How do I, the rider, stop being "headshy"?
I hate to say it, but I'm dreading going to my riding lesson tonight. Mostly because I know that I'll have to groom and tack my horse, which is the problem. See, I have this overwhelming fear of a horse's head. Yeah. The end with the ears and eyes and teeth. I get so scared when haltering my horse in the stall, if they so much as half-heartedly lean down to get a mouthful of hay, I walk out of the stall and have to get my instructor to halter them. It's the same with bridling. Before I rode at my new stable, we never tacked up. At all. The 18-year-old high school instructor did it for us.
The only reason I can justify my fear is that the horse I used to ride was the most disrespectful thing ever. He nipped when you tried to groom his neck, and was extremely girthy. He even kicked the instructor. I was scared to cross-tie him, and had a legit fear that he'd bite when I couldn't snap on the clip.
Fast-forward, I still have that fear. I wasn't scared for a long while at my new stable, just a little cautious. Until the day my mare started on her marry way out the stable door and into the barn, with her bridle not on at all, and me screaming for my instructor to come help. Now, I'm nervous if she even shifts while bridling.
Before you ask, I HAVE told my instructor that I'd never bridled, and the horse I used to ride was a biter. Since the beginning, I've been riding this sweet, sweet mare. She's gentle and calm (until she ran out the door), and hasn't presented me many problems. There is no other horse I'd rather ride, and I've ridden all 4 lesson horses.
My instructor has helped me, as in staying close and helping as I bridled and unbridled. My only problem now is that it seems like my fear isn't going away, even though I have NOTHING to worry about. Will is just take time? Am I still doing something wrong? Let me know, guys. I need your help!