Gaining confidence after a wreck - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 07-27-2015, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Gaining confidence after a wreck

Hello Horse lovers

First of all let me introduce myself as im new here My name is Kaleigh in 27 and have been riding only about six months, Im the proud first time momma of a beautiful strawberry roan appaloosa. In the last month i have taken two falls off my boy and after this last one when I did get back on i had an anxiety attack and started to cry and had to get off Commanche. this bothers me because I love my horse and want to ride and have fun with him and will be all revved up to get on him and then scared once im on his back its sad because he is so lovely. Also both times i have fallen off it has been at a lope and now im too nervous to even trot. Has anyone ever had this issue and can you help me with tips to deal with my nervousness here any advice would be appreciated

Thanks and Happy trails
Kaleigh
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post #2 of 33 Old 07-27-2015, 04:11 PM
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Your experience is not at all uncommon, even among people who have owned horses for decades.

My first advice is for you to notpush yourself to do something you are scared to do. Scared to trot? Don't do it. Not only are you setting yourself up for another wreck you will be feeding your horses your anxiety which compounds the problem.

My second advice is to get some lessons. If you cannot haul your horse to a good trainer for lessons together, find someone who will come to you. If that is also not possible then find a lesson barn and take them on lesson horses.

Good instruction is invaluable. I grew up galloping the rural neighborhoods on neighbors' horses, then started taking some lessons where I was specifically taught "knees in, on the horse.". Since this was in no way a good, balanced way to ride I was perpetually both losing my stirrups and terrified to canter. A few years later I had moved states and started lessons again, but this time I was yelled at for my knees and taught how to properly sit a horse. On a whim one day I asked my lease horse for a canter and was shocked at how easy it was, how balanced I stayed and that my stirrups did not immediately fly off my feet! Lol. Amazing what good instruction can accomplish.

The third thing I want to offer is that every time you handle your horse you are training him, for better or for worse, so NOW is the time to start correcting potential problems before they escalate. A lot of newbies, and you are still very new, find their perfect horses turning into monsters because they are unaware of the signs leading up to a change in attitude and behavior.

So, welcome to the boards, this was a good first step! Now go ye forth and also find a real, live person to assist you on your journey. :)
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post #3 of 33 Old 07-27-2015, 05:03 PM
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Greenhaven gave you great advice. The more you ride, the more confidence you will gain. Don't worry about how long it might take you to get back to where you were. When I get a little "off" it helps me to ride dead broke horses during lessons. It's also helped me watch other, more experienced riders (and sometimes trainers) ride my horse and show me what lead to what.
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post #4 of 33 Old 07-27-2015, 05:33 PM
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I think the worst thing for a horseperson is to shame themselves for what they can or cannot do. I know people who rode for their entire adult lives, lost confidence and have admitted they will probably never ride again. But there is no shame in just enjoying a horse or doing in-hand work, as long as the horse is getting the mental stimulation it needs.

I thought I would be riding my "new" guy by now, but circumstances have prevented that. Frankly, it remains to be seen whether I still have the confidence I had even a few short years ago.
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post #5 of 33 Old 07-27-2015, 06:16 PM
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I still feel anxious when I get back on my horse after the wreck we had two weeks ago. It makes me a little nervous every time but I make sure to keep riding and keep going. It is nice to know I am not the only one who has these feelings.
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post #6 of 33 Old 07-28-2015, 03:38 AM
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As the old saying goes, 'If you can't take the heat in the kitchen, don't cook'

Anyone who gets on a horse can expect to fall off sooner or later. Get use to the idea. Do it often and, like most things, the more you do it the better you get at it.

Of course you are nervous, you are a total novice, have gone out and bought a horse when you have little experience and probably no help when you ride.

You need to be riding under instruction. You didn't say if the horse did anything wrong or if you just lost your balance.

The only way to get over fear is to face it head on. Get an instructor who will not allow you to get panicky, climb back on and kick on.

This above is tough - so is horse riding! You will not get sympathy from me, it isn't in my book! . I rode naughty ponies and had many falls and injuries. When I arrived home, my mother would just laugh and if I moaned she told me to stop. The sympathy was, "worse to come before you die" or "worse things happen at sea, you don't drown riding horses" so you can see where it came from.
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post #7 of 33 Old 07-28-2015, 03:51 AM
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while Foxhunter's words might not be what you want to hear, she is right on. exactly.
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post #8 of 33 Old 07-28-2015, 10:54 AM
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Falling off certainly isn't one of the more pleasant aspects of riding but it is going to happen and of course you are nervous. The better you ride the less you fall and your riding doesn't improve unless you ride. Your horse may need a little training if in fact he caused the falls but you are still a novice and need to improve your riding. INSTRUCTION. Keep working with your horse until you find someone to help you. If you are having a problem finding a professional, find a non-professional but experienced rider to help you through this. If you are too nervous to lope, hold off on that and work on the walk and trot, and if you are still nervous trotting, tell yourself that you are only going to trot short distances then go back to a walk, but do it. Your confidence will come back
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post #9 of 33 Old 07-28-2015, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeAppy View Post
Hello Horse lovers

First of all let me introduce myself as im new here My name is Kaleigh in 27 and have been riding only about six months, Im the proud first time momma of a beautiful strawberry roan appaloosa. In the last month i have taken two falls off my boy and after this last one when I did get back on i had an anxiety attack and started to cry and had to get off Commanche. this bothers me because I love my horse and want to ride and have fun with him and will be all revved up to get on him and then scared once im on his back its sad because he is so lovely. Also both times i have fallen off it has been at a lope and now im too nervous to even trot. Has anyone ever had this issue and can you help me with tips to deal with my nervousness here any advice would be appreciated

Thanks and Happy trails
Kaleigh
Welcome, Kaleigh

Give yourself time.
Falling off a pony as a child and falling off a horse as an adult is a bit different because it hurts more, the bigger we are, and adults tend to tense up more than kids do when they fall.
The more you ride and spend time with your horse, the more chances there are of accidents, but GOOD instruction can help. Do you have options of riding instructors near you or a horse-owning friend whom you admire? For the instruction, ask if you can observe one or two lessons to see if the instructor is someone you can learn from. Different instructors teach differently, and we all learn differently.

Many of us who are older and have had injuries in the latter years have had our confidence shattered as it takes us lots longer to heal. My last 2 horse injuries took a year, each, to heal . . . but you are young still!

So, give yourself time, and if you don't have the option of instruction, Julie Goodnight's riding dvds (set of five) are EXCELLENT for learning exercises for balance and the correct responses to your horse's actions.
You will get better and better. Learn as much as you can; be sure you are balanced (a big exercise ball will help!) and take it slowly. Do balance exercises at the walk, first . . . and when you feel secure, move to doing them at the trot . . . You'll get there!
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post #10 of 33 Old 07-28-2015, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollysjubilee View Post
Welcome, Kaleigh

Give yourself time.
Falling off a pony as a child and falling off a horse as an adult is a bit different because it hurts more, the bigger we are, and adults tend to tense up more than kids do when they fall.
Plus, as kids we generally have a sense of invulnerability, whereas adults most of us has a very strong sense of our fragility of bone and life.
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