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IowaPsychRN 09-01-2013 11:54 PM

Confidence back to 0....think I will give up my dream.
I bought an 8yo MFT 5 weeks ago and have ridden her only briefly. Tonight I rode her with a friend who's horse was all jacked up and spooked. My horse spooked and was spinning around. I was terrified! What little confidence I had is gone. I was able to stay on her, but the thought of this happening again is enough to make me not want to ride again. This is my second horse since Nov. I feel like a wimp and failure!! :oops:

JustDressageIt 09-02-2013 12:00 AM

Was the horse extremely broke, and are you working with a trainer? If you answered no to the second question, start looking for one. Your problems won't be solved online or out of the saddle. You need to learn how to ride through a spook and handle your horse. A trainer will teach you, and saddle time is the only way to improve.
If your horse isn't extremely broke, you may want to consider buying a very broke horse to learn on and get your confidence up. Green and green equals black and blue. Trainer still applies here, too.
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IowaPsychRN 09-02-2013 12:08 AM

I am going to begin by taking lessons. My mare is well broke but I think she was feeding off the other horse when it spooked. It was getting dark out and some kids decided to flash around a flashlight and beat on a fence with stick. I know problem cannot be solved online....I just need some reassurance that maybe I can get over this.

smrobs 09-02-2013 12:13 AM

Yes, even well broke horses will sometimes feed off of the energy of another horse if they don't have a confident rider.

Don't give up your dream just yet. Like Allie said, the place you need to start is with lessons, lots and lots of lessons. It may be best to start on one of the lesson horses to begin with as they tend to be really mellow confidence builders. After you've got some confidence back, I suggest you continue lessons on your mare. The instructor will be able to teach you techniques to calm your horse if something like that were to happen again.

Also, I would suggest you avoid riding with folks who can't control their own horses. I'm an experienced rider and it still makes me really nervous to ride with someone on a horse like your friend's.

Shropshirerosie 09-02-2013 12:28 AM

You're not a failure, you are learning.

Now you know that just because your friend may seem to have more experience than you, you should listen to your inner voice of concern and say NO to their offer of companionship if you see that their horse is not to be trusted.

This doesn't make you a coward - the opposite. It makes you a leader who is making the safe choices to ensure that you and your horse stay safe.

Stick at it, take lessons, and enjoy the long slow journey to confidence. It will feel better if you are in control and not the passenger. Only you know how fast or slow you want to take things, and only you know where your fears sit.

Make sure that you communicate with your trainer too - remember, the more they know about how you are feeling, the more they can help.

IowaPsychRN 09-02-2013 12:29 AM

The funny thing is....the horse who was acting up was my first horse I owned and sold back in May because he was too much for me! I'm so thankful I sold him because after seeing how he acted tonight I have no use for him!!

Roux 09-02-2013 04:23 AM

I think you have got some good advise already but I wanted to point something out...

From what you said it sounds like YOU STAYED ON and YOU MADE IT HOME!!!

You survived a scary experience with a horse that was acting up, you should be proud of yourself! In my opinion you have every right to be proud and even though you may have made a few mistakes you rode it through and kept going.

We all go through this when we are learning and instead of it shaking you up try to say to yourself, "Wow that was scary but I made it, I am not hurt, my horse is not hurt and I was able to get through!"

Good luck and don't give up!! :)

Saskia 09-02-2013 04:41 AM

That's no good at all.

However it doesn't have to be the end of your dreams either. Horse ownership often isn't easy, and its not really all that surprising that this happened. When you get a new horse they don't really know you and if you haven't been doing much with her she probably doesn it consider you a particularly strong leader. SO when the other horse started acting that way you horse got spooky too.

I wouldn't give up yet. It can take a year for a horse and rider to really start working well together and it certainly doesn't happen overnight. I'd start with regular work in a safe environment l'd do groundwork so she learns to respect and follow your commands and do ridden work in an arena until she's calm and responsive. When you start venturing out go with a quiet horse, and start with short rides. I've lost My confidence before and it can take a while to get it back. You just have to think things through and go slowly.It's always a good idea to have an instructor to help you, either regularly or when problems arise. If you continue harry behavioural or confidence problems consider if a well broke horse is a better choice.

Inga 09-02-2013 05:45 AM

First things... you stayed on! That is huge. You are obviously doing something right there. I agree with the others that say "take some lessons" if you have a skilled trainer in the area that does lunge lessons, I would recommend you start there.

Even the most docile horse in the world can spook, just like a calm person can be startled. How the horse deals with that can vary. Sounds like your horse just spun around a little. Didn't take off bucking, rearing etc... Spinning isn't the worst thing in the world and maybe she wouldn't have even done that but was feeding off the energy of the other horse and of you.

I think the lessons and improving your seat will help you more than you can imagine. Gaining confidence comes as the skill improves. Also, your horse will gain confidence as you do. Sounds like your partnership is new and will grow as time goes on and you get more miles in the saddle. Stick with it, you can do it.

Becca93 09-02-2013 06:25 AM

I think sometimes beginners forget that riding is a sport, not something we all know how to do from birth. The fact you managed to stay on while your horse spooked is awesome! Don't discredit yourself just yet.

It will take time but the more hours in the saddle combined with lessons from a good trainer will improve your ability and confidence in no time!

I had a rude lady tell me a few months ago that I was hopeless, had no idea how to ride and abuse the crap out of me because her 'cheeky' horse that I was there to meet was really a spoilt badly trained and behaved horse and she didn't want to look like an idiot. It really knocked my confidence, but I went and found a good trainer and got back in the saddle. It took 2 lessons to get my confidence back but now I'm really moving forward. Don't give up either :)

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