Petrified of trail riding/hacking. - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 54 Old 03-11-2012, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mildot View Post
I can top that. Try spending several days in a 40 ft sailboat with no land in sight in any direction. Very few landlubbers can handle that kind of isolation.
Not even mildly interested in trying.

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post #32 of 54 Old 03-12-2012, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Going to read through all of these and respond accordingly when I'm on a computer, not a phone! However, mildot, if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. Probably something the army didn't teach you. Your response is the type that people read and won't open up about their feelings and then accidents happen.
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post #33 of 54 Old 03-12-2012, 03:47 AM Thread Starter
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Dreamcatcher who would have known, eh? I love my indoor and would stay in it all the time.. but Summer time it gets too stuffy and its no fun when you're riding alone because everyone else is out and about!

There is a western trail place round my area, costs around 60-70 for three hours and you w/t/c and I had no issues with that.. I think because the horses know their job, and they stick together. Might be worth me going to get my nerves back though!

I lunged Duffy outside last week. I've hurt my back.neck.shoulder and its making riding really painful, so lunged her. As she hasn't been ridden, she was fresh, and outdoors, and spring. Well, lets just say she stood up very well then would make any other rodeo horse jealous for a good five minutes before calming down and working beautifully. I was going to ride her out there after my lesson on Saturday but it rained.. badly o.0 Could more lunge sessions out there and I reckon I could ride out there!

As for ponying... they honestly don't do that out here which is a shame... its a case of get on and sit the bucks.

My plan is to ride in the outdoor school till I'm happy, then ride my old safe as houses horse out on trails for the new owner as she's just had a baby, then lead Duffy out for a couple of times with another, then go out being led by my dad with another then hey presto... lunge line off.. and me and another... we will see!!!
Thanks so much for the tips guys!
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post #34 of 54 Old 03-12-2012, 06:33 AM
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You might try singing.
Sounds funny doesn't it? I used to sing to my young, nervous thoroughbreds when I was a gallop girl.
They don't care if you are good or not, LOL.
Singing probably works because you have to breathe to sing.
Good luck! Susan

Horses are proof that God love's us and wants us to be happy!
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post #35 of 54 Old 03-12-2012, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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I never thought about that! she listens to vocals VERY well, and its helped me lots...I could sing twinkle twinkle little star aha... saying that, the school mirrors might break o.0

Thanks Susan
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post #36 of 54 Old 03-12-2012, 07:04 AM
Green Broke
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If you fancy a trip to the UK I have the perfect pony and the perfect ride for you! lovely hack out in the stunning north wales scenary on a pony who has often been described as dead from the neck up.
He is also an elegant pony and dumping riders or taking off is just not elegant therefore he wont do it!
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RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #37 of 54 Old 03-12-2012, 09:40 AM
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Those mountain pics give me the willies, riders wearing runners and no hoods on the stirrups to prevent a foot from going through.
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post #38 of 54 Old 03-12-2012, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mildot View Post
I can top that. Try spending several days in a 40 ft sailboat with no land in sight in any direction. Very few landlubbers can handle that kind of isolation.
Makes me feel very seasick! horrific experiance.

I've taken part in a tall ships race and never ever again!!

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #39 of 54 Old 03-12-2012, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mildot View Post
Fear of trail riding.

Fear of indoor arenas.

Fear of this. Fear of that.

These fears are so hard for me to understand.

I am not fearless. But I just don't let it rule me.

If there is one thing I got out of military service is being able to work through fears and perform despite them.
I'm glad that worked well for you but that isn't the case for many others. I work at a veteran's Hospital & the majority of those vets have trust/fear issues (PTSD). Not everyone is wired the same.
It can be hard to understand if we're not the one experiencing it so imagine how frustrating it is for someone who really wants to do something but is held back due to fear.
Fear of a certain horse related activity is difficult to shake off because you have 2 brains feeding off each other.
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post #40 of 54 Old 03-12-2012, 11:10 AM
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First, fear is real. And since horses can pick up on our fears and build on it, I think it is best to take things in small steps. Part of that was my time flying jets in the military...the goal is to push the envelope, not leave it. There was a WSO I met when I was a young Lt, who had been in a crash landing. He survived, the pilot did not. After he healed, he tried to return to flying, and managed to conceal things for quite a while - until one of the other WSOs noticed him vomiting (we lined up before take-off, and you could see folks in the cockpit of the plane next to you). Turned out he still had nightmares, and was vomiting before every flight. He gave up flying, but no one thought him a coward for doing so.

But with horses or people, sometimes we need 'sacking out' - pushing things far enough to make us uncomfortable, but not so far that we panic. And that means taking small steps, and thinking in advance on how to stay safe wile doing something that has significant risk involved.

I've never been afraid of trail riding, but when I rode Mia off property last week a few times, it was the first time in 3 years. I wasn't afraid of riding trails, but of riding HER on a trail - and the experienced riders I know who know her agreed that made sense. She was - and to a lesser extent still is - a spooky, nervous horse with plenty of power and endurance who can bolt mindlessly when afraid.

Being 'afraid' of that is not cowardly, but smart. After not riding her at all and spending nearly a year of working hard on MY riding skills, I hired a trainer to "re-break" her - and the trainer concluded she knew so little that she had probably never been broken at all. In that sense, my spooky mare was an uncommonly well--mannered horse...and now she was 11 and entering training.

The training has been wonderful for her.

A big part of that training has been me walking her by herself on a lead line out into the neighborhood. At first, we couldn't go more than 100 yards without her getting visibly nervous. Over time, we've built up to walking out into a patch of nearby desert - but I still haven't taken her out by herself when the wind is blowing hard.

This gives the horse a chance to get used to things, but it also gives the person a chance to build a relation with the horse, and to find out how the horse responds. For example, while walking her, I found that I can back her up when she gets nervous - back her up 100 yards even - and she will remain focus and in control of herself. But if I turn her, she panics. Folks have told me to disengage the horse if it gets nervous, but disengaging means turning, and turning panics Mia. What works 20 times better with Mia is to either stop, or, if she is already getting scared, back her up until she isn't so scared. Then stop, scratch her neck, and then encourage her to take a few steps forward. I cannot 'work her' past a scary thing without making it more scary. I have to 'calm her' past the thing.

My first ride out on her was with the trainer riding the gelding she shares a corral with, and the trainer's job was to keep an eye on both of us. Reminding me to BREATH. She recommends that if you feel nervous on a horse, take a deep, audible breath in, slow count for 2-3 seconds, then audibly breath out. She says (and I'm pretty sure she is right) that will relax your body and calm your horse even if you still FEEL tense.

When I ride my BLM mustang pony out by himself into the desert, I use an English jump saddle. With Mia, I won't ride her in an arena unless I'm using an Aussie-style saddle, or a western one (I prefer Aussie).

I have ridden horses in my cowboy hat, but I won't mount Mia without a helmet. I also wear long sleeves riding her. If that makes me a coward, so be it. Taking precautions can help ease fears, and it certainly can help minimize the damage if things go wrong.

I'm hoping to ride Mia out on the street today without the trainer. But I'll keep an eye on her. If she gets nervous, we'll back up. If I think things are building up inside her, we'll turn around - 180, then walk. We won't disengage, and we won't push it. I'll ride her on property for 15-30 minutes first. If she is having a fussy day, we won't head down the road.

Not just for my sake. It has taken nearly 4 months of hard work to get her to this point. If I take it slow and build her confidence, then someday she'll be a confident trail horse as well as one I can ride in an arena. If I push her too far too fast, she'll break and we'll be back at the beginning.

What is true of horses is also true of people. You want to "push the envelope", not leave it...and all of us have envelopes!

Pushing the Envelope *|*

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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