Help getting out of my head during riding - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 13 Old 11-19-2018, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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@Cedar & Salty

Thanks for your reply! I'm happy you were okay and are on a better path with your horse, it sounds like you guys are going to make a great team

And actually, I've tended to have opposite experiences with lesson horses haha. They're usually the "buttheads" with bad manners that I've encountered because little kids can't always correct the bad behavior. The last horse I leased was about 3 years ago was a lesson horse (I haven't taken lessons in some years due to money, so I usually lease until I can purchase in the next year or two). And the barn actually stopped using him for lessons months before I met him, and he just sat out in the pasture gaining weight. They stopped using him because he would just take any kid to the corner and just stand there, and nothing could get him to move.

My first ride on him to try him out was quite funny. He would trot, but randomly decide to stop when he felt like it. At the canter, he would attempt to canter me sideways all the way to the gate. He didn't like that I actually put up a fight against it, whereas the smaller kids couldn't. At one point, he tried to buck me at the canter because he didn't want to go, he was so lazy. And the amount of times he attempted to get grass, or go the opposite direction was just funny at some point. And, for some reason, I fell in love with him. He was such a butt head and full of attitude, and from that day I started leasing him. Fast forward a year and half, and we were doing little 2 foot jump courses and he finally gave up being a butt. And come to find, he actually lit up with jumping and enjoyed it.

Once I moved, they now use him for lessons again and he's still being an angel so far. So, hopefully, he won't return to his old sour self like before. The new trainer though tries to school him more now, so that helps.

From my experience, the horses with one owner tend to have less of the bad habits (as long as the owner rides decently). It's funny how opposite some things are sometimes for riders. I will say though, the higher level lesson horses do usually seem to be dreams because they don't put kids or beginners on them usually.
Alyssa1318 is offline  
post #12 of 13 Old 01-02-2019, 10:11 PM
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I just got back to riding again, and I was still really nervous when going over jumps and doing courses because I was too scared of the ‘what ifs’ so I decided to stay in the now and only concentrate in the now, and to not worry about what could happen. It really helped!
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-07-2019, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Alyssa1318 View Post
Hi everyone :) I'm new to the forums, so I hope I'm in the right place.

I'm dealing with some nervousness of getting back in the saddle. A little bit about me: I started riding at 9 and ended up in hunter/jumper. I stopped jumping around the age of 16 (I was doing shows at 3 foot) and then began riding again at the age of 19 (just hacking, no jumping due to money). I rode at this barn for multiple years and became known as "velcro butt" haha. I stopped riding again to get my Master's degree.

Now, fast forward two years and I've moved to Texas and am trying to get back in the saddle. And oh boy, I was so nervous before my first ride at a barn. I'm a lot more aware of my own mortality then when I was younger. But I did okay and walked, trotted, and cantered and the trainer had nothing to say. My biggest hurdle is I just need to get back in shape again before jumping once more. Well, I decided not to pay a bunch of money for hacking lessons for a trainer to just stand there and say nothing and just babysit for no reason. I decided to just lease a horse to get back in shape on the flat, and then begin jumping lessons when the time was right. I found this beautiful big thoroughbred with a loving owner. I was a little nervous because he's off the track from a couple years ago, and I was nervous he'd just want to go, go, go (I do well with lazy horses haha). I watched the owner ride him, and then I hopped on, despite my nerves. We trotted and then I also cantered him and everything went fine and the owner and other spectators thought we made a great team because I even got him to pick up his lead on his bad side at the canter and he was completely relaxed and a happy boy.

Well, my first day of the lease started the other morning. And it was 30 degrees outside, super cold. I thought to lunge him, but for whatever reason, did not. I hopped on him and began trotting, and he felt WAY more forward than the other week, and his really good breaks weren't so great anymore. Don't get me wrong, he would still stop, just not instantly like he did when I first rode him. And this just brought all my nerves back instantly, to where I was too fearful to canter in fear that he would take off. And I'm getting frustrated because I even saw the video of me riding him, and it was great. I've trotted and cantered horses so many times in my life that it is like second nature. I'm doing everything right, but I can't get out of my head.

And I get frustrated because I've seen the owner ride him and I know he's not a dangerous horse. I've just been so used to riding lazy horses that a horse that wants to really go immediately translates in my now adult brain as "oh god, they're gonna take off and I'm going to fall on my butt and break something"

And I think I'm also just being too hard on myself. I'm out of shape and just met the horse a couple days ago. I think I'm just in my head with all this fear the minute he keeps wanting to go. I decided to lunge him first this weekend before hopping on, as I'm sure the cold weather also had something to do with it. The owner said she lunged him before riding the other day because he was stiff from the cold, and that he was perfect under saddle. I don't think she put two and two together that the lunging also got rid of his excess energy most likely. Anyway, sorry for my rambling, any words of advice or wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I know I have the skills, I just need to get out of my head.
Don't be so hard on yourself. Your worries are perfectly normal especially as an adult learner who's coming back into things. As kids we have no real responsibilities. If we break, we heal and move on. As adults you can have more serious complications and you have big responsibilities that an injury could cause issues with.
I wonder if you riding a more user friendly horse might be a better option for you to get back into the groove of things with. A quieter horse will be safer and more forgiving of riding mishaps and help you get back where you left off. It's in you because you used to do it, you just have to be kinder to yourself and perhaps find a horse that can allow you to focus on you instead of him/her along with your own riding. That will set you up for success.
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