experiencing anxiety - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-14-2015, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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experiencing anxiety

I am a new very green beginning horse owner, 7 months new. I have an almost 5 year old mare and a 20 ish year old cranky shetland pony gelding that I adopted. We have made a lot of progress in the time that I have had them. I was wondering if any new horse owners sometimes get apprehensive or have anxiety when working with their horses? Is this a normal feeling for beginners? I have a wonderful mentor that has been helping me learn the Parelli Level 1 training. I feel comfortable as long as this person is with me, but I get apprehensive when I practice alone. Is it my lack of confidence? Just wanted to know if any newbies like me felt the same way?
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-15-2015, 12:38 AM
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I did. And 40 some years later, I still do on occasion.

What causes anxiety is different now vs forty+ years ago, but I don't think a rational person is ever unaware of risk of riding or without self doubt.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-15-2015, 01:49 AM
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I think it's natural for all of us to feel that way at times, and certainly for someone starting out.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-15-2015, 01:50 AM
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What you're describing, I think, it quite common in anything new (not just horses) that a person is learning (well, at least it is with me). I also think learning some things are more important to us than others so consequently those biggies can cause us the most angst.

Good horsemanship is a life long commitment of learning and understanding so be patient with yourself -- it does get better. You'll probably see this many times over as you progress -- "lows" of confidence when you start out clumsily on a new technique or run into an unforeseen problem; "highs" of confidence when you've gained insight, mastered that new technique or conquered a challenge. For me, I long ago decided that I would always try use lack of confidence in myself to my benefit (you're stuck with it anyways so might as well do something with it) -- that icky feeling says to me that I know I'm not going into a situation properly prepared and I had better get my act together, learn what's really going on and come up with a workable action plan to deal with it.
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