Fear of fatal injury - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
 314Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 63 Old 07-07-2018, 07:59 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Northern Florida
Posts: 4,461
• Horses: 4
Well, here's the thing. You don't really have that much control about when you die, and you will die. You are in the process of it as we speak. One person will climb out of a massive wreck with bruises and another will die choking on a piece of popcorn. One person might die when they are 105 years old or more and
another an hour old. Most people would probably agree that they don't want to be so injured that life is not fun anymore so you take precautions.

My big thing about dying is what I'm leaving behind. I want to make sure that my dogs, horses, cat, and parrot have somewhere nice to land. I do have some control over that. Family, well, maybe they will be sad but they can take care of themselves. I want to leave behind more love than there was before I came.

Live this life that you have. I personally want to die laughing and saying "Oh man, that was so much fun" and get back in line to do it again.

As far as horses in particular, they are big and their size can be intimidating to some people. I know lots of people who are afraid of horses. Usually they find other fun things to do. I think that maybe you are just afraid of dying in general and the size and power of the horse intimidates you and you combine the two.

There will be only one of you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
Coffee is my spirit animal
LoriF is offline  
post #12 of 63 Old 07-07-2018, 08:22 AM
Started
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: NW Connecticut
Posts: 2,322
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cordillera Cowboy View Post
I have over 55 years in the saddle, and I've drawn the rough string for much of it. A dose of reality probably includes bit of fear. I always have a bit of nervousness when I tack up a known problem horse. Sometimes my hands shake.
I went through the nervousness phase when I started riding a motorcycle. More exposure, more experience, and not a lot of scary incidents made it more routine to swing my leg over. I still have a sense of adventure whenever I'm about to ride out - and I don't do "problem horses", I only go up to "a little green around the edges".

In your honor:

mmshiro is offline  
post #13 of 63 Old 07-07-2018, 11:03 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,691
• Horses: 4
Fear is more an emotion than a rational thought. I don't gain much from telling myself to not be afraid. I find it more productive to actively seek ways to reduce the risk. When I know I'm safer, I feel safer.

Bitten or stepped on? Hasn't happened to me yet, but I own my own horses so I get to choose how they are treated.

Falling? I can't afford it. I spend too much time riding on pavement or surrounded by cactus. It isn't 100% preventable, of course, and I could fall the next time I ride. But...

After my first (and to date, only) fall, I switched from an English saddle to an Australian one. An Australian saddle with an American horn added is one tough saddle to fall out of! Was I cheating? Yeah. So what. It worked. Later switched to a western saddle, and more recently to an Abetta. The Abetta saddle is much grippier, and thus much easier to stay in, when my horse hits the fan.




If your horse is unpredictable, then I think being a little "behind the horse" helps with staying on. Others disagree, which is OK. Do whatever you believe (or a good instructor tells you) will help you stay on an unpredictable horse.

"Speed and surprises don't mix well with me" - so practice them. Canter in a round pen if needed, or on a lunge line. Practice lots of transitions - changes in speed or direction. Practice turns. Do it while standing in the stirrups, which will reveal any flaws in your balance. If need be, do the latter in a western saddle so you can keep one hand on the horn to help you balance until you don't need any help balancing.

Lastly, it is OK to get scared and dismount before the horse gets scared. It is an emotion. It doesn't have to be rational. But for me...riding while scared only built up memories of being scared on horses, which increased my fear. Once I felt free to dismount, and then mount up 10 minutes later when the fear passed, I started overwriting memories of being afraid on horses with memories of having good times on horses. Pushing thru my fear didn't help me any more than it helped my spooky horse. BOTH of us needed to build memories of good times and staying safe.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
bsms is offline  
post #14 of 63 Old 07-07-2018, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New York
Posts: 160
• Horses: 0
Alright, finally figured out how to multi quote on mobile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteadyOn View Post
I have those exact same fears and thoughts around horses. Everything. All of the above.

Recently I've been a little less fearful though I can't exactly say why. But it's something that comes and goes to varying degrees. I expect I'll be that fearful again, and it won't necessarily be for any apparent reason.

Sometimes it does have to do with other stressors in my life. If I'm very tense and anxious about something unrelated, it brings up my base level of anxiety and makes me more prone to thinking up these elaborate scenarios where I get hurt in unlikely -- but technically possible -- ways.

I've come up with a few ways to think about it that are somewhat helpful.

I drive. It's technically possible that, coming around a curve, someone will be in my lane and hit me head-on at full speed. It COULD happen. But it's not likely, I don't think about it every time I drive, and it doesn't keep me from driving. So why do similar thoughts belong on a horse?

The other thing that's helped is to think about all the times things have gone well. And when I find myself picturing worst-case scenarios with this horrible what-ifs... I now try to change the narrative. What if everything goes perfectly fine and I have a great time? Based on how many hours I've ridden, and how many times nothing has gone wrong and I've enjoyed myself... or I've handled things just fine when they have gone wrong... what scenario should I actually be playing out in my mind? This approach has helped A LOT A LOT A LOT and lately I'm too busy picturing successful outcomes to spend a lot of thought and energy on unpredictable and highly unlikely scenarios that I couldn't prevent even if I did just worryworryworry about them.

Give this a watch:


Now, none of that is to say that you should act invincible. Practice the safest possible measures, and if you think a horse is TRULY likely to "go off" in any way that could hurt you, don't put yourself in that situation. But work on a positive self-narrative and pretty soon you'll be able to see more clearly what's actually a danger and what's just a VERY elaborate work of imagination.

In other words, don't do the horsey equivalent of these comics and you'll start feeling a lot better. 😉 deep-dark-fears

Edit: linked to the wrong video
Thank you so much for the video. These things don't keep me from riding or working with horses. It's just a thought, and a valid one at that. It's usually when I'm dealing with a hot horse or one that's misbehaving- so it's not a general 'fear' with all horses. I shouldve specified that in my thread. I'll give changing my narrative a try.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Reiter View Post
You mention three different scenarios -- falling off, getting bitten, and getting kicked.


Of the three, falling off is the most difficult to prevent. I have fallen off a lot of horses in my life, but at 64 I have NEVER been kicked or bitten. Maybe I'm just lucky.


You say you got bit on the side of your stomach. How did it happen? Is the horse a known biter? Did you have a preexisting relationship with that horse? Can you identify anything that might have contributed to the situation?


Generally speaking, a horse will bite either out of desperation due to fear or pain, or it is playing "who's in charge?" and is already pretty confident that she outranks whoever she bites. And you're right, that horse could have taken a chunk out of your body, but most horses don't bite very hard unless their first attempt is ignored.


Your physical size is not the issue. Stay away from dangerous horses and learn how to earn the respect of the rest and you will never be bitten again.


And if you don't want to die, wear a helmet.
In short, a girthy horse. I do wear a helmet. I know what to do for next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
It's interesting how you've made your fear more personal to yourself. You've rationalized that you are somehow at higher risk because of your size, build or whatever. I've heard others say the same, "I'm now 30 (or 25 or 45 or 60), so my risk is higher." I've found it interesting that the number people feel increases their risk is rather personal, with some only assessing themselves at higher risk due to age after reaching some crazy number like 85. One horseman said, "Now that I'm 90...I have to be careful." Others start feeling at risk when hitting 25 or 30. I've heard people feel they might be at more danger because of being small, or tall (like Christopher Reeve), or thin, or heavy.

No one has ever studied whether it is more dangerous to be bitten, kicked or bucked off by a horse if you are small or large. My belief is that these things are equally dangerous for everyone, and no one falls into a special category. Kids are as likely to be injured or killed by horses as adults, regardless of age. So the idea that younger people "bounce" is not really accurate. I've personally known more younger teens and children with broken bones after falling off horses than adults, although I've known far more adults with falls.

The truth is that only 20 people are killed on average per year by horses in the U.S., while cows kill 22. Dogs kill 28. Do you get a surge of adrenaline while petting a dog? Wonder if he'll bite you and injure your internal organs? Well, he's more likely to than a horse.

From @SueC 's link:
Quote:
But understanding where irrational fear comes from doesn’t explain the converse: why we’re often disproportionately unafraid of things that are far more dangerous by comparison...

...Emotion enhances memory, which is useful for helping us avoid things that have caused pain or hurt in the past, like bee stings or that cheating boyfriend.

But emotion can also undermine our ability to calculate the odds, leading us to overestimate the risk of events that are horrible but uncommon, and underestimate the risk of the familiar or ordinary.
Horses "feel" dangerous to our senses. However, other things we do every day that don't trigger our senses are far more dangerous. Thousands of people die from choking while eating. Does eating scare us? As mentioned, cars are extremely dangerous but we have desensitized ourselves to them. Many of us also stop using normal safety precautions while driving cars.

If you use basic safety precautions when handling and riding horses, the only way you could die would be from a very freak accident, and it would be just as likely that a winning lottery ticket would fall out of the sky and land on your head. Neither thing should occupy much of our thoughts.
Alright I'm going to be up front and say your post was a bit nasty. Maybe I'm reading it wrong but I have some rebuttal to it.

I made the issue about myself because I'm human and we often do this. You can say your physical size doesn't matter or similar things such as age but it does hold some merit. I'm not trying to say bad things will happen BECAUSE I'm thin. I'm saying that I perhaps should be a little more careful because of that. It's just being aware. For example, I'm pretty sure thin people and the very elderly (just examples) are more likely to break bones since one's bones are either considered more delicate in a way. So it might prompt someone in said categories to be a little safer.

An aside- I am hoping this thread doesn't turn into some type of shaming..but you all have better sense than that anyway.

Back on track to your response, my dogs are very small so of course I wouldn't think that. You're statement is falling flat. Just because one may be more dangerous/ "more likely" doesn't take away the fear one feels. And horses are a lot bigger than dogs so for some people, they naturally fear them. Some people fear dogs the same even if they're dealing with a toy breed vs. A large working breed.

I agree with you that we make our fears much larger than they should be and it shouldn't preoccupy our minds. But that wasn't what was happening to me. I don't obsess over getting killed by a horse. It's just a passing thought if a horse is being very unruly or hot. I certainly wouldn't think a dead broke riding horse is going to kill me. If something is presenting a dangerous situation I think it's pretty normal to have a thought like that. It's fight or fight sometimes.

cantering on, into the familiar and unknown
Finalcanter is offline  
post #15 of 63 Old 07-07-2018, 11:27 AM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,063
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finalcanter View Post
Alright I'm going to be up front and say your post was a bit nasty. Maybe I'm reading it wrong but I have some rebuttal to it.
I don't think anyone is trying to be nasty or trying to shame you. I didn't read any of the replies here as negative, myself. I thought this was quite an intelligent, helpful, enlightening thread. We're all sympathizing with those fears, and sharing the ways that we think about things to help manage them. No one is trying to call you silly or unreasonable for being anxious.

Working with horses and riding them is completely irrational and a totally avoidable risk. So we all need a few mental gymnastics to cope with that fact and go ahead and do it anyhow. Sometimes that takes some levity, too, but no one is mocking you or putting you down here, that I can see.
AnitaAnne, bsms, gottatrot and 5 others like this.
SteadyOn is offline  
post #16 of 63 Old 07-07-2018, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New York
Posts: 160
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Fear is more an emotion than a rational thought. I don't gain much from telling myself to not be afraid. I find it more productive to actively seek ways to reduce the risk. When I know I'm safer, I feel safer.

Bitten or stepped on? Hasn't happened to me yet, but I own my own horses so I get to choose how they are treated.

Falling? I can't afford it. I spend too much time riding on pavement or surrounded by cactus. It isn't 100% preventable, of course, and I could fall the next time I ride. But...

After my first (and to date, only) fall, I switched from an English saddle to an Australian one. An Australian saddle with an American horn added is one tough saddle to fall out of! Was I cheating? Yeah. So what. It worked. Later switched to a western saddle, and more recently to an Abetta. The Abetta saddle is much grippier, and thus much easier to stay in, when my horse hits the fan.




If your horse is unpredictable, then I think being a little "behind the horse" helps with staying on. Others disagree, which is OK. Do whatever you believe (or a good instructor tells you) will help you stay on an unpredictable horse.

"Speed and surprises don't mix well with me" - so practice them. Canter in a round pen if needed, or on a lunge line. Practice lots of transitions - changes in speed or direction. Practice turns. Do it while standing in the stirrups, which will reveal any flaws in your balance. If need be, do the latter in a western saddle so you can keep one hand on the horn to help you balance until you don't need any help balancing.

Lastly, it is OK to get scared and dismount before the horse gets scared. It is an emotion. It doesn't have to be rational. But for me...riding while scared only built up memories of being scared on horses, which increased my fear. Once I felt free to dismount, and then mount up 10 minutes later when the fear passed, I started overwriting memories of being afraid on horses with memories of having good times on horses. Pushing thru my fear didn't help me any more than it helped my spooky horse. BOTH of us needed to build memories of good times and staying safe.
Yeah I like the idea of switching out things that help make you safer- as you said with the saddles. And also comfortable to the horse. Though of course these are not my horses and it's 'their' tack I'm using. So I have to make myself safer.

I agree with practice as a solution to combat nerves of any kind. If I do find myself needing to get off to catch my breath, I usually get back on and try not to let nerves control me.
AnitaAnne, gottatrot, SueC and 1 others like this.

cantering on, into the familiar and unknown
Finalcanter is offline  
post #17 of 63 Old 07-07-2018, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New York
Posts: 160
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteadyOn View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finalcanter View Post
Alright I'm going to be up front and say your post was a bit nasty. Maybe I'm reading it wrong but I have some rebuttal to it.
I don't think anyone is trying to be nasty or trying to shame you. I didn't read any of the replies here as negative, myself. I thought this was quite an intelligent, helpful, enlightening thread. We're all sympathizing with those fears, and sharing the ways that we think about things to help manage them. No one is trying to call you silly or unreasonable for being anxious.

Working with horses and riding them is completely irrational and a totally avoidable risk. So we all need a few mental gymnastics to cope with that fact and go ahead and do it anyhow. Sometimes that takes some levity, too, but no one is mocking you or putting you down here, that I can see.
Yes, and I am reading through the responses. That one just didn't sit well. It's just that, I don't know, I'm still having some residual feelings from things that happened at the barn and I suppose I'm reading with 'tinted shades' because of that.

cantering on, into the familiar and unknown
Finalcanter is offline  
post #18 of 63 Old 07-07-2018, 11:43 AM
Started
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 2,371
• Horses: 0
I didnít think it intended to be nasty at all. I think it was an effort to make a point, not mean but blunt I guess. Like you are not more special than other people and in that line of thinking not more likely to get hurt. It is a thought like this that actually helped me.

I wasnít afraid. As a child I rode anything and everything, and I truly didnít believe there was a horse alive who could better me. Vain I know... Anyways, a mare came along who was the first to scare me. She has been started by another, and he was honest in saying he didnít like her. Her name was Lilly, and her intention was to hurt someone. I rode her a few times, but I primarily stole those rides and I knew it. One day a big public fight happened when I was afraid to get on her. When someone who thought they knew more than I did went in then to bridle her she struck that person in the face leaving open bone for all to see.

I think that Lilly surprised me because I didnít know I could get scared of a horse until she came along. Then I had kids, and something about that seems to bring out fear in a person. Anyways, (I realize I am droning on) one day when Bones first came home I was working on something and he was hot and I was nervous. My husband happened to be outside and he said something that truly helped me.

Since I had not really known fear for a large portion of my life, I felt that my fear was unique I guess. He said, as he took over what I was doing, ďEveryone is scared sometimes. Itís just deciding itís more important to do something than not.Ē So, although I have been scared at times since that day, I remember what he said. I just continue on anyways.

Thatís not saying to be dumb and get struck in the face by a Lilly, but that is saying that in normal circumstances which are intimidating, and in which you know the right answer of how to deal with it, decide if your fear is more important to you or if the outcome is.
AnitaAnne, bsms, gottatrot and 3 others like this.

Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
Knave is offline  
post #19 of 63 Old 07-07-2018, 11:51 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,691
• Horses: 4
Let me use one of my horses as an example. He was sold to us but we needed to prepare a place for him. While waiting, he was loaned to a ranch who promised to use him for sheepherding (which he was good at) but not for cutting cattle. Well, they then decided to MAKE him cut cattle. Spurred holes into his sides the size of the palm of my hand! 10 years later, he still has scars.

His fear of that was rational, except he didn't associate the pain with being spurred. He associated it with "cowboy hats". We found that out when the trainer we hired showed up wearing a cowboy hat and he exploded in fear. Broke thru the corral. And it was her HAT that scared him. She could walk up and scratch his nose, no problems, if she was wearing a baseball cap!

Fear can be rational, irrational, or a mix. When the fear has a rational basis - I'm more likely to fall when the horse suddenly changes direction - then it can be solved rationally. Practice small changes in an arena until you are comfortable with bigger changes.

When it is irrational, then the bad memories or associations need to be overwritten with good one. The trainer needed a month with Trooper to convince him cowboy hats were not scary. At all. They could even mean treats! Once he had enough good memories overwriting the bad, he was fine.

BTW - this was Trooper after he had started healing. His fear wasn't "wrong", just misplaced:

AnitaAnne, gottatrot, SueC and 4 others like this.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
bsms is offline  
post #20 of 63 Old 07-07-2018, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New York
Posts: 160
• Horses: 0
I guess perhaps I should add that I always have a certain someone remind me of the dangers involved with horses. So this isn't always helpful. I know good and well the dangers.

Also about the shaming thing.. sorry. I've been experiencing people shaming me right now for something along the lines of 'good riders don't fall off' and I've been told this as it happened. Not by just one person either. And worse when it's coming from those you love..
AnitaAnne, gottatrot, SueC and 3 others like this.

cantering on, into the familiar and unknown
Finalcanter is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fatal Equine Disease - 12 Dead in Nebraska WSArabians Horse Health 22 07-22-2013 11:48 AM
Austin Hatch Survives second fatal crash my2geldings General Off Topic Discussion 1 06-28-2011 01:03 AM
Fatal fires in south eastern Australia Pinto Pony Horse Talk 7 02-12-2009 01:38 AM
flexi lunge, almost fatal Disaster good read, you might lear AppaloosaCowGirl Horse Health 0 06-11-2007 09:10 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome