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lesmiserables 11-06-2011 12:38 PM

Conflicted about riding lessons...
I'm trying to decide whether or not I should try learning how to ride horses again. I took lessons for about a year when I was ten, but I was a very timid rider and eventually quit because I was tired of being so nervous about the lesson for sometimes days before hand. However, I think maybe if I got over my fear of riding I would really love it, since I used to be very uncomfortable around horses in general, but I've been volunteering at a theraputic horseback riding center for a while and I love being around the horses and taking care of them.
At first when I got there, I was really jumpy and my heart was racing when I was tacking and grooming and bathing, etc. the horses, but after just a few weeks I can't wait to get there every Sunday and even though I do get a bit nervous, I overall feel very comforable and the nervousness is more of a natural reaction than actually being scared. It doesn't really seem to make sense that I would feel more comfortable as a volunteer, when it is your job to take care of the children, and then to feel scared when I'm the one being taken care of, but that's the way it is.
I would think this was just because I am older now (I'm fifteen) and bigger so horses aren't as scary but I did go for a trail ride just this summer, and found it just as nervewracking as when I was ten! I would definetly go ahead and try lessons again, but I just don't want it to end up like it was when I was younger and my experience riding just made me more scared. So basically, do you think I should give it a try?

Saskia 11-06-2011 02:10 PM

Sure, give it a go. New things can be scary but the only way to get over your fears is to face them. Like even though spiders REALLY freak me out when I see a huge huntsman spider crawling across the floor or something I make myself catch it in a jar and put it outside, I can't let fear rule my life in any way. If people let fear in, they'd never travel somewhere new and different, or try new things.

Talk to your instructor and maybe you can work something out. Perhaps you can get some lessons where you volunteer, even if its not exactly therapeutic. You might be able to explain your fears, and ride a horse repeatedly that you already know, and that you feel safe with. That would probably be much easier than going to a new riding school with a strange horse and instructor every week. I think it will get easier the more you ride, but if you find yourself not enjoying it because of your fear, then stop. It's all about fun.

livestoride 11-06-2011 02:17 PM

If you feel like you are ready then give it a chance. Be completely honest and upright with your instructor beforehand so he/she can match you with the best horse. Make sure the two of you have the same goals in mnd and that this person is the type who will make you laugh when you are scared and knows when to talk calmly to help you through something. The last thing you need is paired with an instructor who barks commands like a drill sargant (wow I really can't spell that word, sorry) because while that is needed for some people it will make you more tense. A lunge line lesson is a good place to start and just be slow and careful.

AlexS 11-06-2011 02:24 PM

Most new things are scarey, especially when it is something that has the chance of injury.
Try it again, you are not making a life long commitment by giving it a try.

lesmiserables 11-06-2011 06:35 PM

Thanks for the advice :)
Thanks, I think I am going to start up again. I've found some trainers in my area who seem like they wouldn't be drill sergeant (that's how you spell it ;))-like and would be able to match me to a good horse. There is a volunteer lesson at the theraputic horse riding place, so that also could be a good option, I just don't know if they teach all levels since most of the girls who volunteer there are already very horsey people. (and yes, they're all girls. Not sure why)

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