Confidence back to 0....think I will give up my dream. - Page 8 - The Horse Forum
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post #71 of 101 Old 10-08-2013, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by IowaPsychRN View Post
I bought an 8yo MFT 5 weeks ago......... My horse spooked and was spinning around. I was terrified! What little confidence I had is gone. I was able to stay on her, but the thought of this happening again is enough to make me not want to ride again. This is my second horse since Nov. I feel like a wimp and failure!!
Well, first, congratulations on your new horse! He's a real beauty and if the photos are any indication, he looks to have a nice demeanor....

I would recommend that rather than allowing yourself to dwell on the fear you felt during the spook, the "take home" from this event should be that YOU STAYED ON! You rode out the spook, you did NOT fall off, and you were not hurt! Those are big things....

Instead of feeling that a spook event is bound to lead to some kind of doom, concentrate on the fact that you stayed on and rode it out! You did well! Depending on how you look at it, what happened could be a confidence builder rather than a confidence breaker... Part of having "confidence" is having the feeling that you will probably be able to ride out whatever happens! You've already done it once!

With all that was going on at the time, a spook is not unexpected....

There are many things that you can do to improve your confidence and your ability to be relaxed and comfortable in the saddle. One of the most effective things that I have found to help me keep my seat is just to pay attention! Sure, I fell off while doing all sorts of things when I was young, but as an adult, literally every time I've fallen off, I would have stayed in the saddle if I had been paying proper attention.

Keeping a close eye on "where your horse's attention is" is also important. If he's looking off to the left side of the trail, then maybe you should be looking out there to see what's got his interest. Things will go better if you can see a potential spook before he does!

Another thing that I do when trail riding is to catch a hold of the swell of the saddle when I turn around to talk to someone behind me. Kinda like hand-checking: if something happens while I'm not looking I'm already connected to something that I can hold onto while I get back in position.

When you mount up or dismount, keep alert to the fact that you're in a "less-secure" position for a short period of time and be very "tuned in" to your horse during this time and have in mind what you'll do if there's a spook. As Pasteur said, "Chance favors the prepared mind" and if you're ready to react, you're a lot more likely to avoid a problem.

I realize that none of these connect directly with the spook event you experienced, but my point is that the more "tools" you have in your "riding tool box", the more confident you will probably be about riding in general.

Sort of like they say about real estate (location, location and location), confidence in riding is build up significantly through (1) time in the saddle, (2) time in the saddle and (3) time in the saddle! There's just no substitute for it. Things become automatic and second-nature. You'll experience incremental victories over various things. First, an overall improvement in feeling calm and relaxed in the saddle in general. Then, one day, you'll realize that something that had made you very nervous initially (loping, for example) has become totally enjoyable and lots of fun! I'll never forget the first time I ever rode a horse at full speed, totally stretched out going across the pasture, without thinking about the process at all. Literally, halfway across the pasture it occurred to me that I was only having fun, not worrying about staying on or anything else. It was a really cool realization that I'll never forget, even though it was 49 years ago!

Another facet of it all is this: the more time you spend with your horse, both riding and doing other things as well, the more you and Cloud will learn about each other. At the same time you learn what is liable to startle or spook him, he will be learning that the sources of these spooks are not dangerous after all! These two changing factors will merge in a very good place. You and your horse will most likely wind up with a deep bond and that is the most rewarding, valuable part of the whole thing to me.

Sorry for getting long-winded.... I just want to convey that you did very well in riding the spook event out and I hope you do NOT quit! I can not express how much fun I have riding, handling and just being around our horses. I hope you wind up feeling the same way!

Radiowaves
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...so a horse walks into a bar and the bar tender says "why the long face?"...

Last edited by Radiowaves; 10-08-2013 at 02:27 AM.
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post #72 of 101 Old 10-08-2013, 09:17 AM
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Radiowaves, I would like to click "like" on your post 100 times. Very well said!
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post #73 of 101 Old 10-09-2013, 03:35 AM
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Radiowaves, I would like to click "like" on your post 100 times. Very well said!
Thank you so much Celeste! I really appreciate the kind words...

...so a horse walks into a bar and the bar tender says "why the long face?"...
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post #74 of 101 Old 10-09-2013, 09:17 AM
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Cute horse and great name! Best of luck!

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post #75 of 101 Old 10-09-2013, 01:30 PM
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My mare is super broke and sometimes we just have an off day where even things we see every day are scary. I go on a trail almost once a week and just a few weeks ago my mare decided to rear, spin, and take off repeatedly. The next time out I was definitely a bit hesitant, but we did it!
You'll be able to get over it!! If you're really worried about her spooking then don't ride her with other horses and just ride alone, even if it's just at the walk.
If it's possible, take lessons on your mare or maybe just have a ground person there. I know that that's something I like if I'm riding a horse I'm a bit nervous about riding.
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post #76 of 101 Old 10-09-2013, 06:06 PM
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Horses tend to mimic one another so when one spooks, the others will follow. I agree with the other people who commented. You need to find a reputable trainer who can help you regain your confidence and advise you about how to handle your horse. Every horse is different. It's very important that you have a reliable,calm, horse.
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post #77 of 101 Old 10-10-2013, 08:31 PM
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I agree that more training and work with you and your horse is a must!
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post #78 of 101 Old 10-14-2013, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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I sold my mare last week. I also rode Cloud the other day! It was only for a few minutes and in a small paddock, but its a start! My husband rode him first and that helped with my nerves. I am still taking lessons, but have been working on doing groundwork. Thank you Radiowaves for your awesome advice and thank you to everyone who has been cheering me on!
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post #79 of 101 Old 10-15-2013, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by IowaPsychRN View Post
I sold my mare last week. I also rode Cloud the other day! It was only for a few minutes and in a small paddock, but its a start! My husband rode him first and that helped with my nerves. I am still taking lessons, but have been working on doing groundwork. Thank you Radiowaves for your awesome advice and thank you to everyone who has been cheering me on!
You are a kind soul, IowaPhychRN, and I really appreciate the kind words....

I'm just glad you're moving forward! And you are right: you've had a fine start with Cloud! Taking lessons and working on groundwork are both really good ideas. The more you and Cloud are together doing ANYthing the more you'll learn about each other and that's a good thing.

I really hope that you and Cloud turn out to be just right for each other and form a deep/strong bond. Please keep us posted on your progress! And have a good time going through the process...

Radiowaves

...so a horse walks into a bar and the bar tender says "why the long face?"...
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post #80 of 101 Old 10-15-2013, 12:57 AM
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I'm sorry to hear that the mare didn't work out for you.
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