Confidence lost... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 34 Old 08-18-2014, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebelwithacause View Post
First,

I agree with you and PP's, riding should be fun and find an instructor who is knowledgeable and also doesn't make you feel stupid for learning the ropes! I have been taking lessons and I can honestly say that a lot of my confidence comes from my instructor. She 100% tells me what I am doing right and corrects what I am doing wrong in a non-chastising way. Anyways, maybe look for another one :)

Second,

I look at horses like this: every day I go to work (in a cubicle farm) and wish that I was outside somewhere riding, grooming the horse, soaking up some sun in the saddle, making little jogs around the arena, etc. THAT outweighs the fear of getting hurt. I have two medium sized dogs, that are really playful and rambunctious. Even though they are trained and listen to my commands, sometimes they step on my pinky toe or jump faster than I was anticipating and grab the treat (and my fingers) with their teeth! It hurts! Horses are no different, just on a larger scale. They WILL do something that causes a sting, but don't let it shake your confidence. Any time you're dealing with animals on a regular basis, you're dealing with a level of unpredictability.
Excellent answer and your first paragraph sounds like you have been spying on me. :) Very accurate !
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post #12 of 34 Old 08-18-2014, 04:33 PM
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PLEASE! Do yourself a favor a find a new instructor. I can almost guarantee you, the instructor is the root of your hesitations. I started off with a huge confidence issue from a fall. It took a while but I found an instructor(s) that pushed me appropriately, but not too far - which a lot of people did.


Falling is a risk we all take when we ride. Truthfully, there is no "bomb proof" horse. They're animals. We can't expect them to be. This is something you will gradually overcome when you find an instructor and better barn environment. Sure the thought is always there, but it won't be as debilitating.

How much can an instructor affect your riding? My barn had a new assistant trainer. I had a fall at her watch - and she became to paranoid about my riding. Yes, I told her I wanted to work on my take off points - which is what caused the fall - but she took it to an extreme. We worked on ground pole small jumps for 4-5 months. Anytime I showed the slightest hesitation to a jump, she let me skip it. She'd warn me about really little petty things and it'd scare me. That made me a very hesitant/scared rider. I didn't improve much during her stay.

Ever since she left, the new assistant has pushed me to more courses and higher jumps (Not ridiculous. From 2' - 2'6''/9''). She makes me figure out things for myself, but I ask plenty of questions. I'm a MUCH more confident rider now.
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post #13 of 34 Old 08-18-2014, 04:39 PM
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My horse has totally made me lose my confidence, so I fake it every time I get back on, and its slowly coming back to me. Accidents can and do happen, and it sucks. If you're lucky and able to ride different horses that are maybe better trained then they can help boost your confidence back up, for me...I fake it till its back :) We just start back slow, if all I feel comfortable doing is a walk that day....then we walk. Just have to do what your comfortable with and when you feel you're ready to take a step further, do it!

I agree with finding a new trainer, and just explain to them your situation and your lack of confidence, a good trainer should work with you, and know exactly how far to push you.
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post #14 of 34 Old 08-19-2014, 04:36 AM
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Agree with what others have said. Sounds like it's not a good place to have lessons, if they don't even teach you horse handling skills & expect you to just do it, and if they're cruel enough to work a lame horse!

How to gain confidence back? Just like you'd build confidence in a child or animal. Baby steps. Set yourself up for success & start with a well trained, calm horse. Don't try to do much more than you are comfortable with. If you're not even truly comfortable just sitting on a horse for eg. then I'd just do lots of getting on & off & sitting there, until it's no worries, before asking a little more of yourself. Don't push yourself - or allow others to - too far outside your comfort zone, but work on gradually 'stretching' it with lots of good & 'easy' experiences.
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post #15 of 34 Old 08-19-2014, 04:26 PM
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The best way to keep yourself safe is to wear proper safety gear: a helmet, heeled shoes, a reflective vest if near a road at night, even a jockey vest depending on what you're doing. Even if you don't think you need a jockey vest or would get embarrassed wearing one, it can be comforting to know it's there "just in case" if you're really worried but want to ride. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you want something clarified. When I first started working with horses (grooming, tacking, leading) the equine manager was always within earshot, but didn't hover. If she saw I was doing something wrong she would calmly correct me and explain why the other way is correct. With experience, you'll learn how to handle different situations, e.g. learning how to fall off a horse to reduce injury. Don't be afraid to ask "What should I do if..?" questions either on here or to your instructor.

"As I stared Death in the eyes, I realized I have always been on the edge of Paradise."
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post #16 of 34 Old 08-19-2014, 04:52 PM
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I think every new rider needs to spend time on what we called "stable management." This means grooming (including picking the feet out) and leading and tacking up. Every lesson I ever gave I made the student do those things (under supervision). THEN they rode. All that extra stuff was to familiarize the beginner with just being around a horse. If they hated that, then they would quit and all was better for everyone, including them.

It is also important to realize that horses are not automated and the safest horse can still kill you both on the ground and in the saddle. That is just a fact. If you are too afraid to face that, then do not ride horses.

All that said, many riders go their lives with no serious injury. The statistics are on your side. Wear a helmet. Wear proper shoes. Be as safe as you can be.

Find a different facility that works you from the ground up and that does not use electric fences to get horses in an out of paddocks. I hate electric fences exclusively. They are fine on top of a good board fence.. or a good horse wire mesh fence, but not so good as the only fencing. Good gates, safe fencing, calm instruction can go a long way toward confident beginner riders.
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post #17 of 34 Old 08-19-2014, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FerrumEquus View Post
Thanks everyone, you all made a lot of good points, just wanted to mention that I have no issues with the horse going lame in itself. My issue was that I was riding that horse for several months and it never seemed to be better. I was moved off it for a while, then bought back onto it, and it's only a pony, maybe 5'1 hands if that, and I'm a full sized adult 5'6 weighing 168 pounds. And the horse never seemed to be having a whole lot of fun.

I mean, shouldn't the horse be enjoying the process too? It seems to me that a whole lot of horses are just waiting to get their rider the heck off their backs - and that's what bothers me the most. At the very least, you'd want the horse to be okay with what's going on, not actively hating it's life, surely?

My instructor tends to think that everyone who doesn't do everything right at the outset is an idiot, which doesn't encourage questions. I think I'll try another riding place and see how I feel. When it was fun riding horses, it was great, I just had a several month period of seeing horses do the ****edest things to people who seemed to think that was normal.
Your instructor sounds like a real idiot and I hope you find a better place to learn. She probably knows that this pony is lame, that it is wrong to use it but thinks you don't know. Instructors who do this are desperate for money and don't mind using a lame horse to make it. Fortunately, most of us aren't like that.

In general I will tell you that no lesson horse that is used for beginners is having a good time. They develop ways of fighting back and getting out of work and need time with a good rider to "tune them up". My boys are happiest with good riders who give them solid cues and don't pester them constantly. Unfortunately, everyone is a beginner at some time so I have to keep encouraging them-as they become better at riding, the horse stops avoiding and becomes enjoyable to ride.

Give a different place/instructor a try. It sounds like you are in a no-win situation and this may be a huge part of your confidence problem!
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post #18 of 34 Old 08-19-2014, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasin Ponies View Post

In general I will tell you that no lesson horse that is used for beginners is having a good time. They develop ways of fighting back and getting out of work and need time with a good rider to "tune them up". My boys are happiest with good riders who give them solid cues and don't pester them constantly. Unfortunately, everyone is a beginner at some time so I have to keep encouraging them-as they become better at riding, the horse stops avoiding and becomes enjoyable to ride.

THIS! The horse I ride, I have been riding for almost two years now. There were times when I first started riding him that he would try to be a butt head. He'd be lazy, seems hard to control (he'd predict turns, cut corners), pull reins, all sorts of not fun stuff.

One day, he walked OUT of the arena with me. Even though he was just walking back to his pasture, it was terrifying!!

These days, I'm an aggressive rider. And this shows. He goes where I want, our striding is getting better and better, he'll take the long spot when I tell him to. He can't do auto lead changes, but rather than waiting for me to give him the aid, he's started to do it himself.

Needless to say, the more confident of a rider I become, the more the horse knows this. And the more fun it is :)
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post #19 of 34 Old 08-19-2014, 06:46 PM
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Find another instructor, different barn. You should not be made to feel like an idiot , be screamed at etc, when Paying for lessons. Last lesson I took, for a refresher, looking to correct a bad habit from years of riding in pain on my part , the guy had me in stirrups to short for me, and I freaked the horse out, back cramps, leg cramps, muscle spasm. i got off the horse. Never took another lesson from him. His comment was i had no rhythm with the horse..well duh.. i was in muscle spasm.
I was lucky I did not come off the horse. I Never went back.
Wear a helmet.
Your riding lessons should be enjoyable . You should not feel uncomfortable. You should be able to speak to the instructor . If you cannot.. leave.
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post #20 of 34 Old 08-20-2014, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornedfrog89 View Post
THIS! The horse I ride, I have been riding for almost two years now. There were times when I first started riding him that he would try to be a butt head. He'd be lazy, seems hard to control (he'd predict turns, cut corners), pull reins, all sorts of not fun stuff.

One day, he walked OUT of the arena with me. Even though he was just walking back to his pasture, it was terrifying!!

These days, I'm an aggressive rider. And this shows. He goes where I want, our striding is getting better and better, he'll take the long spot when I tell him to. He can't do auto lead changes, but rather than waiting for me to give him the aid, he's started to do it himself.

Needless to say, the more confident of a rider I become, the more the horse knows this. And the more fun it is :)

The lesson horse's complete personality and behavior changes when a rider become competent. He's happier, more willing and reverts back to his basic good training. Obviously the rider is happier too!

Unfortunately beginners jerk, poke, bounce around and lose their balance which makes any horse very, very sour. That's why it's important for an instructor not to torture a horse by only putting beginners on him-he needs to remember how to do things right and that being ridden is not always a miserable experience!
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