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DeeSmith 08-01-2012 06:19 PM

how to regain confidence mounting after fall....
 
Hi there!

I had a fall a year ago off my TB mare, which has shattered my confidence with her... Let me explain what happened...

It was a few days after I brought her home (I just bought her) I tacked her up, and lunged, she was being a star so I when to get on her (with a friend holding) I placed my foot in the stirrup and as I put my weight into it and move my leg over, she reared up, walked on her back legs and shot forward.

I hit the floor and dodged up my back and couldn't ride for a while... Turns out she had a nasty back problem from ill fitting saddle and was doped.... We got vet help and with help from a equine touch therapist got her back to good health in her back.

I then rode her a few times and she was a star, but then she she threw me off again, less dramatic this time and didn't cause any injury, she then was checked for kissing spine, which she didn't have so the vet said to put her on rest for upto 6months and try again... Well she had 8 months off barring lunging for a month and it came time to get back in the saddle but I couldn't bring myself to do it, so I got a very brave friend to help...

She's been well behaved for the most part other than moving away from the mounting block, or though she's 2 times shot forwarded and buck due to her lack of balance...

She was being ridden by a girl for the last 6-8 weeks but she's decided that she no longer is happy riding her, which has left me with a horse I've only got on twice in the last 6-8weeks which needs riding and my wing girl who usually rides my horses has started a full time job that shift work so can't ride ragularly...

I really want to get back on my horse who I love dearly, I'm not scared of riding its only mounting... Can any give any ideas on how I can get my confidence up? I'm fine with other horses...

She will stand still to be mounted at the block :)

Thanks

Blue 08-01-2012 07:31 PM

Wow Dee'. What an ordeal. I understand though. I was thrown during a mount up last January and hit a rock. Compression fracture in my spine, which has healed very well, but still left me a little jittery about mounting up. If your horse will stand still at a mounting block try just putting your foot in the stirrup and step up without actually swinging over, then step down again. Maybe doing this a few times successfully will help you.

bsms 08-01-2012 07:44 PM

Bad emotional memories need to be replaced with good emotional memories. Lots of them.

If the horse is behaving well when mounted, you might try getting someone to hold her while you mount & dismount. Mounts & dismounts aren't huge fun for a horse, so you might give her a reward of some sort after each one. 10/day until it bores you (and her) out of your skulls. What bores you cannot frighten you - but it is hard to go too slowly with horses.

Think about your mounting technique. Until you toss your leg over, you ought to be able to safely dismount anything the horse does. Once you commit to tossing your leg over, you want everything to go quickly and set you up to ride out anything that happens.

This is a thread about western riding, but it may give you food for thought about how you mount as well:

http://www.horseforum.com/western-ri...ng-horn-47065/

Speaking of western riding...if you can borrow a western saddle, it might be different enough for you to feel comfortable again. Then you can work back into an English saddle. I almost always use an Aussie-style saddle myself, so I'm not really in either camp. Rode my English saddle today, and it felt so weird that I think I'm going to put it up for sale.

Be glad it comes during mounts. My mare decided in Mar 2011 that DISMOUNTS were terrifying. Don't know why, but it really sucks to be on a horse who bolts every time she feels you starting to dismount! After 2 hours, I tied the reins to the horn and jumped off while she struggled to get straight enough to bolt forward. That took a LOT of retraining and help from a pro...

DeeSmith 08-02-2012 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bsms (Post 1626508)
If the horse is behaving well when mounted, you might try getting someone to hold her while you mount & dismount. Mounts & dismounts aren't huge fun for a horse, so you might give her a reward of some sort after each one. 10/day until it bores you (and her) out of your skulls. What bores you cannot frighten you - but it is hard to go too slowly with horses.

Think about your mounting technique. Until you toss your leg over, you ought to be able to safely dismount anything the horse does. Once you commit to tossing your leg over, you want everything to go quickly and set you up to ride out anything that happens.

This is a thread about western riding, but it may give you food for thought about how you mount as well:

http://www.horseforum.com/western-ri...ng-horn-47065/

Speaking of western riding...if you can borrow a western saddle, it might be different enough for you to feel comfortable again. Then you can work back into an English saddle. I almost always use an Aussie-style saddle myself, so I'm not really in either camp. Rode my English saddle today, and it felt so weird that I think I'm going to put it up for sale.

Hi there, i don't mount of the ground.... being that i'm to short to put my foot up in the stirrup on my lovely tall horse (she was 15.1h when i bought her a year ago and now she's almost 16.2h...) and due to her old back injuries i don't fancy putting her spine out of line again! so i either have a mounting block or a leg up..

I've never used a western saddle so wouldn't know how to put it on... and it would have to fit maisie due to her back problems and i'm not sure about how you fit a western lol!

DeeSmith 08-02-2012 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue (Post 1626494)
Wow Dee'. What an ordeal. I understand though. I was thrown during a mount up last January and hit a rock. Compression fracture in my spine, which has healed very well, but still left me a little jittery about mounting up. If your horse will stand still at a mounting block try just putting your foot in the stirrup and step up without actually swinging over, then step down again. Maybe doing this a few times successfully will help you.


Hi, I've tried this for a while now and as soon as it come to put my leg over and sit up i just freeze up and panic and have to get down.... I've been given leg ups which seem to help because i don't have a choice in the matter.... but it's all a bit worrying as i don't want to panic my horses by getting scared....

:( it's frustrating cause i'd love to ride her and finally start doing shows and go hacking ect...!!

Camigurl 08-05-2012 09:27 PM

Have you ridden other horses since the accident? Maybe riding a different horse will help. Try to get your confidence back on a well-trained, reliable horse you KNOW (as well as you can with horses anyway) won't be stupid before you tackle your TB.

Golden Horse 08-05-2012 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeeSmith (Post 1626428)
I really want to get back on my horse who I love dearly, I'm not scared of riding its only mounting... Can any give any ideas on how I can get my confidence up? I'm fine with other horses...

Sorry can't help, because this is where I am at as well, so ((((hugs))) because I understand, and apart from the advice I was given for having a large glass of what you fancy, or going to Boots and picking up some Bachs Rescue Remedy, I have nothing.

Hoping that someone will wave a magic wand for us and make it all better

Blue 08-05-2012 09:55 PM

Don't we have a "Magic Wand Emoticon"?

Golden Horse 08-05-2012 10:20 PM

checks....nope

but will this do

http://www.thedawgpound.com/wp-conte...and_smiley.gif

EvilHorseOfDoom 08-05-2012 10:41 PM

Unless you're under 5 foot or using a track saddle, you should still be able to mount from the ground - but you can use a sturdy little stool if you must. I would do this on good soft ground, like in a sand arena - it will make you feel less nervous about any accidents.

I would:

1. Drop the stirrup down as long as I can (although I never go to the last hole, only the second last, as it leaves more to tuck and is therefore more secure)
2. Using a tight left rein held at the base of the withers or at the pommel, bring her head around til she's looking at you - a lot harder for her to rear or run like this, and she'll only be able to turn around you, so you'll not have any trouble getting your foot in the stirrup
3. Put my left food in the stirrup, as normal
4. Spring up, but not throw my leg over, just stand on one side and lean over the saddle slightly (be ready to bail if things get dangerous)
5. Count to 5
6. Get back to ground
7. Repeat 3 times - but after about 3 goes, take a break and do something non-stressful with her like work on her leading manners, then go back and see if she'll allow you to mount nice and quietly, and if you have less nerves.

Once she's worked out that mounting doesn't equal pain (assuming that all physical issues have been sorted and saddle fit is good) and in fact mounting doesn't even necessarily equal work, she should stop giving you problems, and meanwhile you'll stop associating mounting with pain (i.e. being thrown) and you'll be able to regain your nerves safely. It's a lot easier to bail if you're only on one side BUT only bail if things really get dangerous, not at the first sign of irritation/stress from your horse, or it'll reinforce her understanding that she can get out of work by playing up during mounting.

Worked with my boy - he never reared but he worked out that spinning and scooting made my life a whole lot harder. And I felt a lot more in control when the only place he could go was around me in a tight circle. Now mounting is one thing he does perfectly (he's a bag of trouble in other areas still) - halts, lets me mount from anything, waits til I've adjusted stirrups and girth and only when I ask does he move off.


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