A Crisis in Confidence - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Foxhunter
  • 1 Post By Woodhaven
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-30-2020, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2019
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A Crisis in Confidence

Hi! I've been riding for many years (mainly eventing), and used to train young horses, and am currently getting back into it.

There is a young OTTB I have the option to train BUT I am quickly losing confidence. On the ground, we're great, in a dressage saddle in a fenced in ring, great. On the trails, we're okay if we're walking. But god forbid you ask us to ride with other horses in sight, allow other trainers/riders to watch, trot or canter in a jump saddle, or jump.

Getting on and jumping him when I was seeing if he was something I wanted to train? No problem.

Cantering around like a maniac on our first ride in an open arena neither of us where used to, surrounded by people I didn't know, trainers, and other horses? Great.

In other arenas or at my own? Hell no. I know he has some trouble, he's weak after his pasture break from being on the track, and he bucks some(not believed to be pain related, vet coming out in a few days), and took off once.

Only spooked once on the trail (a big yellow yield sign we almost walked into) and was great with puddles, hills, areas he's never been to, hills (he's never done any hill work before or even seen one before) and even loose dogs running between his legs and growling at him.

I know it's me, not him. He is so willing and sweet he's up for anything you want. I suppose the problem is, a few years or even months ago, you could have thrown me on a hot horse I'd never ridden before and told me to go gallop xc or go over the horse-eating oxer, and I would have been excited.

Now if you ask me to trot on a horse I've ridden less than 12 times, it seems insane. I know I'm capable of the things I'm scared to do on him, and I know he is too. I don't want any holes in his training just because of my unfounded fears.

I've never fallen off of him, and my trainer is great. I really just don't know what is holding me back. Ask me to trot him, I get nervous and hunch up and forward over his withers, without even realizing it and start yanking on his mouth.

He isn't the first horse I've trained since getting back into it. I trained my own personal horse, then another local riders horse (who was a bucking bronc who would buck for hours, and then bolt, who is now a perfect gentleman on the trail).

I think it may be because the last three trainers I had put me down and destroyed my confidence, and the said bucking bronc would start his little act only at the trot and canter, but I was never afraid to ask him to trot and canter, and I always managed to sit it.

I guess my question is, how do I go about fixing this? He's a really wonderful horse to train, and they're offering to sell him to me for half price if I do train him some, and I could use the horse(I've been looking for one) and the money at this point. Any suggestions?

I should mention no one else is available to ride him at this time.

Last edited by Foxhunter; 03-30-2020 at 05:19 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-30-2020, 05:29 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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I have broken up your wall of text so it is easier to read. Old eyes like mine cannot cope with a block of print with no paragraphs! Please take note.

As for the horse, only one way to overcome fear and that is to face it. Get on and ride him out and about, take him to the steepest hills around you and start by trotting up them, if he breqks intoma canter, if the hill is steep enough, he will want to trot before the top, keep him cantering forma few more strides.

Walk back down the hill and repeat.

I am sure you are well aware that by griping the reins and leaning forward you are reminding him of his racing days.

If you have a smaller arena (20m x 40m) or similar take him in there and work him on a loose rein. He will no doubt be looking for a strong contact and will want to race off, just guide him onto an ever decreasing circle and when he comes back to a trot work large.

Be very aware of sitting up and sitting deep I'm sure you can do it!
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-30-2020, 07:13 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ontario Canada
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You are obviously a good rider. I had a couple of accidents years ago and really lost my confidence. It was not easy to get it back and I would only ride one horse and that was my sister's very dependable and honest mare, I felt I could trust her to carry me safely.
I don\t know if you have to option to ride a good steady eddy type of horse for a bit to help get you back riding with confidence again, but if you do this would be a good way to go.

It sure helped me and I went on to ride again with more confidence on other horses.

He sounds like a nice horse and Foxhunter had some good suggestions for you to do riding him so I wish you great confidence and good riding with him, if you do have the chance to ride a school horse as well it could help when you ride him as well.
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