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Moxie 02-28-2009 07:26 PM

To Nervous To Ride?
Yesterday I had a pretty serious fall that landed me in Urgent Care. Luckily I only have bruised ribs, sternum, hip and ego. Although it's at the point where breathing is a major effort, never mind moving or anything else of that nature.

Now I am wondering if I am just too nervous of a person to be riding, or around horses? I've always been told that horses feed off of your energy, so naturally, if you have a nervous energy, they will be nervous etc. I am a nervous, anxious person, naturally; so by asking me to not be that way, would be like asking me to change my entire personality. Not that it cant be done, I'm just saying.

I was told that what happened was my fault, and the horse couldn't be to blame. So, when is a horse ACTUALLY at blame for it's actions? I wonder because all I've ever been told is that it's me... mememememe! I mean, horses are intelligent and should know to an extent as to what it's doing, right? I really am at the point where when it comes to riding and horse care I feel like I cant do anything right. Whats the point anymore?

Am I just that bad of a rider? Too nervous of a person?

Bleh. I am having serious doubts about my abilities, and really, I don't know what to do. I do enjoy riding, but after my first fall, it took some time to get my confidence back, and now with this fall, one that has taken me out of commission for an entire week, I really wonder.

I just need to vent and need some kind words.

somersetfarms 02-28-2009 08:50 PM

So sorry for your accident and injuries, luckily nothing was severe.
I don't know anything about you or your anxietys, and I don't know what happed that caused your accident. But I will say that given the right horse and the right sort of instruction you should be able to control your fear & anxiety so i doesn't affect the horse.

1dog3cats17rodents 02-28-2009 08:59 PM

There are lots of horses who will not mind a nervous rider, an (ex)lesson horse might be perfect for you, they are used to nervousness.

As to when it becomes the horses fault, I say when the horse either tries to get you off, or just ndoesn't give crap if you come off and "spooks" at nothing, runs out of jumps, jumps sideways, etc. with the purpose of getting you off balance.

Walkamile 02-28-2009 10:03 PM


Originally Posted by somersetfarms (Post 261642)
So sorry for your accident and injuries, luckily nothing was severe.
I don't know anything about you or your anxietys, and I don't know what happed that caused your accident. But I will say that given the right horse and the right sort of instruction you should be able to control your fear & anxiety so i doesn't affect the horse.

I agree. Find a calm, maybe older (they are worth their weight in gold for this very reason) horse to help build up your confidence. Also, maybe, and I don't know your situation, an instructor who is empathetic to nervous riders. Good luck and don't give up on this if you truly enjoy riding.

Dumas'_Grrrl 02-28-2009 11:14 PM

Bobbie, You were riding with a boot on, bareback and on a horse you had only ridden once before.....I think, to be perfectly honest, you need to slow down, you may be pushing your abilities....That's not bad, when you're ready for it, but injured and fresh isn't the time. It will shatter your desire and that's not what you want to do or what I want to see happen to you.

I'd back down from the purchasing arena and go back to lessons on some dead broke lesson horses. Once your skill level rises to upgrading to a more advance horse, you should be ready to think about purchasing again.

Now this is just my 2 and I'm in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM trying to be harsh or mean.... but you don't go into the deep end of the pool before you can swim for the same reasons, you don't want to get hurt or in over your head.

((((Hugs)))) I hope you can calm down and know that we're here to support you Mox!!! You're passion and heart are all in the right place, lets get some miles under your butt and go from there! Make sense??? :D :D :D

claireauriga 03-01-2009 06:02 AM

I think Dumas has some good advice. There's no shame in taking it really slow, especially if you have an injury or a bad fall to overcome. Just because other people seem to be progressing faster is no reason for you to feel you have to; the nice thing about riding is that everyone has such an individual pace of learning, and finds some things easier than others.

There's a difference between being a naturally nervous person and transmitting your anxiety to the horse. You don't have to change your personality, just gently engage in riding experiences that let you feel as relaxed on the horse as you do sitting on the sofa at home.

I think Dumas is right in suggesting that you don't buy a horse yet, and don't ride any that have training issues or which are nervous horses themselves. Experienced riders might go on about how they're dead-sided and lazy, but I'm a beginner too and I LOVE LOVE LOVE old, lazy lesson horses. I'm not a good enough rider to need something super-sensitive and flighty, and I won't be for a very long time. An old, lazy lesson horse is just perfect for me. They don't bolt or shy, they are very forgiving of mistakes, and they're brilliant for getting confidence back because they are obedient and gentle.

First step is to let your body recover. Don't try and get on a horse while you're still bruised and hurting; it will just make everything harder for yourself. Stick to ground work, and look for a stables that can give you lessons on a horse that has seen it all and would happily spend the lesson standing in the middle of the arena doing nothing. It's far better, when you've got trouble with confidence, to need a good kick or a crop to make the horse go than to be constantly scared the horse is going to throw you off. Explain to the instructors that you have some confidence trouble and take some private lessons where you can proceed entirely at your own pace. Get used to walking around again, trusting the horse. An old lazy lesson horse can teach you how to relax better than anyone :)

It's okay to take your time and no one's going to think there's something wrong if it takes you ten years to get comfortable walking around an arena. Riding is an individual activity and your goals are your own, no one else's. And it's the clever thing to do, not a cowardly or scaredy-cat thing, to let yourself proceed in baby steps. Get to know a nice old lesson horse. Get on him and sit there for a while. Maybe walk around the week after. Steer clear of trouble-horses and those with holes in their training. You don't need to give yourself unnecessary challenges.

Good luck :) I hope you feel better soon, and remember to take things easy!

Moxie 03-01-2009 09:22 AM

Thanks, needless to say I am not in the market anymore. I do feel shattered, and I only have myself to blame for it. The situation in itself was not the best, and I made a stupid mistake and now I am reaping the benefits (ha). The horse was supposed to be as broke as broke can be, I mean the first time I rode it, I had to nudge it several times to keep it at a walk, so honestly I thought I'd be okay.

I think what really hit it home was that yesterday my trainer called me, and blamed me for what happened. When it comes to her, I am very impressionable, so now I feel even worse. She's very abrasive and treats all of her relationships like business relationships. She has zero empathy for timid riders, or people who show the least bit of 'fear' when it comes to horses. I suppose that she thinks everyone should be like her, gutsy and tough.

My plan of action now is to let my body completely heal 6 wks - 6 mos, it makes no difference. Tomorrow I am hoping to find out how long I'll be in the boot. Then, I am on the look out for a completely different barn all together. When I first started riding at this barn, it was a beginners barn, but now that the owner has gone, and the barn manager (who is also my trainer) is running the show, it's just chaotic. I think the barn manager is too focused on getting money into her barn vs. safety, or nurturing her students..

And, finally before I get back up on another horse, I was thinking about taking some sessions with a place near here that does equine assisted coaching outta the barn . Then maybe I'll have enough courage to start with lessons all over again; starting from the ground up.

At this point, I have no desire to own, or even to ride.

claireauriga 03-01-2009 10:00 AM

Your trainer is a poor one and not the right one for you. Get out of there and find a new one. Yes, it's often the case that we have to accept responsibility for our actions, but getting on at you about the situation is inappropriate.

Take it easy, and I hope you do heal quickly :) Look for other stables and say to them 'I've had some bad falls and I'm nervous now, will you be willing to take things very very slowly with me?' If they don't immediately reassure you that everything goes at your pace and you do what you're comfortable with, ride somewhere else.

Skyhuntress 03-01-2009 10:14 AM

That's pretty poor of your trainer, in my opinion. The reason they get called horse back riding ACCIDENTS, is because they are just that, accidents. I don't think anyone is really to blame - unless you were beating the crap out of your horse and he turned on you, you simply lost your balance when he reacted to something.
It's not your fault, and its not the horse's - it was an accident, pure and simple.

I always maintain that the smartest rider in the world will have a healthy dose of fear when riding. Think about it-these are 1200lbs animals. If they choose to tank off with you, there's not a hell of a lot you're going to do about it. So what you try to do is a) minimize the situations where they feel the need b) try to control your own body and your own fear to get through the situation without being hurt and c) realizing that accidents do happen. you will fall again. you will get hurt again, but its minimizing these areas as much as possible.

Don't blame yourself, and don't blame the horse. Chalk it up to another experience, try to find yourself a steady-eddy type of horse and go from there.

farmpony84 03-01-2009 10:22 AM

Ugh.. Bobbie! It is going to take a while to build your confidence back up, but you can do it. The first time you get back on is going to be hardest, once you get through that you'll be ok.

It's not ALWAYS your fault. Although someone on the ground will always be able to point out 10 things you did wrong. That's just they way it is... :(

I'm glad you are not broken... well... you are only bruised and ripped. I don't think you should quit on horses all together but I was follow amy's advice and not push yourself so hard. And then I'd also like to suggest you look at the Tenessee walker. If you arent planning to compete, I think that is a really good sturdy ride and you can find some that are absolutely bombproof. PLUS they have a gait that will amaze you.

Don't give up though. I LOVE YOU MAN!

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