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Low confidence after accident

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  • Horse jumping again after accident
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    08-19-2011, 04:56 AM
Another rider here who has had to re-build confidence after an accident sharing her thoughts...

Your riding is about YOUR enjoyment. It has nothing to do with what other's want to see you accomplish. You get to decide what level of training and riding you are going to do. You know that you should not have attempted a jump just because people were pressuring you in to it. So why did you? I think that is something for you to figure out. Because I know if every time I stepped in to an arena and felt like I had zero ability to make my own decisions about what I was comfortable doing then I'd be nervous as heck too!

After I broke my wrist my coach helped me slowly build my confidence. I was scared but I wanted desperately to return to jumping. We took it slow starting way back to the basics. During one lesson there was a jump that I just knew had too much potential to end in disaster. So I flat out told my coach I was not comfortable doing it. He encouraged me but I held my ground and lived to ride another day. And in the long run my riding ability didn't suffer one bit.

If you love this horse and want to walk him in circles around the arena for the next 6 months and that makes you happy then do it. Eventually your desire to move up to the next stage will be greater than your fear in doing so. And with the right trainer you'll be able to improve at the pace with which you are comfortable.
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    08-19-2011, 06:56 AM
Totally agree with you. Luckily I immediately realized I was stupid listening to others and said I won't jump again untill I'm ready. I have been walking this horse for about 4 months untill I decided to take the next step, trotting. Then went on outride and trotted. Have not cantered yet, don't feel comfortable yet. But will hopefully be okay to canter next month.
    08-19-2011, 07:02 AM
Hi Draftyairsmum, I read about your spill on the other forum page, so yes I see your problem, I just ordered a cd, its an interview that Rick Lamb had with John Lyons, I just had to cry while listening to it and thought, yes this man gets it! It made me understand, and he puts things so simply you think to yourself, hell I can do that! Made me want to get on my horse then and there and prove to myself that yes I can! (but of course life gets in the way of fun, LOL)
I would recommend you get it, its called "fear in the rider fear in the horse" I purchased it from Fear of Horses It was here within 3 days after ordering and I couldn't wait to listen to it. I would recommend it to any and all riders who suffer from fear or low confidence.
And Raficca is sooooo very right, ignore the trainer and her looks, she is making you worse by filling you with guilt about your problem, your fear is real and there for a reason. John Lyon's biggest bit advice? Ride where you can, not where you can't, if your not comfortable there is nothing wrong with getting off! Good luck! Your not alone out there, we are there for you, and you can get better! Don't loose hope!
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    08-19-2011, 12:18 PM
The biggest problem is that I get angry and frustrated with myself because I know I can handle this stuff. It sucks that my friend and the trainer don't get it (the trainer came off one of the boarder's horses on a trail ride a couple of months ago and had to be taken to the ER, but she still thinks I'm being a baby about riding Aires), but I can handle that. I even told them after I got off Aires on the ride yesterday that if the BO said anything about me walking back, he could "suck my big toe." So, no, I don't care what other people think or say about it. But it's ME that's the problem. Part of my brain is telling me that I'm being an idiot and that I know I can do this. But then I get up there and that part of my brain shuts down and the other, "OMG! I'm going to die!" part takes over.

Also, I think another part of the problem is that I (physically) COULDN'T get back on after I was bucked...and there was no way I was getting back on the horse that bucked me, even if I could have.
    08-19-2011, 11:00 PM
I understand that! I have been riding since I was 5 years old, trained many horses in the past, and nothing scared me until the one day when the third time I got on a mare I was training, she caught me unprepared, did a little crow hop and it was enough to throw me off balance, down I went, broke my old arm pretty bad, screws and rods to hold it in place. Took me two years to get enough nerve to get back on a horse. I still tell myself, nothing to be scared of you have ridden horses in the past that were bucking broncos and stayed on. But I am a lot older now, and more fragile. So I get the butterflies in my stomach and imagine everything that could go wrong. So don't feel bad, it only took you a few weeks. Like I said earlier, ride where you can and what you feel comfortable with, that little voice inside your head is there for a reason, to keep you safe. Don't get down on yourself, it will come. Albeit slow but sure. Just don't push yourself into another wreck. Live to ride another day!
    08-19-2011, 11:50 PM
Well, the trainer at my barn and I have come up with a plan.

After talking extensively today (our trail ride was canceled due to rain), we figured out that I'm not afraid of Aires and I'm not afraid of coming off him, really. What I'm afraid of are my reactions to his actions.

So, we have a plan. I am going to take a trail lesson with the trainer (since we're actually pretty good in the arena). She is going to ride Aires (I trust her explicitly since she's a friend and was the first to ride Aires) and I'm going to ride one of the dude string horses who is dead broke and completely non-spooky/reactive (his name is Bubba and he's absolutely bomb-proof). This will give me a chance to see how Aires is on the trail (without having to experience it myself in the state I'm in right now) and it will help me gain some confidence back by being on a horse that will do nothing but go in the direction I point him.
    08-20-2011, 01:14 AM
The last bad fall I had with my new mare was a couple months ago and I bruised/broke a couple ribs (of course didn't go to the ER) and I had that same feeling that many of you did "I don't want to get hurt again." I was really afraid that the next fall would be worse. I even strongly considered increasing my life insurance!

For me it is taking the combination of a good trainer and patience and I'm moving in the right direction. In the end though what we are doing right now is really what matters in life. It seems like everyone always looks to the future to what they will be able to do etc but, as hackneyed as it is, it's really about the journey. Forget the other people and find enjoyment with him. You have a connection so even if you are "just" trotting, you two are sharing that time together, so enjoy it. Cantering and jumping will come in time because it sounds like the bond you've developed is paying off in how he behaves for you.

Sorry to be a little sappy...
    08-20-2011, 03:18 PM
DAM - Thanks for your post. Sounds like you had a heck of a time. People who haven't been through that kind of trauma just don't understand - not to get all technical or anything, but it is called PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). And the ones who have been through that kind of trauma with no ill effects are the exception, not the rule.

It is horrible how so many people will blatently lie just to sell a horse. Not only do they lie about the horse's abilities and training, they also lie about age. A friend of mine owns a barn and frequently takes in horses needing to be fattened up and returned to a state of good health and condition. I lost count of how many times she bought a horse that she was told was 12 - 15 years old only to find out from the vet that the horse was at least 25 - she wasn't that good at judging age from the teeth and in older horses that can't always be accurate I'm told. Granted, she didn't pay a lot for these horses, but it is so much harder to rehome them when they are that old.

The worst part of the whole deception thing is that besides someone getting seriously hurt, the horse is then seen as dangerous, neurotic, and uncontrollable which makes it nearly impossible for it to find a good home when all it needed was some proper training and handling. I really have to give kudos to the few honest horse people out there that are completely honest about the horse and its abilities before they sell it.

Don't get down on yourself, or let anyone else belittle you. It will take time for you to work through it. And my earlier suggesting of having a "ground crew" is a HUGE help. You will get back into the horsie "swing" of things.
    08-20-2011, 05:33 PM
I emailed the rescue regarding the horse that threw me. Apparently, it wasn't the rescue that lied. It was the lady who now owns the horse. According to the rescue, the trainer (who also runs the rescue) was on the horse a grand total of four times in the round pen and the adopter was told this. The adopter was also told that the horse had been abused in the past. I had a sneaking suspicion it wasn't the rescue that lied, to be honest.
    08-22-2011, 04:16 AM
Have a bad cold so didn't ride the past weekend. Just got onto CC and felt unbalanced due to ear problems so got off and just played with him. Hope to feel better by Wednesday so that I can ride.

Hope you all feeling good and good riding for the next couple of days.

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