Novice confidence shot - Is my new horse suitable for me? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 05-21-2016, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Novice confidence shot - Is my new horse suitable for me?

I went and bought what I thought was a begginers horse. I went on two trail rides, traffic proof, rabid teenager proof, dog proof - you name it, I tried it. I asked around and people who rode at that ranch told me that the mare is a saint and only kids would ride her because she was "too boring" for adults.

So, after all of that, the mare arrives and she is really great on trails with other horses and I can do that without fear. However, she had a few minor issues in the school because she was never inside one and those stopped after about a week. She wasn't dangerous, no bucking or rearing but had a few napping incidents when walking away from the door. I handled them just fine and she hasn't had one in two weeks. Also, she is really not that good when alone out on trails, very spooky but I can skip that for now.

The problem is that I'm basically paralyzed with fear. I'm back on the lunge line, even for walking. I am not enjoying it all, even though the mare didn't do anything wrong in two weeks. She does have a very active movement and is rather foreward but I always preferred that in horses. (She wasn't foreward when I tried her, I guess she worked a lot at the ranch). My instructor had her other students, kids, riding her and she was perfect.

I might just mention that once I fully trust a horse, I'm fine and I even galloped an OTTB mare out on the trails by myself because I trusted her. Even when she misbehaved, I wasn't scared. My new mare only has to cock her ear and I have a meltdown.

I went to a therapist, but he wasn't much help ("It's a normal fear, there isn't anything I would recommend to get rid of it").

My plan is to give myself another couple of months of riding her every day but I am really wandering if I should give up riding all together. I can't even ride a kiddie proof horse...what hope is there?
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post #2 of 24 Old 05-21-2016, 09:06 AM
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Either "napping incidents" is a term I don't know, or it's a typo. What exactly happened in the indoor?

I think fear is normal, and it will most like dissipate in time as you gain confidence on her. Is there anyone else that can ride her in the arena a few days a week to help her get used to it? Knowing that another person is having continued success on her will probably help you feel better about nothing bad happening again. Also, if you're nervous and afraid, I'd bet she's more likely to feel nervous, too. Horses are crazy intuitive.
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post #3 of 24 Old 05-21-2016, 09:12 AM
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Gosh, if she has shaken you that much, I think you need a different horse. Maybe she was on a long acting sedative at the ranch. Have you tried having a margarita before you ride?
I am sorry she is not working out for you.
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post #4 of 24 Old 05-21-2016, 09:12 AM
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I am sorry. I am sure that is terrifying. I have felt like I was overhorsed before, and what helped me was every time I was able to stay on and get through a ride I could check off a box and say "I was a better rider than I ever imagine" . I could imagine horrible things happening... And they never happening.... But I do think sometimes horses can almost read our minds, so we need to picture the good rides rather than the bad ones. Picture the horse calmly walking past the scary door in our minds eye rather than them spooking at it.

Every good ride you have with her will be better, she sounds like a good mare. Perhaps try to challenge yourself each day? And when you do you have checked your goal, and soon you will be galloping her. Jane Savoie has some good sports psychology books, but perhaps you need to talk with a different therapist. One who actually can help.
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post #5 of 24 Old 05-21-2016, 10:13 AM
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You are looking that a glass that is half empty rather than half full.

Be positive. She napped in the arena and you coped with it. Be proud that she tried something on and you coped rather than thinking she is going to do something far worse.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the mare, she is probably worked less and feeling well with the Spring grass coming through. She as probably always ridden with other horses all the time hence her spooking on the trails,made will get use to the new place.

Put on your big girl panties and pull the elasticity up under your arm pits! Think positive, make up your mind that you are going to get on her on your own and rode her three times around the arena in both directions. Then do it.

The only way to gain confidence is to face your fear and keep doing it.

Good luck.
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post #6 of 24 Old 05-21-2016, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan1975 View Post
Either "napping incidents" is a term I don't know, or it's a typo. What exactly happened in the indoor?
Sorry, English isn't my first language. Anyhow, she would stop, refuse to move forward and try to turn around. The first few times she did it, I wasn't expecting it so she managed to turn around and dash for the door but I would stop her and turn her back. Later on, I was expecting it and I made sure she moved foreward - even though it was a bit wobbly. I thought the correct term was "napping" in English?
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post #7 of 24 Old 05-21-2016, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Well,this is my lucky forum! I had a great lesson today, off the lunge line, trotted and cantered all over the place. I have no idea what happened, but it just clicked. She was forward but I love forward horses. Just yesterday I nearly vomited all over her neck, that's how scared I was, and I had to get off after 10 minutes. Today I went trail riding and rode for two full lessons. Brains are weird.

Thank you all for your advice and time.
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post #8 of 24 Old 05-21-2016, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Horsef View Post
Well,this is my lucky forum! I had a great lesson today, off the lunge line, trotted and cantered all over the place. I have no idea what happened, but it just clicked. She was forward but I love forward horses. Just yesterday I nearly vomited all over her neck, that's how scared I was, and I had to get off after 10 minutes. Today I went trail riding and rode for two full lessons. Brains are weird.

Thank you all for your advice and time.
Glad you had a great ride!
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post #9 of 24 Old 05-21-2016, 08:03 PM
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Napping is a word used, however mostly British English I believe and you'll probably find it used in older books rather than in real life. Maybe it's different in the uk?

You seem to have solved this problem but what I'll say is - new horses take time. There is often a rocky period and if the behaviour isn't overtly dangerous and you're working with an instructor who is encouraging you on then the best thing to do is it work at it and give it time. I think it takes a good year for a horse and rider to really work things out, know each other and start working as a team.

All private horses are different to school horses - if you have been riding just school horses then there will be a big shift. It's inevitable even with the best of horses. Give it time, rely on the advice of people who know you that you can trust and do what you can.
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post #10 of 24 Old 05-22-2016, 02:44 AM
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Napping is the English term for barn sour - refusing to go where wanted and trying to head for home.

It is not confined to old books but a common terminology,

Oh British English is English - Americans have changed the meaning of many words and the spelling thus making it American!
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