Gaining confidence after a wreck - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 33 Old 07-28-2015, 03:07 PM
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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.
The more you ride and spend time with your horse, the more chances there are of accidents, but GOOD instruction can help.

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!

I do not think adults tense up more when they fall at, yes, they are more likely to injure themselves but this is only because for each year you are on this earth the ground gets harder!

Over the years I certainly became more adept at staying in the plate. Didn't mean that I never fell because I did. Didn't mean to say that I never hurt myself because I did. It is just that I was brought up with a different mind set.

Instructors were all military taught, they were respected and feared. You didn't argue, you didn't make a fuss you just got back on and tried again and again if necessary.

I was used to ride the remedial ponies, I chose to do it because the rides were free, if I didn't then I only got to ride every second week.

An example of my Mother's attitude was when, just 14, I took a fall from a gypsy cob mare. I don't know what happened only sitting against a tree watching her big brown and white butt descending towards me and thinking, "This is going to hurt!"

My nose was broken, my front teeth bent back, my lips cut through. I rode back with the ride to the stables where I spent the rest of the day.

I swelled! Despite the swollen eyes I could still see my top lip curled up to my nose so the inside was looking out. This had ulcerated.

My sister and cousin got home before me and when I walked in Mother was dishing up our supper.
She took one look at me, sat on her stool covering her face with her hands peeping out from behind her fingers crying with laughter. Her comment was - "You won't want vinegar on your chips!" (Fries)

I then was made to walk to my GP. Neither of my parents drove, where I got a lecture about not having my lip stitched earlier.

There were no such things as panic attacks, your fear of the wrath of the instructor was to great and stronger than fear of what had happened.

For someone to go out and but a horse after six months of riding makes them inexperienced. If they had ridden two hours a day six days a week for that period it would give them 300 hrs experience in the saddle. More likely to was at most two hours a week which is only fifty hours, by my book a total novice.

This is why a fall comes as a shock, the person has probably never even thought about falling off. It happens even to the best of riders, you either put on your big girl pants and get on with it or stop riding. The more you allow yourself to be nervous the more likely you are to have an accident because the horse will sense your tension and reply to it.
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post #12 of 33 Old 07-28-2015, 03:45 PM
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I agree with Foxhunter completely on this one.

But additionally, the first thing I would evaluate is why this is not an isolated incident. I agree that it's perfectly normal to fall off your horse from time to time, but if both events were in quick succession and were related, I would try and figure out why this is. Did the saddle slip? Was your balance off/do you know how to lope properly? Or did your horse intentionally throw you?

These are all good questions to ask to get down to the reasons why the incidents happened and will help you figure out how to either avoid them in the future or at least improve on them. For a lot of people, seeing small amounts of improvement is a real confidence booster!

But in the end, the best thing for you is to get back on the horse. I remember my instructor forced me to ride after I had a bad fall. As they say, "If you're not going to the hospital, you've getting back on!"
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post #13 of 33 Old 07-28-2015, 04:29 PM
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I think Foxhunter puts it a bit harshly--it's a normal human response to not want to experience pain when it happens twice consecutively xD

That said, definitely get a good trainer--one that can work with both your horse and you. You will be amazed at how much this alone can help your confidence.
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post #14 of 33 Old 07-28-2015, 04:33 PM
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it'll be okay you'll figure it out
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post #15 of 33 Old 07-29-2015, 04:31 AM
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ha "you wont want vinegar on your chips" bahahaha oh thats the sort of thing that would have been said in our house too!!!!
i couldnt agree more though. as a newish rider i am getting better at falling off Its part of learning to ride sadly, practice makes perfect and all that.

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post #16 of 33 Old 07-29-2015, 05:48 AM
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One very good exercise to teach riders on how to land feet first is to practise jumping on and off when the horse is moving.

Easier with an English saddle than a western one.
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post #17 of 33 Old 07-29-2015, 08:12 AM
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Regarding "Army Sergeant" riding instructors:

Our 4-H riding clinic provided 3 days of lessons and workshops for riders in preparation for the State 4-H Horse Show. Every year, we had English and Western instructors who gave lessons to the different levels of riders throughout the day. One year, we had a tough-as-nails, growly-voiced woman instructor for the English riders. I had a teen in my club who was soft-spoken, sweet-as-honey, conscientious, and dedicated to her horses. I thought she would come away crushed by this instructor as she received the brunt of her yelling during lessons, but it really did help this young lady become "stronger" in her intentions toward her riding.
On the other hand, several of the riders were crushed by her harshness. They got a different instructor for the following year.
Just as in a classroom setting, one can see the different personalities and different learning styles, and the teacher has to gauge that or she can do great harm to a child's confidence.

Regarding the falling and dismounting safely:
We always taught "emergency dismount" and how to land away from one's horse if one needed to get off of an out-of-control horse.
I think it is better to teach how to drop and roll when landing, and many athletes and military learn how to fall safely. One of my instructor friends used the emergency dismount when on a longe-line with another instructor, and the young horse was spooked and got racing around on the longe. When the rider used the emergency dismount, she landed on her feet, away from the horse, on the sand of the arena, and completely shattered her ankle and had to have plates and pins put in. I suppose it may have saved her from other injury, but even emergency dismount isn't always safe.

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post #18 of 33 Old 07-29-2015, 11:48 AM
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Foxhunter--Agreed! When I was taught them as a child we called them "emergency dismounts" :)

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post #19 of 33 Old 07-29-2015, 09:13 PM
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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

I have experienced this as well, I had experience with riding and some jumping but my horse was extremely excited as he use to jump 4. I fell off a few times, but nothing too bad until one day he spooked and I fell off bad and had to go to the hospital. As an adult rider it took me over 6 months to gain my comfort towards riding again. Some advice from my personal experience is never give up. It will take time to get on and actually feel confident again, but you need to take baby steps. I first started off by just getting on and off with the help of my trainer. That moved on to walking around the arena with someone beside me, then I moved on to walking alone, then we did lunge line trotting to gain that comfort again, we then moved onto trotting the long side of the arena by myself, and taking walk breaks on the shorter end. I think it has been mentioned a lot on this thread but you need to remember that these are flight animals and the next horse you get on you will probably fall off one day as well. The key thing to keep on telling yourself is that falling is part of the sport, and what we need to focus on is being smart about it.

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post #20 of 33 Old 07-31-2015, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
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.
I'm going to disagree with this comment. (I do agree wholeheartedly with the instruction recommendation, its also less $$$ than the ER!)

Falling does not have to be, in fact it should not be an accepted or anticipated part of your program. Can it happen and is it an eventuality? Most likely yes but that doesn't mean you have to "get used" to it. I try to avoid it at all costs.

We become what we think about most. Think about falling off or dwell on riding to not fall off (you're still thinking about it) and indeed you will fall off. Think about becoming a better rider and respecting your limitations while simultaneously taking small steps to improve (you AND your horse) and you will achieve this ad greatly improve you odds of staying in the saddle.

If you allow your ego or wishful thinking to write checks your skill and experience level can't cash you're going to continue to fall off.

I have taken a couple of spills. One was absolutely my fault, one was a sage grouse flushing directly under my horse which scared the poop out of me, and the third was a bizarre pavement slip that to this day I still don't know WTH happened.

I ride accepting there is a risk of falling off, but I never get on expecting to fall. Big difference.
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Last edited by STT GUY; 07-31-2015 at 10:47 PM.
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loaping disaster , nervous , nervous rider , newbie , wrecks

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