Does the fear go away? - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 05:32 AM
Green Broke
 
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I see bad things that might happen, like Tinyliny. However, they don't give me a lot of worry for myself, I just would rather avoid them. If they come, they come. For other people it is a different matter. I've had too many experiences, and I keep ending up around people that are naive to what might happen. I feel it is my duty to warn them, just in case. Then I get called "safety Sally," or sometimes people think I myself am nervous or a worrier when honestly I'm not.

One of my friends is like Foxhunter and Dreamcatcher. She literally has no fear, and she's the oldest of the group of friends I ride with, almost 60. Some of us used to listen to her and follow her ideas but that ended up badly too often. It turned out what I thought was myself being overly cautious was actually the voice of reason, and I've learned that I'm actually on the more adventurous end of the spectrum: she's just way outside of it.

There's being brave, being ignorant, being overly cautious and overly optimistic. I think brave is the best, because you're doing something you know should be fine, but it scares you a bit. My tendency for myself is overly optimistic, and once it's too late I regret what I've done. My tendency for others is to be overly cautious, because I don't trust their skills or judgment. My favorite thing is to ride with people I really trust because then I can just ride and forget about trying to take care of other people.
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post #42 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 06:37 AM
Green Broke
 
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This is something I live by, it helps me feel better if I am afraid.
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post #43 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
I have a healthy respect for these great beasts but somehow I pretty much just don't have sense enough to get scared.
Yea, me too.

One thing I didn't see mentioned: There is closed-loop emotional/limbic feedback between a rider and his/her horse. If you are nervous or fearful, your equine partner will sense it, and will assuredly share the feeling with you. You feel your horse tense, and become even more trepidatious, and the feedback intensifies. Oh, yes; believe it!

As the "adult" member of your team, possibly your most important task is to provide emotional support for your flighty "child"; "Suck it up, and Walk on." Of course, this is way easier to write about than it is to do.

There are mental techniques that will help you "tuck" your emotions away and get on with the business at hand. Visualization is an important one, and can be learned by most. This is worth looking into if you find your emotional state getting in the way of living your life, and is not limited to equestrian pursuits by any means.

"What? Me Worry?" A. E. Newman :-)

ByeBye! Steve
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Microelectronics Research
University of Colorado
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post #44 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 11:11 AM
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The fear may not ever go away, but as I'm sure others have mentioned, you will soon learn to internalize and eventually swallow that fear rather than express it in the moment. I was involved in a bad wreck as a late teenager. I was lucky to survive, never mind escape with only soft tissue injuries and a minor concussion. After that, I never wanted to ride again.

I was eventually convinced to do so but I had the same reaction. Every jump, every flinch, every time a horse I was riding *****ed their ears or got excited, I fell to pieces. The only thing that made it better was time. The more I rode without anything bad happening, the more the good outweighed the bad. My confidence slowly built itself back up and, as it did, my heart would race less if a horse stumbled or got startled. I stopped freezing up if a horse did a jig or threw in a crow hop. The fear never goes away and sometimes it comes out in the weirdest or worst times but you'll learn to manage it.

Don't feel bad about taking a few minutes to calm yourself and recover. If you have to, get off, walk away, compose yourself and then come back and try again. It does you no good and your horse no good for you to battle anxiety on horseback. If you can't regain control right away, take a walk. I had to do that a lot as my wreck happened while I was tacking up ... for a long time after that riding wasn't too much of a struggle, but I would have flash backs while I was saddling or bridling a horse or when I was on the ground next to a horse. I took a lot of walks at first but it got better. Occasionally, my horse will innocently do something that will trigger a bad memory but a quick reminder that this is not that horse and we are a team and she has never let me down before is often enough to calm me back down.

Riding horses takes a lot of courage. Even more so when you get a late start. I remember taking awful tumbles and being able to bounce right back up and start over again. When you get older, you tend not to bounce as well as you used to and you are so much more aware of how wrong something can go. There's also a lot more riding on you if you're injured. Missing school is one thing. Missing work and paycheques is another entirely.
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post #45 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 11:26 AM
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Jan, I feel the same way at times! I had anxieties bad recently with a horse named Bella I've only ridden once because she can be bossy- not want to go direction you're taking her to. She spooks, too - I fell off of her last week because a board fell in the ring and she freaked out. But the more I try other horses (ridden 3 so far), I get more and more comfy. I noticed building confidence in the saddle takes time, and I learned how to calm her down then get back on her and ride. We had a much better ride after that! I try to think like the horse does and get to know them better - I know there are horses who are too hot for me to ride for now - only the experienced adult riders at my barn ride them. They also would get bored with me, I don't jump or canter - they do regularly, as they're young, energetic and like to show off sometimes when I've watched them.
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post #46 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan1975 View Post
Do I need to find myself a dead-broke horse that just plods around, or will I gain more confidence as time goes on? We just got our horses in December, so we aren't terribly familiar w/ each other yet (riding 2-3 times a week). Also, if you haven't seen my posts before, I've been riding for about 4-5 months. Before that, I hadn't ridden since I was maybe 15.
(I haven't read this whole thread, so I apologize if this has already been said).

The way I see it - the only way a person can grow their confidence is to overcome the obstacles that were hindering their confidence in the first place!

...So for me, when I was struck with the decision to sell my too-green horse, the answer was NOT to buy a dead-head horse to plod around on, but simply one that had more miles and thus, "knew better". I ended up buying an 11 year old Arabian mare who had a great foundation on her, with show records in her history so I knew she had been ridden by experienced riders with success. She has twice the attitude of my green broke horse, but thrice the knowledge, and it was that very same attitude that built a lot of my riding confidence. Because I had to push her. Because I had to confront her. Because I knew that she knew better than to act badly, so I forced her to behave. And in the end she gave me her heart! To this day, she really tries for me no matter what we are doing, even if she does throw a little sass in there. I was amazed when I first plopped her over some jumps and she learned how to do flying changes all on her own just so she could make the next jump.

That is what built confidence for me; developing solid teamwork with my horse. Confidence comes when you challenge yourself and overcome your obstacles - and better yet, when you do NOT give up when you fail the first time.

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill
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post #47 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 12:53 PM
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I think the thing to remember is that there is no one answer to overcoming fear, everyone has a different journey to take.

Mine involved Mr Safety first, Gibbs was a blessing, although NOT and easy ride, being a hard mouthed opinionated son of a mare, who made me work VERY hard at my equitation, while rarely doing anything to scare me.

The whole trick is to find what works for you...some can "Push through the fear" some have to kind of sneak up on stuff and do it.

For me the one constant, it is a heck of a lot easier if you have a great support network, understanding coach, good horse, close friend who understands, supportive family, great trail riding buddies, any of those really help....I was blessed with great horse and understanding coach..

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #48 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by george the mule View Post
Yea, me too.

One thing I didn't see mentioned: There is closed-loop emotional/limbic feedback between a rider and his/her horse. If you are nervous or fearful, your equine partner will sense it, and will assuredly share the feeling with you. You feel your horse tense, and become even more trepidatious, and the feedback intensifies. Oh, yes; believe it!


ByeBye! Steve
This is where not being afraid is a big blessing and goes with the confidence of having hit all the spook spots and ridden them out and surviving. When one of mine spooks, little or big, I kind of look around, laugh and say in a normal tone, "You silly git, what are you jumping around for?" I rarely spook when they do, so it's just a quick jump or freeze, whatever their 'favorite spook' is, and we go on.

The ONE time I was actually moved to go do something about a spook was at a horse show a couple of years ago. We were in one part of the fairgrounds and across the parking lot was a big gun show. The local firehouse decided to go check occupancy at the gun show to make sure there weren't too many people in the building and sent the engine crew out. They pulled up to the curb right next to where I was warming up on my stallion. He, of course, had no experience with fire engines and was a little apprehensive. I turned him to look at the engine as it pulled up and parked he he stood like a rock but real attentive. They pulled up, parked and then some dumb a** pulled the air horn and let go a blast and we're less than 15 feet from the engine. It felt like I was trying to ride 4 horses, all running away a different direction. The fire crew stood there, jaws dropping, a couple gave the idiot a good Gibbs Slap to the back of his helmet, and basically waited to see if they needed to clean up a wreck. When I had my poor horse back in check, I basically tried to ride him right up over the fireman's face. He found out what a furious, little, horsewoman was like to deal with when giving out a stern correction. Then I made them run through all the squawks and blast noise an engine could make, and we had a desensitzation clinic right then and there. It took me a WHILE to get Skippy calmed down enough to go into the show ring. If the poor horse had had any, all his spots would have been scared off. Skippy learned from that day too, sometimes it's not bad to have a lion on your back because it WILL protect you.
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post #49 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 01:43 PM
Green Broke
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
The ONE time I was actually moved to go do something about a spook was at a horse show a couple of years ago. We were in one part of the fairgrounds and across the parking lot was a big gun show. The local firehouse decided to go check occupancy at the gun show to make sure there weren't too many people in the building and sent the engine crew out. They pulled up to the curb right next to where I was warming up on my stallion. He, of course, had no experience with fire engines and was a little apprehensive. I turned him to look at the engine as it pulled up and parked he he stood like a rock but real attentive. They pulled up, parked and then some dumb a** pulled the air horn and let go a blast and we're less than 15 feet from the engine. It felt like I was trying to ride 4 horses, all running away a different direction. The fire crew stood there, jaws dropping, a couple gave the idiot a good Gibbs Slap to the back of his helmet, and basically waited to see if they needed to clean up a wreck. When I had my poor horse back in check, I basically tried to ride him right up over the fireman's face. He found out what a furious, little, horsewoman was like to deal with when giving out a stern correction. Then I made them run through all the squawks and blast noise an engine could make, and we had a desensitzation clinic right then and there. It took me a WHILE to get Skippy calmed down enough to go into the show ring. If the poor horse had had any, all his spots would have been scared off. Skippy learned from that day too, sometimes it's not bad to have a lion on your back because it WILL protect you.
Oh I wish I could have seen that! It was for sure not funny for you, but the way you describe it...
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post #50 of 62 Old 01-25-2016, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SwissMiss View Post
Oh I wish I could have seen that! It was for sure not funny for you, but the way you describe it...
LOL! I'll tell you what, it's hilarious now, but that day I was mad enough to tear that idiot's head off. Skippy is no little horse and of course, they get bigger and stronger when they're scared and fighting for their lives. That was some ride. You should have seen those fire guys scatter when I headed straight for the idiot and basically gave Skip permission to turn him into a door mat, and then got off and chewed on him for a while. I bet they don't do that again, ever.

Skippy has been a lot less nervy when he's ridden out alone since then, he saw me in action on his behalf and realized that while I'd tear him up for something stupid, I was a whole lot louder and meaner when I went after those men. I was wishing for my Carrot Stick and 6 ft Savvy String, it would have come in handy to "advise" some firemen.

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