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ndistler 12-18-2012 05:02 PM

Confidence Problems, Please Help!
Does any body else have times when they become unconfident while riding, and training horses? Seems like after my last week of jumping class when the horse bucked me off and then refused fences, kinda has me not as confident as I was.

Also when I get on a horse for the first time or a few times after the first time I am still a little nervous on the horse? Is this common?

Does anyone have any advice for these?

Muppetgirl 12-18-2012 05:13 PM

Hmmm when I get on an unfamiliar horse (unless it is trained and owned by somene I know well and trust!) I can get a little apprehensive.

Right now I am having to get in little fights with my horse to keep him off my legs and my hands......even these little fights unnerve me until he scares me enough to get angry and get after him like a woman scorned......I have always far!

So I definitely think this is normal, however I have found that confidence is gained when we win a little battle.....not by just sitting on the horse like a frozen corpse because we are too afraid to push the horse into something he either doesn't like or if he is just having you on and is going to have a tantrum.....sometimes by letting the horse make a mistake and then having the brass to correct him and get a good result is the best way for you to gain confidence and for your horse to understand what you want.....

ndistler 12-18-2012 05:21 PM

See I have no problem pushing the horse to do something they do not want to do. He kept getting really mad when I asked him to pick up his right lead, which no one in class can get him to pick up his right lead no matter what they do. Ive only tricked him into it once. But It seems like today I do not have the confidence I needed to make him to do everything I wanted him to do, and I know I am also nervous since I have only been on this horse 2 other times before and I dont understand why I am nervous on him. I normally come around after riding the horse for a while, and can do everything with no hesitation. I just didnt know if its normal or if theres anything I can do to fix it. Thank you. And hes a school horse, so I dont know if hes testing me, or if its just how he is.

JaphyJaphy 12-18-2012 06:04 PM

I can certainly relate. I'm sure everyone can, to some degree. We all have a up days and down days...

I've been feeling this way in regards to my young mare's training lately. I know I'm doing everything right, and she is coming along very well, it's just that sometimes I get a little bit...worried that I'm going to ruin her or something. Intellectually, I know that this is very unlikely, as I have the skill and knowledge to do a good job, but sometimes my emotions get in the way, I guess.

I also tend to lose confidence in the show ring. Or rather, I'm pretty critical of myself (but also easy-going...for me it's more about self-improvement than competition/winning) and so I'm ALWAYS surprised when I end up in the ribbons, even though it's a pretty common thing for me.

I think it's okay to take a step back and evaluate the situation. Sometimes, the way I'm feeling has nothing to do with horses or riding, but yet it still limits me in these areas, which I'm trying to work on.

ndistler 12-18-2012 06:14 PM

Thank you, and I have not shown very much at all. only 2 funshows. But In class we video and I always look for improvements but I still feel like everyone around me is better, and they are looking at me cuz I cant get the horse to do what they can do, or if I can I can't do it on another horse. My boyfriend tells me that Im the kind of person who has to get used to a horse before I am completely comfortable with riding the horse or training the horse. I just know I have not been riding as long as everyone else, and Some days I feel like I can take on anything a horse wants to do but others I feel like I cant do it even tho I have done it before.

Thunderspark 12-19-2012 12:01 AM

I'm sure everyone at one time or another has felt that they weren't confident.
When I first got back into riding almost 8yrs. ago, after 30+ yrs. of not being around horses I found it very hard to build my confidence. Just be patient and take your time with things, do things that will build your confidence and your horses....after 8yrs. now I trail ride all over with my mare and I just started (my mare's son) my soon to be 4yrs. under saddle....I'm hoping come spring I will have the confidence to take him out on the trails too....
Welcome to horse forum!

QuietHeartHorses 12-19-2012 01:18 AM

That happens to me every once in a while. For one reason or another, I just feel uneasy. Usually I have a good reason, but sometimes there is just no explaining it. They are very strong, powerful, spirited animals, you know!

tinyliny 12-19-2012 01:46 AM

In answer to your question, does anyone ever lose confidence? Heck yes! all the time. I respect myself during times like this. I usually have a reason to be fearful and so I dont' make fun of my response. But, usually time makes things better. I have also found that rding out with someone LESS confident than myself , such that I have to bravely lead, helps me a lot!

I jsut accept that I am not the bravest rider. Whatever . . . . now let's go for a reasonable ride.

Missy May 12-19-2012 02:40 AM

I prefer to ride the "devil I know", too. I train my own horses for my use. I'd far rather ride them than a strange horse b/c we have confidence in each other, know each others body language, limits, etc.,. B/c I know them, I also know if they are being defiant, fearful, or simply do not understand what I have asked. All of those things can affect my and their safety. I think one would have to be brain dead not to question for at least a micro second the sensability/ability of a strange horse when they got on.

There is no shame in riding a horse that is a confidence builder after you have been "rattled" by an episode. Most everyone has had their confidence shaken. I have found that if you "know" what to do and when to do it, but have had your confidence shaken...if and when confronted w a sticky situation your "mind/body" will over-ride your fear and you will do what you know, anyway.

SlideStop 12-19-2012 11:16 AM

Confidence knocks suck. I have to say, I took a hard hit when I tried to jump my reining mare. Two barrels on their side, she could have jumped the frickin arena fence she jumped so high!! Then I did the scared cat pose when she lept into the air. I belly flopped on her back mid air and fell off. I give the girl props though, she is SUPER HONEST. She refused, stopped and then jumped it without me asking. Lol. I rode the horse I usually jump, then I just kinda threw in the towel after that. It just didnt thrill me.

Anywho, when I have a confidence knock I try to think of things in a logical sense. For example you fall off once on trail, well you didn't fall off the last 50 times you went. So a 1/50 chance of falling? I'll take it! Also, I get apprehensive loping bareback for some reason, even though I'm perfectly capable. I get my instructor voice on in my head and I make myself do it. After a few minutes I think about how silly I was acting.
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