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Confidence back to 0....think I will give up my dream.

This is a discussion on Confidence back to 0....think I will give up my dream. within the New to Horses forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        09-02-2013, 07:42 PM
      #21
    Green Broke
    Lessons, lessons, lessons, and more lessons. You need to learn on a well broke forgiving horse with a trainer who knows what they are doing. That way you build your confidence up and start to feel in control again. Then you take that knowledge and apply it when riding your own horse.
    Your friend may be a more experienced with horses, but she may not be able to teach.
         
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        09-02-2013, 07:53 PM
      #22
    Green Broke
    To be honest, buying a horse from a dealer who was bought from an auction is never a good idea for a novice. Neither is buying underfed horses, just because you don't know how they're going to be later on, or what they've done. Many horses can be ridden in rope halters, and that doesn't say anything about it's training. It's really important if you have confidence issues that you get a well broke horse who has been everywhere and done everything.

    Right now, I probably wouldn't ride her. I'd find a really reputable and good trainer and have them out to ride and evaluate your horse. Ask them what they think the problems are and if she's going to suitable for you. Hopefully she can give you realistic options.

    Riding when you're afraid is a recipe for distaster. She's acted out twice, and while you've stayed on - which is certainly good, you don't have the skills to fix these problems, and you haven't used any methods to try and control her.

    There is no problem grazing, grooming etc as long as you're always in control. You should be able to walk with a slack lead, back and turn her with minimal pressure, yield her hindquarters each way, and do basic small circle lunging at a minimum. With a new horse I'd do that each day, when you move their feet you're asserting that you're in charge.
    MaximasMommy likes this.
         
        09-02-2013, 08:40 PM
      #23
    Foal
    I am sorry you had a bad experience. We have all felt frustrated, scared, and ready to give up from time to time. Horses are not easy. With horses, remember a few things....first, preparation is critical. Have you been working regularly in a controlled enviornment (ie arena), with and without a trainer to really get to know your new girl and develop trust and a good seat? If not, I would stay off the trail. It is a common belief that you buy a horse, jump on and ride gleefully down the trails, but unless your horses is rather aged and incredibly well broke, that is just a fantasy. Good, safe trail riding is usually first developed in the arena, IME.

    Second, in my observation, a true, trusting, bond between a recreational rider and their horse typically take a couple of *years* to develop, and the more time spent together, the quicker it forms. Five weeks is very early days IMO.

    Last, when it comes to trail riding, never underestimate the importance of choosing a good trail partner. Not just the person, but their horse too. You always want to ride with good level-headed riders, but their horse's behavior and experience needs to match you and your horse's needs too. For instance, my very solid trail horse had been out of comission for almost a year due to injury. Now that we are getting back out on the trails, she is very full of energy. Normally, I would not hesitate to go out with a friend riding a green or spooky horse, my horse is typically a calming influence. Right now, however, we need a good steady horse to go out with until my mare gets her trail mind back...and she will. Always choose your partner based on your needs at the time. New horse, new rider, needs very experienced and calm rider *and* horse to go out with.

    Hang in there, baby steps, day by day. Never ignore yout gut feelings either. If you feel unsafe, you probably are.
    SammysMom and Marcie like this.
         
        09-02-2013, 09:43 PM
      #24
    Yearling
    The fact that your newest mount was a previous auction horse sends some red flags up for me. Usually there is a reason why the horse was sent there, be it health, behavior or economy issues.

    This horse should have a confident, experience rider. A person who can stay calm when she becomes nervous or acts out. If you are unable to ride or be around this horse without getting anxious, I would either invest in a trainer or find another home for her.

    In the meantime, invest in some lessons. Many schools have perfect confidence builders/beginner horses where you can get back into the swing of things. :)
         
        09-02-2013, 10:02 PM
      #25
    Green Broke
    Well I hope you don't give up, because 5 weeks really is a very short amount of time.

    However, I do also want to say that you aren't exactly setting yourself up for success. I really sounds like you've had very little lessons up until this point. Why are you getting the horse before taking lessons? Would you buy a car before going through driver's education and getting your license? No! So why not take lessons FIRST and gain some skills before buying a horse?

    Lessons, lessons, lessons. Most people take lessons for years before they jump into horse ownership.

    Secondly, you could really use some advice for choosing a horse. Your first horse you spoke of was only 4 years old. That's a "teenager" in human standards. And now your current horse had a bunch of red flags before you purchased her that you didn't see. This is where a very experienced and trusted friend can help you choose a horse that actually is right for you.

    On a general note, since you are a beginner, you should choose a horse that is over 10 years old. A horse that has been there and done that. A horse that is mellow and calm. And I would definatley get a bunch of lessons under your belt before you purchase another horse. I'm sorry to say it, but at this point if you've had this horse for 5 weeks and now can't ride it without hysterically crying, this horse has your number and knows it. Yes, lessons are going to help, but you are already scared to death to ride her, that's not putting you in a good situation either.

    Yes, your horse might be well-trained. But not all horses can handle a scared and non-confident rider. My horse Red is well-trained. But I'd never allow a beginner rider to take him out on the trails. Never. It would be a wreck. However, I know him well and I trust him in ANY situation. But I'm not a beginner rider.

    I agree with the others who said that just because you spend 3 hours a day with this horse, does not mean the horse respects you. It greatly depends what you DO during those 3 hours. And more time isn't always better. Sometimes 10 minutes working with your horse is enough to get your point across and a lesson taught to the horse.

    Either way, I think you realize you need some help. Lessons, lessons, lessons! And make sure to take lessons in ground work too; not just riding.
    smrobs and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
         
        09-02-2013, 11:18 PM
      #26
    Trained
    You said that the horse is in a dry lot and that you feed her 4 pounds of strategy a day. You didn't mention what you are doing about the rest of her diet. Does she have free choice hay?
         
        09-03-2013, 12:46 AM
      #27
    Foal
    She has free choice hay.
    Celeste likes this.
         
        09-03-2013, 02:10 AM
      #28
    Foal
    I work with her everyday on the ground moving back, forward, yielding hindquarters, neck flexion,etc. She has never been pushy towards me and has been wonderful up until the other night. I am not afraid or anxious when I am around her on the ground. The reason I haven't taken lessons yet is because I thought it would all come back to me from when I rode daily as a teenager. I now know that is not the case. Thank you everyone for your advice!
         
        09-03-2013, 02:17 AM
      #29
    Showing
    I hate to say it, but since she's already got you spooked, it's unlikely that you'll be able to ride her at all without terrible anxiety for quite some time to come. If you get on her while you're terrified, then you are transferring those feelings to her and she will be more likely to misbehave...which will scare you even more. It is a vicious circle that doesn't end well for either of you.

    The way I see things, you've got 2 options. You can either try to sell her and start taking lessons, then at some point in the future when you and your instructor agree that you are ready to try ownership again, then your instructor can help you find a horse that is suitable for you and help keep them suitable for you.

    Option 2 is, you can keep the mare and feed her without really doing much else with her while you're taking lessons. At some point down the road, you can start taking her to lessons with you and perhaps have your trainer/instructor ride her if they are willing. Then, eventually, you might be able to successfully ride her without stress.

    Either way, you should be looking at months and months of lessons to begin the process of learning how to confidently handle and ride even a well broke horse.
    beau159 likes this.
         
        09-03-2013, 06:03 AM
      #30
    Weanling
    Sorry to hear that you are struggling with your confidence and it sounds like lessons would be a really good start.
    I am similar in that I got back into riding and have had a hard time controlling my fears despite having an older well-broke horse who for the most part is pretty well behaved. Some days I have rides that make me think of throwing in the towel but then I will have rides where I can see glimpses of the confident teen rider I used to be.
    For instance yesterday I had a very exhausting ride where my horse threw a number of tantrums including suddenly dropping for a roll with me on his back

    We then went through a fit of side-stepping and little rears when I wouldn't let him catch up with his mates. I managed to over-come the urge to jump off and lead him and felt really proud of myself for staying on.
    Definitely don't push yourself and only do what you feel comfortable, I find reminding myself that it is meant to be FUN and that if I do decide to stop riding it wont be the end of the world helps put things in perspective. I always end up coming back to the fact that although I don't always love riding I love having horses in my life.
    Good luck!
         

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