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Fear of riding?

This is a discussion on Fear of riding? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        03-30-2009, 03:15 PM
      #11
    Started
    About a year and a half ago my mare threw, drug, and trampled me, and last January she fell on me... Both times I was extremely nervous of riding again, especially down hills (which didn't make sense considering both times the accidents happened there were no hills). It took months both times for me to relax... I just had to keep telling myself to trust my girl... it was hard and really nerve wracking, but after a few months I was much better.

    Maybe it's just taking time...?
         
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        03-30-2009, 06:11 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    I, personally, was beyond scared too.
    If my instructor asked me to canter I'd start crying or something but eventually I was watching everyone else do it and was like, "It just looks SO FUN!" (:
         
        04-01-2009, 05:15 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Idk, but jst tell her that riding calls for getting hurt. (ive had my share of horse accedents) she jst needs to take it slow, like put her on a horse you no she trust, and then you jst go on a slow, fun trail ride with her, and you can slowly start to trot and then you can ask her if she wants to lope, jst slowly, of course. Soon, she will be begging to go ride!
         
        04-01-2009, 05:39 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    Oh, and before she gets on, make SURE you tell her she only needs to walk!
    If you don't, she'll be terrified that you're going to ask her to canter the whole time and won't enjoy herself at all.
         
        04-02-2009, 04:57 PM
      #15
    Foal
    Ya, cause when I was afraid of horses after one of my accedents, my sis. Took me on a trail ride, and the whole time I had the rains pulld up tight and was terrified that she was going to make me run! It was a terriable feeling.
         
        04-03-2009, 07:39 AM
      #16
    Started
    Do not even try to force her. It won't work.. Just leave her be about it, no nagging. You can tell her you know she is afraid and you won't ask her to ride, but that you are there for her if she wants to talk. Tell her if and when she is ready to try again to take baby steps. Starting with simply being around horses and working up to getting back on. One tiny step at a time.. It may take months..

    Support her, but do not push her.
         
        04-03-2009, 06:36 PM
      #17
    Weanling
    I agree with smrobs, just be supportive and accepting. If she rides again - great- if not - so be it. If she truely loved rideing before, the passion will come back once she builds her confidence back up.
    However with that being said one way to maybe encourage her to get back on is maybe just a nice calm, slow pleasure ride with her sister, mom, and you. Nothing fast, just relax and enjoying the feel of the horse.
         
        04-03-2009, 08:58 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IheartPheobe    
    I don't have any.. specific advice, but I do have a story that relates to this & can probably help.

    Two years ago, I was riding a very advanced horse my first week cantering. The first time another girl let me ride her horse while we cantered, so I didn't have to canter him. The rest of the week, I tried on my horse. He was stubborn and would NOT go. The last day of the week my instructor fallowed him and got him canteirng. Being the beginner I was, I fell right off.
    My confidence wasn't messed with; I was okay with it. It'd just been too hard and I'd known I was going to fall.
    For some reason, my instructor asked me to ride him again the next week. I was the only one riding him at all, and he was very hyper the first day. Going over some poles, he reared and off I went.
    I switched horses and was fine for the rest of the week, but I didn't canter.
    I switched onto a very smooth pony the next week and was excited to try and canter again. We were doing amazing until that Wednesday, another girl tried to pass me and our ponies raced. Mine got too excited and I fell. After that, I was done. No more cantering for me.
    It was only the third week of the Summer, but I didn't canter again at all. For a while after that, I was terrified of cantering.
    One day in a lesson, my instructor forced me to canter and though I was scared, I put up with it. I was too scared to realize how much I actually liked it and didn't canter again.
    I began riding another horse, whom I stayed on for months and months. I trusted him so much and after I while, I decided to let him "take off" with me and cantered a few strides. The next week, I was begging to try it. We were whizzing around the ring by the end of the day- now cantering was all I wanted to do.
    I had a few falls after that, but I knew I'd want to do it eventually so I kept getting back on. (:
    That's kinda like what happened to me. But I didn't fall off. I just gripped onto the saddle for dear life. I was terrified to ride more than a walk. I was so stressed everytime the instructor tried to get me to trott. But when I finally allowed them to get the horse to trott, I instantly was bugging to do it again. I had a bad scare the second time I ever rode a horse, you see. The horse kept bolting with me for a whole hour. I was very stressed by the end of the ride but I forced myself to get back on another horse. I just couldn't give up.
    And here I am about 5 months later, trotting and walking and not stressing out every time the horse walks faster.. :)
    I hope she gets better...
         
        04-04-2009, 06:32 AM
      #19
    Foal
    Its normal for poeple to get scared. I think you should just let her work through it herself and if she still doesnt want to go riding suggest a quiet ride on a horse she can trust. If she's a good rider and she starts again slowly and quietly shell be back where she was in no time. Just don't rush it or it will make matters worse. Good luck!
         
        04-04-2009, 07:16 AM
      #20
    Foal
    I don't really know what to advise if I'm honest, but one of my good friends had a riding accident a couple of years ago whilst out on a hack. The 13.2hh pony she was riding (from the riding school) tripped in a pot-hole and she flew over his head, he then tripped again and landed on her. She has had a fractured spine for nearly two years now, was partially brain-damaged and is in pain pretty much all of the time. The doctors said that if she hadn't of been wearing her body protector, she wouldn't of been here today. When she looked at riding again and got the all clear from the doctors, she'd decided to go back to the riding school and start there. But the horse she LOVED and always rode before the accident, had been sold on to someone else. She found this horse, Chance, and got on him again. She did trot on him, but canter was too bouncy for her pelvis to handle (as it had shattered in the fall). But where any other rider who's been riding for most her life can just throw their leg over the saddle and be off, it took her about 5 minutes to dismount from him and that was 5minutes of alot of pain. The doctors have said that she may not be able to ride again soon as her spine is worse off than they originally thought. She may get down and upset by it, but she's more determined than ever to ride again. She's got this year planned and Chance's new owner is more than happy to let her ride him when she wants to. She's even planning to take him Cross-Country jumping this year! She proves that no matter what happens, if its what you love - just stay strong and go for it. I'm sure your oldest niece, Leanna, will be fine and ready to ride within time. Don't pressure her or force her to do things she's not ready for, maybe start her with groundwork with the horse that was involved in the accident - it might increase the trust between them? And when she's ready, start of with just a walk whilst riding him perhaps? And have someone walking next to them just to reasure her.
    Hope it helps, and hope she's riding soon! X
         

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