Does the fear go away? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 62 Old 01-23-2016, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
If she'd have been a horse she'd have had that white eyed, flared nostril, snorting, jigging thing going on the whole 2 hr ride and would have gotten home completely lathered. Her horse, however, was utterly bored with it all.
Oh that so describes my one and only trail ride since my fall, a snorting, wide eyed sweated up mess, while Gibbs was as cool as a cucumber.

Overcoming fear is hard, and I don't think that we ever get back to the recklessness of youth. We have to accept who we are now, and never compare ourselves to who we were before, because that is unfair, that person is gone, you are all new!

Fear is reasonable, unless it becomes so debilitating that you can't enjoy the ride or function in it, the cure though is more and more riding, and with a trustworthy horse, or more than one if you are lucky. The more 'boring' rides you can put in, the better, that dials down the anxiety centres to believe that "this is OK" and the more relaxed you will become.

Riding should be fun, and it is 100% OK for you to decide where fun starts and stops. My fun is walk, jog and lope in an arena, doing dressage patterns, or just working on basics, I love it. January 2014 I would have though you were mad if you said I would enjoy lope work, strictly walk and jog back then. If you are comfortable walking around an arena, that's all you have to do, if areanas scare you and you just want to walk on the trail, that is also fine. Do what you enjoy, keep doing it.


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post #12 of 62 Old 01-23-2016, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
Oh that so describes my one and only trail ride since my fall, a snorting, wide eyed sweated up mess, while Gibbs was as cool as a cucumber.
LOL! But seriously, after reading about your fall and all the gawd awful injuries you had, I am actually gratified that you could even muster the courage to get back on a horse, let alone that you actually went out on a trail ride.

We have to accept who we are now, and never compare ourselves to who we were before, because that is unfair, that person is gone, you are all new!

THIS! It's such a good, true statement and so totally reflects what we need to strive for. Acceptance of ourselves where we are NOW. What's that saying, "Yesterday is history, the future is a mystery, all we have is the NOW."? Did I get that right?

I'm so not the kid I was back in the 60's & 70's. Back then, if it stood still long enough, I'd toss a leg over and YEEE HAH! off we'd go. Or frequently, off I'd go, and never think of it. Today, I will still ride a green horse but, it's usually one I've bred, raised, ground trained from day 1, and sent out for 30-60 days to get the silly out. I would no more jump on a horse not knowing if it was trained or trained properly than I'd try to fly to the moon. My comfort zone is the saddle, I'm really secure in my seat, so I don't care arena or trail but I'm much more cautious than I was back then. No more flying across an unknown meadow and over the crest of an unknown hill for me, I'm much more sedate. No more 6 ft fences and for sure no more eventing. I'd love to try reining or cutting, but I'm not so sure I need to try that at my age. If I come off, I tend to break not bounce. So, gotta accept that I'm no longer 17 and immortal, but coming 60 very soon and have a real good idea what mortality looks like. It's ok, we just work around stuff.

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post #13 of 62 Old 01-23-2016, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
, "Yesterday is history, the future is a mystery, all we have is the NOW."? Did I get that right?
Oh yes that sounds right, and darn good advice!
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post #14 of 62 Old 01-23-2016, 04:48 PM
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Oh my goodness - it's good to hear others talk about this fear. I definitely experience it (but I'm 52, and never really rode before a few years ago... and just casually at that). I ride with a friend who has that muscle-memory and horse-sense from her youth, and has always had horses. It's all pasture riding and there's plenty to scare me (things jumping out of brush piles, birds flushing, the herd of longhorn cattle we ride near and sometimes through, the horse-eating mini donkey that always feels the need to charge us)... I can't admit the fear to anyone (except my friend, who does get it... and isn't as fearless as she used to be anymore). People who haven't been bitten by the bug couldn't understand the draw. I have decided to board my next horse (I'm shopping now) at a nice barn with indoor arena where I've taken some lessons - and get to know my new horse, with fewer variables involved, and then move her/him to my friend's place. I didn't do that with my previous horse until right at the end when I had her there on consignment - and I did find my nerves to be less on edge in that environment (except then I was nervous about learning 'barn protocol' and doing the wrong thing lol).

Anyway, this didn't help you I know... but it helps me to know others understand. Dreamcatcher - it was helpful to me to read about your friend, and to 'hear' the non judgmental tone to your post.

Last edited by Folly; 01-23-2016 at 04:54 PM.
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post #15 of 62 Old 01-23-2016, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Folly View Post
Dreamcatcher - it was helpful to me to read about your friend, and to 'hear' the non judgmental tone to your post.
Folly, I hope people aren't being judgmental about you and your concerns. And I hope, that when I've told you to pass on a horse because you don't have experience or confidence, you understand that I'm not judging. I just don't want you to set yourself up for failure or injury, and I'm going by the info you have given me. We each have to find our comfort zone and figure out for ourselves if that's where we want to stay or if we want to try to push past it into other experiences. Only you can know how far you want to take something, it's not up to anyone else to tell you what or how you should do things.

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post #16 of 62 Old 01-23-2016, 08:22 PM
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I find reading threads like these to be supportive and comforting. It sure helps to know others are having the same thoughts and emotions. Every time I climb the mounting block my heart rate goes up. My mare has NEVER even so much as taken a step before I have mounted, yet every time I get that same feeling. It stops as soon as my rear hits the saddle. But every time its the same. Maybe I am the one who needs lots of mount and dismount practice rather than my mare.
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post #17 of 62 Old 01-23-2016, 08:51 PM
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I got back on a horse when I was 59. After selling my last horse when I went away to college. At first I couldn't believe how TALL horses are! I got over that after awhile (plus my own horse is about 14.2 -- though even she felt tall to me).

I am more confident than most of my age cohort I've met, who have had any kind of hiatus, and I think it is because for the past dozen years I have spent a great deal of time around sheep, goats, and occasionally cattle. Frankly the scariest livestock I've worked with are geese. Those things can hurt you! But just working a lot with livestock really helped me I think. You have to project clear calm leadership when you move livestock, so I got a lot of practice in that.

I am nothing like as serenely confident as I was at seventeen, but I nerved myself to start going out on trails alone with my green horse, because there is no one to go with me most of the time. It still takes a certain girding myself to do it, every time, because she is not and never will be an unimaginative horse. She's not a hot-head but riding her alone in the forest takes all my concentration, no daydreaming or even much sight seeing. I have to stay focused, deep in my seat, projecting confidence, every second. She needs me to do this for now, as I am all she's got out there.

There is something important about breaking through your nervousness because your horse needs you to be the leader. "We're in this together, and we will get through it and be safe, if you trust me." She's beginning to trust me.

To some degree you need to play a part, to your horse. You need to be the hero. Then you too will start believing it.
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post #18 of 62 Old 01-23-2016, 09:00 PM
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OP,
What you are describing sounds like adrenaline rather than fear. I've had to learn to differentiate between fear and a physical adrenaline/endorphin reaction in both my job (dealing with serious emergencies) and riding. I'm close to your age, 38. The difference is that one involves your body and one involves your logical mind. If something happens at work, sometimes I get an adrenaline rush/that shaky feeling/butterflies. I then ask myself, am I equipped to handle this situation? If I am, then I know that logically this is only my body reacting to stress with hormones it feels it may need. Training is what helps this go away, which means more exposure to situations that your body feels are uncomfortable.

It's the same with riding. As kids, we train our bodies to not react with adrenaline. We jump off things, fall, swing super high on swings, climb things. As adults, our bodies get out of practice. We have the same ability to adjust as adults as we do as kids, we just have to expose our bodies to the feeling. I've had adrenaline hit me just hopping on a swing at my age, since my body wasn't used to it. If your mind tells you it isn't dangerous, then expose yourself to what gave you the adrenaline rush and you'll get over it soon. I've found that if I don't gallop a horse fast for awhile, I'll have a little hit of adrenaline. But I'm not afraid of galloping horses, and I have the skills to deal with horses that are running fast.

Conversely, I went through a period of time with a rough horse where I was falling off so much that I wouldn't get any adrenaline functioning even while getting bucked off a horse. That was odd to me, but natural since my body didn't perceive this as dangerous anymore. My guess is that bull riders don't get much adrenaline going anymore either.
You can condition your body to deal with anything you want to do, even jumping or galloping, just look at all the older riders around doing those things. So I believe in using your logical mind to see what is safe for you personally, and then go with it until you are comfortable.
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post #19 of 62 Old 01-23-2016, 09:09 PM
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It's nice to know I'm also not the only one still getting nervous riding. A little back story on me. ( it may help others going through similar situation) I rode from age 10 to 15 and had weekly lessons, I did mostly dressage and little bit jumping.
Then I took a break and got back into it at age 25. On my 3Rd lesson I fell off the horse, broke both my wrists, had surgery, spent 1 week in hospital, off work for 3 months, pysio on and off for 2 years.

Fast forward to today. I'm 34 years old and started lessons with my old coach last month. decided time to do what i love and face my fear. It's different riding as a adult. yup I feel less carefree. I was proud of my self I centered last lesson. Lots of fear came up. when I fell off before the horse had taken off cantering. so i pushed past my fear and I felt great! I'm riding a reliable lesson horse?
The next test for is when I start leasing in March. my instructor feels Im more than confidant I can ride on my own.
for trial riding I will have a lesson out there. I think that will help me.
do you think you could have a lesson on a trial or just outside the arena?
it will I'm sure help you feel more confident riding outside the arena.

I love that we can support each other on here.
good luck!!??
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post #20 of 62 Old 01-23-2016, 09:14 PM
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OK, definitely getting old here, look at this



and think "Ooooh Gibbs" then I notice who is riding

6th sept (1).jpg

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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