im a chicken!!!please help - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 10-13-2008, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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im a chicken!!!please help

ok I ride under a terrific trainer with at a great farm with wonderful riders..ok so the real issue im 20 years old and have been riding on and off since I was 12 but have only been getting lessons for about 9 months...I use to jump over logs and stuff in the field and had no fear....but now im doing like 2'3 fences and have no confidence and get very nervous I've gone to my first eventing rally and did well but I still get very nervous...i ride with a lot of younger girls of all experience levels but I seem to be the only one that has fear slowing me down...any one ever deal with these issues? Any advice for me? I feel so embarassed that im to scared to jump even a 2'6 fence Its not my riding holding me back its my confidence and its very frustrating for me! Any comments will be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-13-2008, 10:16 PM
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Hun, I am in exactly the same boat as you. I'm 22 years old, been riding on and off for 10 years, and used to have all the carefree abandon in the world, and now I just about crap my pants LOOKING at a 50cm jump. It's ridiculous, and I know how easy it is to have your confidence knocked.
I obviously don't have a lot of advice to offer you in terms of overcoming this problem, being in the same situation myself still, but I can tell you this- Don't beat yourself up about it. We're not immortal- having a fear of something means we are aware of the consequences, at the very least!
In my case, I've stopped (for now) putting myself in situations which induce these fears, because I know it has a negative effect on my riding (and the **** horse knows this too :P) When I bring him back into work (he's had a few injuries) I will be starting off with just dressage until I am secure with my seat, then starting from the beginning with jumping again. I truly understand how frustrating it is though, but again- don't beat yourself up about it!
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-14-2008, 12:08 AM
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I think it's an age thing! When I was younger I used to think riding crazy horses was the coolest... After taking a break several years ago I started riding again and was shocked to find out that I'd rather not put up with the rodeo stuff anymore! I think one of the first steps in getting over fear is being able to put a label on it and specify as much as you can. There are 2 types of fear: Physical fear and mental fear. Physical fear is the fear of getting hurt (most beginners and most adults struggle with this :)). Mental fear is the fear of doing something wrong (like missing a distance, or being afraid of messing up a horse, etc). Do you know what category you fall under? If physical fear is your problem, building up confidence on a safe horse that will take care of you will work wonders. If it's mental, ride ride ride! The more time in the saddle you with the right horse will be the best thing. Plus, make sure that you have someone who has a good balance of encouraging you and challenging you. It's important to not do too much, but make sure you're trying new things and finding out that you CAN do it! Remember to be patient with yourself. EVERYONE has (or should have) fear. It's what you do with it that matters.
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-14-2008, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your words of encouragement...i think its a fear of getting hurt. My horse is the perfect match for me he is so patient and understanding and we have both came so far with my trainer...however I still get nervous when we jump he doesnt do anything wrong and when we are all done our session I feel like I have really accomplished something but the next lesson im right back where I started....but I agree with the ride ride ride comment lol my problem is I ride 4-5 times a week but only jump when I have a lesson which is usually only once a week so I don't really get to practice jumping too much does anyone have any good excerises that I can do on the flat to help me over fences?
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-15-2008, 06:37 PM
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I'm a total chicken. Always have been, always will be. I've gotten used to it. The only thing that helps me is to just do it. If your horse is sensitive enough to stop if you're unsure, then find a schooling horse that is dull, dead, and will do anything without blinking. That's what I did. I got on this old TB mare at my old trainer and she set up a 2'3" vertical to 2'6" oxer line and told me to go over it. She was standing there, watching, and I was completely terrified. I pointed Ginger (the horse, obviously) at the line and held on for dear life. Imagine my surprise when I found myself alive and still on the horse when we landed after the oxer! LOL

I don't know if this will work for you, but it has for me. Every time. If I just bite the bullet and do it, I can do it again (and again and again).

~Steph~

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post #6 of 15 Old 10-15-2008, 08:40 PM
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I find myself in your shoes when I haven't ridden in a while. There was about a year when I only rode Western and worked as a Wrangler. When I got a horse again and started jumping & training it, jumps looked bigger than before.

But all I did was stay with the levels I felt comfortable with (2'6, 2'6) and once I felt like I had my confidence back, I started to tackle the higher fences again.
Now I'm back to my careless self, not sure if its a good thing or not, haha.

But just stick with what your comfortable with, and go from there. You've gotta get your confidence back, that is the most important thing. And major kudos to finding out your fears and admitting them. That is the first step to fixing it!
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-16-2008, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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my horse is awsome we are kinda learning together but he is so trustworthy if he refuses you know way before hand and he's not dirty about it! He has more guts than I do ha ha ha but im actually more comfortable on him than the seasoned lesson horses I guess I just feel a bond and can really trust him....it is actually comforting knowing im not the only one thanks for all your support everyone!
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-16-2008, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonnysfirststar View Post
ok I ride under a terrific trainer with at a great farm with wonderful riders..ok so the real issue im 20 years old and have been riding on and off since I was 12 but have only been getting lessons for about 9 months...I use to jump over logs and stuff in the field and had no fear....but now im doing like 2'3 fences and have no confidence and get very nervous I've gone to my first eventing rally and did well but I still get very nervous...i ride with a lot of younger girls of all experience levels but I seem to be the only one that has fear slowing me down...any one ever deal with these issues? Any advice for me? I feel so embarassed that im to scared to jump even a 2'6 fence Its not my riding holding me back its my confidence and its very frustrating for me! Any comments will be greatly appreciated!
I've had times that I was too afraid to canter my horse...it took me 4 months to build up the confidence to canter him.
It is definitely an age thing...when I was younger I was a complete dare-devil, would do anything and everything. Now I do get nervous more often and find myself backing out of stuff because I chicken out.

What I suggest doing is working on a jump that is small until you feel 100% certain that you can do it every single time. Then add an inch and so on.

For my cantering issue, my friend kept yelling canter over and over again and putting TONS of pressure on me...so I finally asked and he was great.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-16-2008, 05:20 PM
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Haha I was the same Sonny! It took MONTHS for me to canter on my current horse... And even then for a while I could feel myself getting all tense for a few times afterwards! Even now if I can sense he's a bit 'off' I get jittery, coz I know it doesn't take much to unseat me!
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-16-2008, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Chiefie View Post
Haha I was the same Sonny! It took MONTHS for me to canter on my current horse... And even then for a while I could feel myself getting all tense for a few times afterwards! Even now if I can sense he's a bit 'off' I get jittery, coz I know it doesn't take much to unseat me!
Oh, I cantered him twice before I bought him, but when I bought him he kept tripping, then I fell off him when he tripped, that shattered my confidence.
I simply just told my friend to shut up and I asked for the canter lol.
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