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post #1 of 13 Old 03-27-2010, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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training ME

I am a new horse owner. I got a horse for mostly therapeutic reasons, my mom passed away last May and she was a horse woman...and I am a person that is afraid of many things in life. Well, I am so glad that I decided to get a horse, I love my boy. I got him on new years eve and we are just now really getting to know each other on a deeper level. I have done groundwork, he is smart so it is easy. He is a great horse that has been there/done that. The thing is, I am very afraid to ride him. I have been on him 4 times (in the arena)for a short while and I know it will take some time, I really want to get comfortable in the saddle, but I don't want to ride too soon because I know if I am nervous that will have an effect on his behavior...
Anyway, if anyone has been where I am, just letting fear get in the way, and have conquered it, I would love to hear your story!
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-28-2010, 12:08 AM
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Are you at a boarding barn? Make friends and ride with them. If there's a group of people, talking, laughing just walking around the ring your tension will melt and you will "forget" about the scariness of riding and just enjoy it. When you ride alone you can easily mentally psyche yourself out and your horse is more likely to react to your tension. If there are other horses around your horse that are calm and happy, even if you're tense they probably will ignore you for the most part and just follow along with the "herd". Also, just getting on and riding once or twice around the ring and getting off will help you build confidence. If you ride for 5 mins one day you will say, well that wasn't too bad and kinda fun. And then the next time you might ride for 6mins, etc etc etc. Also, give yourself a goal and stick with it. Say, I'm going to ride once around the ring. Or I'm going to go over to that post and back to the mounting block, etc. If you give yourself a goal to think about other than staying on the horse you start to focus on that and you relax. Good luck and keep us posted!!
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-28-2010, 12:28 AM
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I am exactly where you are, but a little bit worse off. I am afraid to ride my horse, Honeycutt, after I had an accident a few years ago. She is the opposite of yours I think! She was four years when I got her, She was my FIRST horse, and she was GREEN, GREEN, GREEN!!! Not to mention even if she was well broke I think she would be strong willed, and try to do things her way! Classic beginner's mistake ;D

I'm glad you started this thread. I finally decided to get over it and start riding this summer. The only thing I can tell you is that your probably simply psyching yourself out and you have a great horse to learn on it sounds like. So you don't have anything to worry about!!
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-28-2010, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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I am at a boarding stable, have had great help from the people there. For now I feel good riding with one other person with me(I don't like people watching me, weird I know). I have made the goal that I would like to get on the trail by the anniversary of Mom's passing, May 8. I haven't thought as much about making smaller goals, that is a very good idea.
Yea, my horse is a great horse and very well broke but he does have some "go" to him so that can kind of play with my mind too.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-28-2010, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoxanneElizabeth View Post
I am at a boarding stable, have had great help from the people there. For now I feel good riding with one other person with me(I don't like people watching me, weird I know). I have made the goal that I would like to get on the trail by the anniversary of Mom's passing, May 8. I haven't thought as much about making smaller goals, that is a very good idea.
Yea, my horse is a great horse and very well broke but he does have some "go" to him so that can kind of play with my mind too.
Okay, to control his "go", practice on the ground bending his neck back to the girth so that he gives willingly in both directions then do it standing still in the saddle and don't release until he gives into you and doesn't brace. Then at the walk practice the bend (one rein stop practice). This way he is used to you bending him like this and if he speeds up then do it and bend him into circle and hold rein short until he gives into you and stops moving then release and you can exhale big to get him to stop he will read you that way. This is a good practice to get you acclimated to his movements at a slower pace and gives you complete control.
Now then, what I do to get rid of my anxiety (as I am damaged goods as a rider) I say the alphabet one letter with each stride out loud or count out loud same tempo. This forces you to breathe and distracts you, allowing your body to get more in rhythm with your horse and sometimes I do pledge of allegiance or something different to switch it up. A few lessons with your horse will work wonders. Do similar routine with each ride, walk both directions then trot (dont forget to practice one rein stops) both directions then circles then figure eights but all along practice your one rein stops. This will keep him checked into you and anticipate your stops which can have him slower to get ready for them.
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-28-2010, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Those are great tips! I love the alphabet, seems like it would totally help! I really don't know what comes over me and the last thing is to fall victim to this fear, I want to conquer it! I know once I get my fear in check this horse is willing to do anything for me.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-28-2010, 10:00 AM
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What are you afraid of? Specifically.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-28-2010, 10:57 AM
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As far as relaxation the best thing to do is belt out your favorite song. Even if you just keep going through the chorus. I had a horse that I was jumping and he was a scary horse to jump as he flung himself over fences and I had a hard time rating his speed. So I found a song that matched the canter that I wanted and I sang it the WHOLE way around jump courses. At schooling shows my best friend and trainer at the time made me belt it out so the rest of her students could hear me. To show them that it works. The judge ate it up because I was jumping 3'9" on a little chestnut QH(15.2) and belting out the star spangled banner. I was like ok...what the heck right? And it worked magically because I was concentrating on the singing and just riding unconciously and my relaxed and sure aids were making him pay attention to me. I think quite a few of my friends have it on tape somewhere...but it is not allowed on youtube!! Haha
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-28-2010, 11:23 AM
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I highly recommend you read "Tao of Equus" in fact, in your situation you may find it extremely helpful.
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-28-2010, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Seahorseys View Post
I highly recommend you read "Tao of Equus" in fact, in your situation you may find it extremely helpful.
Concur.
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