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I need advice/suggestions about getting over fears of riding. Please!

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  • When trotting or cantoting on a horse should tighter reibs ve used?

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    06-04-2013, 02:53 PM
  #11
Foal
Thanks everyone! There are definitely some good tips and advice here. And you're absolutely right. I do have a fear of the horse, but I've worked past that a great deal. My main problem is the fear of actually riding- and the horse turning on me. I'm prepared to be thrown. It's happened. And if anyone knows anything about horses, it's not a matter of "if" you'll get thrown, it's a matter of "when". At some point it will happen. I don't WANT it to, no one does. But that's something I know I'll get up from because I've experienced it before. I have to get back in the saddle first before I can really start thinking about getting up from a fall though.

To answer your question Bsms- yes I can lead a horse around all day. And make corrections as needed. Stop, back up, stand, go in circles, work it out, etc. It's taken a lot of effort to get to that point where I'm comfortable doing all the groundwork again. But I'm there. The issue is freezing when I go to put my foot in the stirrup. Would you believe that I use to barrel race?? All I used to want to do was GO,GO,GO! That was before the accident. And now thinking about a horse taking off with me, the fear that I won't be able to regain control, because I'm so scared- it all petrifies me. I also don't want to be the one making my horse all hyped up because of my own nerves. Tighter reining, hands too high, legs clenched, etc.
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    06-04-2013, 03:50 PM
  #12
Trained
I'm not a psychologist, nor do I play one. However, in trying to get Mia past her fears, about the only thing that has worked is breaking each task into smaller steps, until it is a step she can handle. So you might try mounting a horse who is being held and just sitting on it while it stands still. Maybe find someone with a patient pony, because anything you can do to distinguish in your mind between what you are trying to do and what went wrong years ago will help make the step 'smaller' to your mind. If there is a pony who can be mounted bareback, try that. I've watched my mare turn into 900 lbs of sweating, trembling, eye-rolling fear enough times to know that fear is very real and very powerful. If sitting in the saddle for 60 seconds is as much as you can stand, then sit in it for 55 seconds and dismount. We don't ask our horses to overcome their fears in one step, so why should we expect our fellow riders or ourselves to do so?

If someone near you offers English lessons, then maybe explain your situation and see if a lesson in English would trick your mind into allowing you to get on the horse.

Just some ideas, to go along with good intentions. In the end, you may need to pull yourself into the saddle with your body screaming...and sit there. And then sit a little longer, then a little longer, until you can add walking.
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    06-04-2013, 07:08 PM
  #13
Green Broke
You should look on horse ads, check within your local community, you could even check craig list, but with all ads and horses for sale, take someone with you whom can ride the horse, have the seller ride the horse, maybe you know someone with an older bomb proof horse. Maybe there is a rescue near you that would have one. It is hard to get back to riding after an injury, and when you get on the first time, have someone lead the horse with you on it, since you seem extremely afraid. You may even just want to try sitting on the horse first before walking. I hope you find a safe horse and get over your fear.
     
    06-05-2013, 09:59 AM
  #14
Weanling
It's a long slow road back. Don't let anyone rush you. In-hand work can help build a bond and also help you feel a little closer to riding than just the grooming. Be aware of your body language (tense) and breathing when you are around the horse. You might want to try by just saddling up, having someone hold the horse, then just sit in the saddle. Breathe deep, roll your shoulders, give the horse a reassuring pat then dismount. That's enough for the first time. Congratulate yourself- this is a HUGE step!!
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    06-05-2013, 05:58 PM
  #15
Foal
Would it help to have someone there with you—a buddy, trainer, etc.—to help encourage you? That way you can also be reassured that if something does go wrong, someone will be there to take care of it and make sure you're ok. Also I second the "small steps" suggestion. "Flooding" is a valid fear-overcoming technique but it can be seriously intense and draining; taking things in small steps, maybe just mounting and then hopping off, then walking for a few steps, etc. can gradually expand your comfort zone without adding too much stress at a time.
     
    06-06-2013, 05:40 PM
  #16
Foal
OMG, you're in Talladega, AL!!! I live in St. Clair County!! I, too, have had some issues with getting back into riding after having a fall last year. I was pretty shook up, but, am now cautious about loping or cantering. However,
I found a wonderful trainer in Etowah County who is so easy and patient, and she has the funniest lesson horse. She will only let you work in an arena, will be glad to walk around with a lead line, and if you feel up to a canter, it will only be on a lunge line in a small circle. It's all about balance. You will just love her and her quarter horse because he is so funny. He is even afraid of the small jumps with flowers, lol. I think you will be able to build alot of confidence with her.
I fell in my home last month and twisted my ankle, so I have stopped lessons for now. I'm alot older than you and I don't bounce back as fast. But, she made me feel good just being able to ride at a walk and trot. She teaches english and western lessons, very reasonable.

Her name is Suzanne and she has Heart & Horse Riders or Horse & Heart Riders.
     
    06-06-2013, 05:51 PM
  #17
Foal
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by MChamp13    
Thanks everyone! There are definitely some good tips and advice here. And you're absolutely right. I do have a fear of the horse, but I've worked past that a great deal. My main problem is the fear of actually riding- and the horse turning on me. I'm prepared to be thrown. It's happened. And if anyone knows anything about horses, it's not a matter of "if" you'll get thrown, it's a matter of "when". At some point it will happen. I don't WANT it to, no one does. But that's something I know I'll get up from because I've experienced it before. I have to get back in the saddle first before I can really start thinking about getting up from a fall though.

To answer your question Bsms- yes I can lead a horse around all day. And make corrections as needed. Stop, back up, stand, go in circles, work it out, etc. It's taken a lot of effort to get to that point where I'm comfortable doing all the groundwork again. But I'm there. The issue is freezing when I go to put my foot in the stirrup. Would you believe that I use to barrel race?? All I used to want to do was GO,GO,GO! That was before the accident. And now thinking about a horse taking off with me, the fear that I won't be able to regain control, because I'm so scared- it all petrifies me. I also don't want to be the one making my horse all hyped up because of my own nerves. Tighter reining, hands too high, legs clenched, etc.
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I commend you for buying a farm and slowly working your way up to groundwork, leading, etc. You are doing the right thing in working from the ground up so that you can establish trust, learn how to correct any behavior problems. So, you have taken a big step towards overcoming your fears. I was never worried about falling off until I did last year. Now, I am very cautious. But, I still want to ride, even if it is at a walk for five minutes. Have you tried sitting with a saddle on a stand and working on some relaxation techniques, and stretching your heels? Try closing your eyes and remembering the good times walking, trotting. Don't worry about anything else while sitting on the saddle. Whenever you have taken some lessons and feel ready, always have someone with you and wear a helmet, safety vest and good riding boots.
     
    06-06-2013, 05:53 PM
  #18
Showing
Lessons on the lungeline.
     
    06-06-2013, 05:59 PM
  #19
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by MChamp13    
I've tried looking into that around here, but they seem to be non-existent or hours away. I'm going to research some more. I'm determined to get back to where I use to be. Not fearless, because I believe one should always be aware of dangers and have a healthy level of caution when dealing with a 1200 lb animal. I don't want to feel invincible, just comfortable and relaxed so that I can enjoy the fun.
Try Heart & Horses in the Gadsden area. May have to Google it to find it, but the trainer is flexible and very reasonable for lessons. It may be Horse & Heart Riders....hope she can help you!
     
    06-06-2013, 09:45 PM
  #20
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by MChamp13    
I started riding when I was very young (age 3) on a horse my dad got for me. My QH mare would do anything I ever asked her to do. She obeyed verbal commands, reining, and leg pressure. I always felt protected. And she would have died for me- I have no doubt. She passed away when I was 13. I rode here and there on a few of my dad's other horses, but no one was my Roxy. When I was 15, I took a ride on a friend's horse- a horse that I had ridden numerous times with no big problems. That horse turned on me in a bad, bad way during that last ride. He bucked me, trampled me, and was pawing me into the ground before my friend could get to me. I ended up with a broken nose, concussion, dislocated shoulder, a couple broken ribs, torn ligaments in my knees, and a fear that hasn't subsided.

I'm 28 now and have a farm of my own. We've gotten a couple horses and I've gradually worked my way up to being able to care for them (grooming, cleaning hooves, etc.) But I can't make myself ride. Even in the round pin. I want so badly to have my confidence back and not be afraid. I want to go trail riding with my friends and family. I don't want to always be the one left at the barn while everyone else is enjoying a fun, relaxing experience. I want another bombproof horse. One that I will trust and he/she trust me. I want that connection. Which I now have the confidence while on the ground, but my butt needs to be back in that saddle. And I don't know how to make myself do it without freaking out and spooking my own horse with my nerves and fears. It's so bad that I can be brushing him down and if he flinches over anything, I jump and my heart races.

I need help, suggestions, anything. Or if anyone has a bombproof horse available for sale/trade that would be fine with a 28 yo rider starting as fresh as a 3 yo again. I might be interested!
I find that it is more healthy to be a supportive member of the horse community than to be part of one of those "clicks" that only talk about you instead of helping you. Safety is of the utmost importance with riding, so if you need any help, I'll be glad to come your way and see what I can offer. We can talk about our injuries, etc...lol! I totally understand!
     

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