I'm Nervous Going Out Alone

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I'm Nervous Going Out Alone

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  • Im really nervous when i'm going horse riding
  • I feel nervous when i'm out alone

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    01-15-2011, 07:20 PM
I'm Nervous Going Out Alone

My horse and I have gone out before, but every time, she was so alert and fast and unfocused and though she wasn't spooky, her high energy was enough to put me a little on edge. I know I always started off calm and relaxed, but she really didn't feed into that at all, and now I'm really nervous about going out again because I know the same is going to happen. I don't know why I'm so anxious over it-nothing bad happened or anything...I just get like this, and I worry a lot. We don't have to leave the property, but I'd like to be able to go wherever I want and not be confined here. Does anyone have any advice or anything so I can gain confidence? When we lead (me walking, her following) off the property she's fine-it's just when I'm actually on her that we both get so nervous.
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    01-15-2011, 08:06 PM
Unfortunately, if she's fine when your leading her by hand but gets difficult under saddle, is it ultimately your energy she is feeding off of, whether you feel nervous or not. The only thing you can do is keep taking her out and getting some miles under both your belts. Try to go out when you have all day, so when she does start to get goofy, you have all day to just sit there and manage her until she calms down. Horse's that pull this stuff seem to have a calendar in their heads. When you only have 30 minutes to ride, that's when they act up. Mine used to do the same stuff. Only time and mileage solved it. I can say it does eventually pay off. Good luck.
    01-15-2011, 08:16 PM
The Mrs. Mare got goofy as a Disney character until we started going out more. It only took about a half dozen rides and she started to settle down. Even tho Mrs. Has been riding her whole life, this horse made her nervous--until she settled down. Now she's energetic, powerful, and mostly pretty calm. A VERY good combination!

I just hope that not riding since Christmas hasn't gotten her back to her old ways. Sigh.
    01-15-2011, 08:42 PM
Green Broke
It's just going to take time. Try riding with others, or only go a short way but increase the distance over time until she gets used to it & you get more confident.
I used to be the same when I was younger so I know how you feel! Good luck & just keep trying ;)
    01-15-2011, 08:59 PM
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck    
Horse's that pull this stuff seem to have a calendar in their heads. When you only have 30 minutes to ride, that's when they act up.
You are so right! Every time I ride after school and it's starting to get dark, she acts up, and that's just when I don't have the time to work through it...crafty horse.

Anyways...I don't have anyone to ride with, or I would. I know it's my own energy she's feeding off of, I just don't know how to be any more calm and relaxed when I think I already am.

Maybe I'll just increase the distance we go out very slowly each day, so it's not a huge earth-shattering production when we do go out.
    01-15-2011, 10:02 PM
Green Broke
While a nervous rider doesn't help, I do think some horses just store up excess energy like a battery, whether the rider is calm or not. Right now I have two horses I can ride, and neither had/has been ridden since before Christmas because we got a big snow storm and I haven't felt the footing has been safe enough go out until today.

I rode my Mustang and ponied my colt, and the Mustang was as good as gold! Totally walking and calm. But I know tomorrow or the next day when I go to ride my Foxtrotter mare, she will be bouncing off the walls.

Some horses just seem to pick up right where they left off, and others seem to store up energy like a battery. I know it will take at least 2-3 rides to get her walking calmly going home.

I don't know of any easy way to get them calm again other than just to get out there and do it. The first ride is sometimes a doozy. Sorry, I wish I could offer more help. But you're not alone. Getting out there and doing it is the only way I know of to make them calmer. And it takes consistent riding. I think the same will go for you too. If you get out there on her and nothing happens, you will also build up confidence.
    01-15-2011, 10:16 PM
I just rode my mare on the trail by myself for the first time today. She was a little hyper and I know it was a bit my fault. When I try and calm down I just focus on each part of my body in turn and tell the muscles to relax while taking deep breaths. After awhile I can relax and enjoy the ride without geting too nervous!
    01-15-2011, 10:22 PM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by AllThePrettyHorses    
You are so right! Every time I ride after school and it's starting to get dark, she acts up, and that's just when I don't have the time to work through it...crafty horse.
Random question: Does she start acting up as the light starts to fade, but she's fine until it starts getting darker?
If she's fine until it starts getting dark, I'd get her eyes checked by a vet.
My mare was like that all summer. She'd be totally fine (pretty much, she's rather, controllably, hot as it is, so her fine isn't "dead" fine, it's perky, alert "fine") until it started to be dusk-ish. When the light would start to fade, she'd start getting really scary. She'd spook at practically anything when she was basically a spook-proof during the day.

So I started wondering about her eyes, and when I had the vet come out when she scratched her eye this last fall, the vet told me that she has some changes to the very back area of her eye that make it hard for her to see at dawn and dusk. There's nothing anyone could do about it, it's just something about her.
So basically, she really couldn't see and that's why she started getting so crazy as it got dark.

Now, I just don't work her at dawn and dusk and she's fine!

Hopefully, that's not what it is in your case, but in case it might be... :)
    01-16-2011, 09:11 AM
Well, I never head out on the trails when it's getting dark, and she's not always bad at dusk, only sometimes. She's just as hyper on the trails by daylight as she is in the dark, I bet.
    01-16-2011, 09:15 AM
Green Broke
My own horse doesn't like to go out alone. He will sometimes lead (if he feels it is convenient for him!) but the one time I took him alone he stopped deader than a doornail and refused to move out.

We did go out yesterday in a group and it was overcast and several of the horses were "on high alert". Our barn manager says she thinks horses don't see as well in overcast conditions thus the "high alert" factor. Could be but more miles and time as everyone else is saying will help both of you.

Horses do feel our nervousness, tenseness, etc. Hope it gets better!

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