Im getting back in the saddle!! eek! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 10-17-2014, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Im getting back in the saddle!! eek!

Ok, not sure what Im looking for here but....
Many years ago I had a nasty fall from a horse. I managed to knock myself out completley, and incurred a half inch fracture in my skull even though I had a riding hat one. I left it a few years and returned to lessons to build confidence. All was well in the school, but then took the step to ride a horse I didnt usually ride on a hack who then bolted with me.
I havent ridden since.
I am ok with horses on the ground, I have a lovely little pony for my daughter, and his sometimes naughty antics dont faze me.
But... Im actually really scared of getting back on, but I want it more than anything. I think Im scared the horse will sense my nerves and do something silly.
I have booked an hours walking hack next friday, with my partner who has never ridden. I am hoping that I will be so worried about him that I wont be scared.
Any advice from been there done that people? Is it even possible to get back on and enjoy it like I used to?
Or is it a waste of money?
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-17-2014, 03:25 PM
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If you have the love it's never a waste of money, even those overpriced guided trail rides ;) I think that's a great way to gain some confidence back, since those horses are so calm and push button you will need only to sit there. I'd go back to lessons ultimately. It's unfortunate a schooling horse - even one you didn't normally ride - took off on you, but, horses will be horses... but hopefully wherever you go has a much more reliable team of horses to train on.

To ride a horse is to ride the sky.
...
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-17-2014, 03:32 PM
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I went from breaking colts, riding stallions and galloping ottb's down winding trails fearlessly, to barely being able to make myself get on. I would tack up, force myself on, walk a few steps, get off before having a complete panic attack while shaking like a leaf, untack and go home. I am now back to starting colts and riding ottb's fairly fearlessly, but a bit more cautious..

for me the effort was worth it. It was worth it to do something I love, and it was worth it to learn how much determination I had, and that I was able to conquer one of my worst fears.
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-17-2014, 03:44 PM
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When I first started riding I was fearless, young and immortal, but then had a couple of nasty accidents which left me a sniviling coward about riding and it took a long time to conquer my fears. At first I would only ride one of our horses altho' young was completely trustworthy and gradually began to regain some of my confidence.
I was able to ride and train horses again but it took time and I was much more careful about the horses I rode.
The one thing I would suggest is riding a horse that is very trustworthy and dependable to help build your confidence. Be sure the people who are helping you know what you need. Those trail riding rental horses are usually pretty good and non spooky.
Hope that when you get on, all your riding skills will just be there with you and everything will be great and you have an enjoyable ride.
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-17-2014, 03:50 PM
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I agree with Summer in that a few individual private lessons would be wise. I would tell the instructor of your past experience and she/he can then select the appropriate horse for you to ride. The instructor will then be a bit more attentive.
I think the correct horse is key as I was overmatched once with a spirited thoroughbred and I was not expecting the speed. A calmer horse allowed my full confidence to return.

Relax, return and ride !

My best to you.
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-17-2014, 06:45 PM
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I had a bad experience a couple of years ago (horse I bought bucked me off my first time on him after owning him (yes, had tried him before buying, and he was fine then)). I was SOOoooo nervous to get back on, first on him, then on other horses after I sold him on. In fact, I'm still nervous getting on a new horse for the first time, or doing new things with a new horse (first time in an arena, nervous; twelfth time on the same horse but first time out on the trails, nervous all over again). But it DOES get better with each subsequent successful ride.

In fact, I recently came off (horse tripped, not either of our fault!), and not only got back up on that same horse that day, but later trailered her to ride somewhere she'd never been before, and was only a tiny bit nervous for the first minute or so.

So, it sounds like you do want to do this, deep down. It's normal to be scared. Make sure you set yourself up for success by only riding really trustworthy horses for the next little while to build up your confidence. And if you know you can trust the horse, even if there's a little bit of an incident (such as the horse tripping with me), you'll be so much better, mentally and emotionally, that it hopefully won't prevent you getting back on again soon thereafter.
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Shawna
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post #7 of 17 Old 10-17-2014, 08:36 PM
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I know what you mean. I had a bad fall and broke my arm and it took a while for me to get back in the saddle. Trail ride horses are great because they're trained to put up with tourists who have never even seen a horse haha. Also going and doing riding lessons would be great too, because you could get an older quieter school horse and have someone there with you to help you along.
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-18-2014, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Guys
Thanks for all your lovely positive comments.
I have next week booked for a hack out, its very much a touristy place so I know its the type of nose to tail horse I will need. If I am ok with that, then the same place does lessons, so will book myself in for some one on one lessons.
Its hard because I sooo want to do it, I am itching to get in the saddle after getting my daughters pony, and I want to do it for her too.
Idealistic I know, but I cant wait to be able to ride with her, so for that reason alone I guess I will have to swallow the fear and do it.
Its nice to hear that other people have gone through the same thing and have gone on to enjoy riding again. Thank you x
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-18-2014, 06:51 AM
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You'll get it back, promise! I thought I'd never get my confidence back when I lost it (but I've only been riding for 2 years so didn't have many years of confidence and experience built up) and got it back eventually.
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-18-2014, 07:12 AM
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Hi & welcome OP!

Wrote most of this this morn, when there was only Blue's response, now coming back to it there are lots more posts to read!

'Baby steps' is the way to go I reckon. Same as you'd desensitise a horse to 'scary' stuff. If you try to force yourself to do too much, you're 'practicing' that fear association & also making for more chances of things(even little things) to go wrong, which further reinforce your emotional reactions. You need to practice feeling relaxed & confident about it instead, which means never pushing yourself too far, too fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSpark View Post
I went from breaking colts, riding stallions and galloping ottb's down winding trails fearlessly, to barely being able to make myself get on. I would tack up, force myself on, walk a few steps, get off before having a complete panic attack while shaking like a leaf, untack and go home. I am now back to starting colts and riding ottb's fairly fearlessly, but a bit more cautious..
Oh Blue, that sounds pretty similar to my experience. Except that when I was at that stage I also had a very young family & little time, a green horse... that I was 'rubbing off on' badly(if I expected it, he was going to deliver!), and no one to even ride with. I kept trying to push it, because, well, I felt stupid for feeling like that, when I'd been doing it for years & I 'should' be capable. Got so bad that my heart would start racing even at the thought of throwing a leg over!

I trained horses & other animals for years, I have taught kids to ride & be confident, but duh! I had forgotten to treat myself in the same way - start wherever the horse/child is at, and work gradually from there, building on a foundation of confidence with 'easy' things.

So... I started myself back at 'kindergarten' with no intention of even sitting on my horse yet. We worked at both getting really confident about being in position at the mounting block & me leaning over him first. Only when we could do that without a worry did I start throwing a leg over... & I even started that with the other leg firmly planted on the mounting block! When I first came to sit on him, it was fleeting & I slid off the other side or back on the block before either of us got 'tight'. Then I stuck to a small arena size area & just sat on him & walked around a bit... you get the picture. It took a while, but I reckon I'm back to where I was before the... breakdown now.

I'm just not sure of my reactions these days to other people's horsey accidents... namely my kids! Used to think of myself as level headed in an emergency, but when it's your kids...
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