Can this fear be overcome? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 08-09-2013, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Can this fear be overcome?

Hi everyone. After taking a bad spill last year at one of those trail ride ranches, I was told that it was because I don't know how to ride. So I started taking lessons (my third one is tomorrow). What I've discovered is a real phobia. Just brushing the horse last week was terrifying for me and I'm wondering if that means I should give up? My husband has always had horses and wants horses when we retire. I am a real animal lover and would love to be able to have a horse. Today it seems impossible. I'm working with a very patient horseman who says I can do it. Has anyone else overcome this type of fear? What did you do? Thank you!
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post #2 of 38 Old 08-09-2013, 12:42 AM
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You just keep doing it. If your affinity for horses is greater then your fear you will overcome the hesitation. It will take a while and it will take you mentally challenging yourself each time you are near or on a horse.
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post #3 of 38 Old 08-09-2013, 12:58 AM
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Don't give up!. I think it can definitely be overcome, you loved horses before so just keep doing what you're doing. The horse bug will bite you again soon :).
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post #4 of 38 Old 08-09-2013, 01:01 AM
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You get over your fears. At least a bit.

Sometimes they never go away completely, I developed a bit of fear, and it grew. The only thing that fixed it was time, lots of riding, handling with safe horses that didn't test me. Now I'm good with a range of horses, but cautious. Keep at it, see if it gets better. The more you can do the better, so ideally if you can go there every day, or every other day just to groom or something.
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post #5 of 38 Old 08-09-2013, 01:28 AM
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You can definitely over come it! Just keep working at it, the longer you are around horses that fear will turn into excitement. Maybe you can ask your instructor to stay with you the first few times you are tacking up your lesson horse? Good luck! =)
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post #6 of 38 Old 08-09-2013, 01:38 AM
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It's human to have fears, especially when you have been hurt. Do you have a good mentor, who is at your side? do you trust that person?
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post #7 of 38 Old 08-09-2013, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by AZRJ View Post
I'm working with a very patient horseman who says I can do it.
This + Time + Experience = Confidence. It's a simple yet reliable formula that just takes a bit more time and experience than most people estimate when they first start.
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Last edited by Ian McDonald; 08-09-2013 at 01:55 AM.
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post #8 of 38 Old 08-09-2013, 08:45 AM
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I have the "fear"! I stopped riding back in 03. My granddaughter wanted a horse for Christmas. So my hubby bought her a haflinger. The hafie took off on her and she fell and stopped riding. Well I fell in love with the mare and started taking lessons. I even had the fear of walking behind the horse and leading the horse. Our first lesson was just on leading, nothing else. One hour of leading, halting, backing, leading, halting, backing, turning.
..I thought I was good to go as far as leading went, but the next lesson the mare was real uppity and excited. So again, we spent the whole hour doing the leading, except I was so fearful that the trainer did it. But the next lesson I was good to go and I have been ever since. I have no fear anymore of leading her, even when she is uppity.
Another issue I had was the walking behind her, like to clean the left back hoof and then walk around to get to the right back hoof. Well we spent so much time with me and the trainer walking shoulder to shoulder walking back and forth around the butt. I now have no problems doing it on my own. I have respect but not he fear.

Now in the saddle is still another story. The trainer has leadlined me in the arena and out on trails. I have ridden in the arena without a leadline, but I still have the fear. I have found that I can not ride her without a trainer with me. Meaning I only ride when I have a lesson. I still have the "fear".

My grandson took her in a show a few weeks ago, he did a leadline/beginners trail class. After he showed, I did a swap saddle and I took her in the same class. I was petrified! But I did it. My grandson took 1st and I got a participation ribbon LOL I was just happy that I took the first step and did it.

I still have fear, and I wonder about whether or not it will ever go away. I want to do a beginner equitation class, but the fear is so bad I haven't been able to do it yet. I am working right now on preparing for the next show on the 17th. Not sure I can pull it off or not.

But I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone with the fear issue. Like others have said, if we keep working on it, I am hoping the fear will go away or at least get better.

Good luck to you!
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post #9 of 38 Old 08-09-2013, 09:37 AM
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After my moms mare launched me about 20ft on a road, i was very afraid to start riding again. I told my mom i'll never ride her mare again. After a couple months, and steady working with my gelding, i did start riding again. He was the most awesome help for me to get over what happened. I do get a little "fear" when i'm out riding by myself, especially with so much wildlife around us. But slowly i get better each time. It takes some great soul searching, and a wonderful calm reliable equine friend to help the process, and equine people who understand what it's like. Keep going it will get better in time!
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~Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, Love leaves a memory no one can steal.~
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post #10 of 38 Old 08-09-2013, 10:56 AM
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You definitely can overcome your fear, I've done it! When I was younger I used to be terrified of dogs and horses. I would just go to dog parks and stand in the enclosure with them a couple times a week until I made myself realize that dogs aren't so bad, and now I love them and am studying animal health in college.

Similarly for horses, I was re-introduced to them through my animal health program. We had a natural horsemanship trainer there with us and explained how horses are. I was always a little nervous around them up until I just forced myself to take lessons, and I'm loving it now! You just have to keep at it.

If anything, your phobia should motivate you to keep going, not to give up!
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