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ddewey 11-04-2008 10:20 AM

Fear of heights, in TX
I just bought my first horse on Saturday, she is retired for the TX dept. of criminal justice she was mounted guard horse, she is 23 since I am totally green to horses I wanted an older experienced one. My problem is I have a major fear of heights and freeze when I get in the saddle, I wont even do it unless someone there. But Molly just stands never and never flinches she is so cool, when she starts walking I freak even is she is being lead...Please help me to calm down....I live on 25 acres and love the idea of just walking the property but I am afraid with that much room she may just take off running...I'm sure with her history she won't do anything that wasn't asked of her.......

aappyfan1 11-04-2008 10:29 AM

I would suggest get yourself used to being around your horse, brushing her etc....Because she will pick up on your fear, Although she sounds like she is very well trained, I doubt if you will have a problem, like her just taking off!! But I would be interested to know, If you are that afraid, why did you decide to buy a horse, you should have taken lessons or something prior to you owning your own. JMO

Noah13 11-04-2008 10:34 AM

I would suggest just working with your horse and even if you just stand there by her side she will get to know you. I would also suggest doing some trust or bonding exercises once you are comfortable. This should help you to relise that once you have a bond and her trust she will take care of you.

ddewey 11-04-2008 10:37 AM

I am taking lessons, even had my trainer with me each time I went to visit before purchasing she rode her, even stood up on her back, then I rode her, this is something I want to overcome I just wanted some ideas to calm myself....

SonnyWimps 11-04-2008 11:33 AM

I agree with probably should have just done lessons and not purchased a horse until you were comfortable riding one.
I agree with everyone, work on the ground with your new horse.

Dave 11-04-2008 11:41 AM

Take your time love your horse and do everything with her if you go get the mail take her with you dont have to ride her yet but spend every free or not free minute with her mount police horse are super gentle and easy to handle but be sure you spend time with her so you learn her andf she learns you . it will take time to get use to her and yes she will pickup on your fears and it will make her afraid of you and what you feel. i agree with the others you should have taken lessons and rode there horses long before you bought your own but that is history now so now you need to learn to trut her and she will trust you more take your time dont rush it at all time with her and with your instructor will help you adjust to her and your fears. TIME TIME AND LOTS OF LOVE TO YOUR HORSE Dave

iridehorses 11-04-2008 12:51 PM

You've gotten some good advise. Even though you may have waited before buying a horse, what's done is done so we'll deal with it.

What I do with a new horse could also help in your situation. I spend the first week just being around my horse. I'll groom him, pay attention to him, and just be around him. After a few days I'll tack him up except for the bridle - I'll leave him in a rope halter. I then take him around the farm with me. Whatever it is that I need to do, he is with me. This way he gets acclimated to the new surroundings and to me as well. I try not to get aboard during the first week but that really depends on the horse.

You mentioned taking lessons and that is great. What I would also do is to look up riding clubs in your area and join one. That is a great way to meet new horse people and find some riding partners as well. It will give you much more confidence to be riding with someone then riding alone - even in an arena or your farm.

You certainly picked the right age and experience in a horse so she will teach you and give you the confidence you need.

appylover31803 11-04-2008 01:47 PM

It's great that you are working with a trainer :-) and also that your girl is a well broke horse :-)

I have a huge fear of heights. Going on a ladder(even a small one) scares me! So I completely understand your fear about being up on top of a horse.

Do you think you'd feel more comfortable if there was someone leading the horse and then people by your legs (holding onto your leg if you want). I used to do that when I worked at a horse camp. There were some kids that were terrified of being up there, but the fact that they knew that there was someone controlling the horse and 2 people holding onto them made them more comfortable. And after a while, they stopped holding onto their legs and just walked by them and then eventually they left and there was just someone leading the horse.

If that's not possible, maybe sing a song, or have one of your favorite songs playing on a radio to help you relax. Think of something that could help take your mind off of being up there :)

I also agree that you should spend a lot of time just bonding with your horse. Take her for walks (like you would walk a dog), hand graze her, give her a "spa" day, or a makeover :) There are so many ways you can be with your horse, without having to be on them :)

PoptartShop 11-04-2008 02:12 PM

13 Attachment(s)
Just start gradually with her, doing groundwork & groom her, to start a nice bond. :D Lead her around in the pasture, spend a lot of time with her! :D

Royal Freckles 11-05-2008 01:03 AM

Well, I have to say that I have found it is not height that people are afraid is falling. I have had several students with the same fear. I gave them the scenario "If you knew there was absolutely no way you were going to fall off this horse..what would you do with it?" And their answer is always "I'd be running through the pasture, jumping creeks, showing..." or whatever it is they want to do. Fear is the culprit.

If her walking makes you freak out...then dont. I agree with the others about doing ground work and spending time just getting to know her and her to know you. When you do get on, there is nothing wrong with just sitting. Sit for as long as it takes until you are comfortable enough to take that first step. If that means you go out there every day and sit on her for ten minutes and then get be it. You are going to have to define when you are comfortable enough to move on. No one can do it for you. and if overcoming this fear and riding is something you really will achieve it.

Since you have a trainer working with you, be sure to be open and honest about how you are feeling. Be sure and discuss your goal and when you are ready for the next step. That way you are all on the same page.

And good luck :-)

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