I need some confidence. - The Horse Forum
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  • 4 Post By MaximasMommy
  • 5 Post By gssw5
  • 3 Post By TXhorseman
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-13-2015, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Victoria
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I need some confidence.

Hello all,

Thank you for reading this, I love this forum already.
I recently adopted a 21 year old stock horse. I adopted her for her own well being, not to ride. She was a little thin, her coat was dull, she has some arthritis and a sway back. With some nutrition and gentle exercise she is looking a lot healthier. Her temperament is lovely and she appears to be well educated. She has previously done a lot of barrel work. My instructor and peers have been encouraging me to ride her now that she is a bit stronger but I feel really nervous about it...

She is a lovely horse and has never attempted to kick or bite or buck. I don't consider myself a great rider (a year or two of lessons as a child, a year of lessons as an adult, grew up with horses), but I have never felt scared of getting on a horse. I don't know what I'm worried about! I know I have to bite the bullet, but....
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-13-2015, 06:48 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
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My trainer put in a good year on my horse before I was willing to get on him. Take your time and watch someone you trust ride your horse. That way you can see for yourself what she will do under saddle. If someone like your instructor can ride her, you know she will get a little touch up on her manners too. Even after I got on my boy, we just toodled around the ring on pony rides for a few months. I'm not a very talented or confident rider, so I take everything as slow as a glacier.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-13-2015, 06:51 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Welcome to the forum.

Since you did not get the horse to ride, why do you have to "bite the bullet"? I am sure she is happy being loved on and cared for, she will most likely not mind if she ever gets ridden.

If you feel she must be ridden and your nervous don't be the first one to ride her. Let your instructor ride her first and get a feel for her.

Never let anyone pressure you into something your not comfortable with, that gut feeling is our own self preservation. In my experience every time I go against my gut I end up getting hurt.

There are plenty of things to enjoy with your horse aside from riding. Grooming, taking a walk, hanging out in the field with her while she grazes. It all will bring you stress relief and enjoyment if you let it.
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-13-2015, 08:16 AM
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I agree with the statement that you should not feel you must ride this horse.

However, if you do want to ride it but are afraid, I second the advice of watching someone else ride the horse first. I always learn a lot about a horse by watching someone else ride a horse whether they do this well or not. Doing so provides me with valuable information about the horse's personality, sensitivity, etc. This knowledge helps me decide on my own approach.

Training riders and horses to work in harmony.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-13-2015, 11:20 AM
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She sounds like a sweetheart that is in the right place. If you are nervous about riding her but it makes you happy just to spend time to care for her then just stick to that.
I don't see anything wrong with tacking her up (if you want to) and then putting it all away without ever getting on her.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-13-2015, 01:35 PM
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Get someone very experience and calm/gentle to put her through her paces first. Make sure she's ready and safe before you get on. If all goes well with that, start in a small arena with an instructor until you feel confident to go it alone. That will help your confidence better than anything else.

When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ~ William Shakespeare
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-15-2015, 03:02 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Teesside, UK
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It is lovely to hear you adopted your mare and it is just as lovely to hear her condition has improved too!
You could try glucosamine supplement for her arthiritis it works for a few horses on our yard.
I agree if you don't want to ride her then she will not suddenly have lots of problems just because she isn't ridden.
If she is happy and settled the way things are then don't feel pressured to change. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! :)
If you do want to do something with her why not do some loose schooling? She will be worked mentally listening to your commands and will get some exercise without a rider being on her back.

If you do decide to ride her, I would strongly suggest getting her teeth and back checked over first to make sure everything is ok before putting equipment on her, then you can see what she is like under saddle and know that there is no pain causing any behaviours.
With her sway back be extra careful to get a really good fitting saddle and use a foam pad too if you need to, our old schoolies all wear them and they are great with them.

Don't feel pressured into getting on her if you don't want to or before you're ready, you could have someone else ride her first or have an instructor with you when you do ride her to give you reassurance and guide you.
Even if you only want to sit on her and walk around a little before getting off then that is perfectly ok! Then you could slowly build up the time you walk on her, then add a little trot etc if you wanted to. Just nice and steady at a pace you are comfortable with.

After all, this is your horse, nobody elses and nobody has a right to try and dictate to you what you 'should' be doing with her. :) Good luck!
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