes! Just hope the kicking thing is done with!! I've never owned a kicker and im not starting now!
    05-21-2012, 01:49 PM
I went through a few months of very low confidence with riding. The horse I was leasing at the time had been a perfect angel for about 6 months before I had to leave him for two months (out of town for work). During that time, he was only ridden maybe once a week by a very timid rider, and he figured he no longer had to work. Bucked me off twice after that and I never felt safe with him again.

Riding with a trainer helped immensely, although had he actually been mine, I probably would have sent him away for a month or two to get back in line. TBH, I never had another good ride on him without my trainer present and I had to ride a lot of other horses before I really got my confidence back.
    05-21-2012, 04:53 PM
No, you don't sound like a "crappy horse person!" LOL
Having horses means you're always learning...well, mostly it's just learning how much you don't know as much as you thought you knew. Hehe
Didn't have the time this morning but have since read some of your other threads and it really sounds as though you have a lot on your plate. Try not to be so hard on yourself! This one is your four year old right? He's barely got any time at all under saddle and probably got pretty spooked out when you cinched him up while mounted. I doubt he's been able to put the whole thing together. He may have gotten pinched. At the very least he probably thinks something freaky, unpredictable and likely life threatening happened and all he knows is that you and that saddle were involved. It only stands to reason that the two of you should not be trusted under any circumstance. Why, you might even admire his sound horsey judgement for that matter. Hehe
My point here is just that I don't think you need to worry so much about this horse losing his mind on you. It sounds as though he got frightened or hurt when you cinched up, didn't understand the cause and is now uncertain and cautious. Just as you would be and obviously are because of his reaction. If it were me, I'd go back to the source issue which was the saddle/cinching and reintroduce him to the whole thing. Just practice him with saddling, cinching, unsaddling etc. so he relearns that it's ok and that he can trust you to take care of him. It sounds like he's got an easy going nature but he's really still very green and he just got scared. He's probably feeling exactly the same way you are! So instead of thinking "can I really do this?" try thinking "you {insert horse's name here} can really do this!"
And by all means, give yourself a break. You've got a new young family and two horses that your reworking from scratch. That's enough to shake anyone to their boots!
Sammyjoe likes this.
    05-21-2012, 05:02 PM
Ah you have kiddies, well that explains it lol I know I go over every bad scenerio there is in a situation my hubby stayed on my butt to get me to let go of what if's, I'm a lot better but let's face it these animals could seriously hurt us.
If your trainer comes back and gets right on and everything goes well, don't take it as I'm the bad rider, take it as this horse has potential, then go from there.
I finally came to the realization with my gelding that I'm not at his level yet, I can't handle everything he throws at me and that's ok. I've seen strong confident riders, ride him and he looked so good but I'm not at that level yet. Riding should be a place to find relaxation and peace and as I like to say a way to competely empty my mind, almost like meditation I just can't empty my mind with this gelding and he probably senses, my mind is all over the place when I get on him, so it goes badly.
I hope your friend can help you get over this hump
    05-21-2012, 05:35 PM
Cant wait to post some pics of this boy working nicely in the near future for all you kind people who took the time to offer advice and encouragement. That's something for me to work towards!
    05-21-2012, 09:54 PM
If they think you're being ridiculous, obviously they've never been in a situation where they have lost their confidence. I was even nervous LOOKING at a horse. I know, and others on here certainly know, what it feels like.

I can't wait either, I want to hear of all your progress! Maybe tape your sessions then review them at the end of the day? Figure out when you could have corrected better, what you should have done, what was good, etc. ??

Best of luck, I'm rootin' for ya!

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