The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
551 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a bit of a question that I'd like to hear other people's thoughts, opinions, or advice on.

It's taken me a while to really acknowledge and realize I have a bit of a problem. For some reason, I drag my feet when it comes to riding. If I'm going for a lesson or riding someone else's horse, i don't really hesitate to the chance to hop on for a ride. However, when it comes to my own horse, I drag my feet and almost dread it. Occassionally I also get a minor anxiety attack a few minutes before I go out for a ride simply at thinking or prepping to go for a ride.

This only happens when it comes to riding my horse as well. If I'm riding anyone else's horse, I don't get any of these feelings. I can ride random strange horses without getting worked up or anything, but as soon as it is my horse, that I do know, I hesitate.
I've also had 0 bad experiences riding my horse so far as well, so I really have no excuse to dread go for a ride.

I'm thinking of trying to take more riding lessons, but with my horse instead to try to get myself over whatever block I have, but I'd love to hear what you guys have to suggest about getting over something like this. I used to have the excuse that my mare was still too skinny and I had no saddle. However, she's put on weight, and I've found a saddle so I have no excuse to not ride.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,048 Posts
Sounds like you have a good idea: Taking some lessons on your own mare.

I don't know the source of your anxiety. Could be so many things.

How is she on the ground? Have you ridden her yet? Ridden her much? Does she test you? What did you name her? ( Don't laugh! I know a lady who really disliked and didn't trust a lovely horse. Turned out it's name was the same as someone who was horrid to her.)

Best wishes. Let us know how it goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,500 Posts
I would definitely take lessons on your own horse. Most anxieties stem from the unknown - things that we think will happen(but probably wont). Sometimes they are big things, sometimes it is a build up of several little things.
Maybe you're worried about doing something wrong, riding alone or riding your own horse without instruction because if you mess up then you are stuck with her, whereas another horse you don't necessarily have to deal with again.
I was similar to you by the sounds of it when I was younger, and the one thing that fixed it was taking lessons on my own mare. The trainer was familiar with her as well, which made things go smoother.
There was no fear of losing control or not being able to work through a sticky situation because she showed me how to deal with her so that I felt confident enough to do it on my own. Now I ride several days a week without worry and I enjoy it.
Another thing that helped was learning new exercises to do with my mare so that it wasn't just boring rides, plodding down the road or trotting laps in an arena. Now we have fun and I change it up every ride so I look forward to it whereas in the past I usually only looked forward to a ride if I was going riding with friends. This made me drag my heels and make excuses but not anymore ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
551 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like you have a good idea: Taking some lessons on your own mare.

I don't know the source of your anxiety. Could be so many things.

How is she on the ground? Have you ridden her yet? Ridden her much? Does she test you? What did you name her? ( Don't laugh! I know a lady who really disliked and didn't trust a lovely horse. Turned out it's name was the same as someone who was horrid to her.)

Best wishes. Let us know how it goes.

I think my main source of anxiety is that a mare I owned 4ish years ago, things didn't go well there. Her personality and mine clashed hugely to the point I sold her and was actually relieved when she left. When I'd ride her, things would always go wrong to the point i'd get frustrated and want to literally beat her and that is 110% not me. I'd always make sure to end the ride on a good note every time I felt myself getting to that point and pretty much gave up riding her since it wasn't fair to either of us to have such a negative time when it came to riding. So basically, that feeling terrifies me since I've never felt that way before, and i don't want to feel that way about a horse I own ever again.


To get the rest of what you asked:

- Her name is Roxy, and there is no negative attachment to the name either :)

- She's decent on the ground. Tends to walk a bit fast or try to walk ahead of me when in a new area, but still listens when I get her to stop, turn her in circles, or anything like that, she listens but is also the kind of horse that gives tons of tiny cues so she has taught me to really be able to read her body language.
- If I leave her with other people and walk away, she gets anxious and sees me as her source of comfort and protection. And when in the field with her, if I start running around, she gets super excited and starts running and bucking with me since the pony and yearling with her are too serious for playing lol.

- I've ridden her 3 times. Twice bareback and once with a saddle. One ride was done in the fall, and then she's had the winter off. A few weeks ago I got on bareback since I didn't have a saddle yet, and she was side stepping a lot and not wanting to go forward with putting her head up and wanting to go in circles. Then i did a quick ride a little while ago of literally only a minute or two to test out the new saddle to just test things out and that went very smoothly. In fact, she seemed excited about it and like she was ready to go on adventure with me and such. So she kind of tested me on the first ride after a 4.5 month long break, but that ended on a good note.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
551 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would definitely take lessons on your own horse. Most anxieties stem from the unknown - things that we think will happen(but probably wont). Sometimes they are big things, sometimes it is a build up of several little things.
Maybe you're worried about doing something wrong, riding alone or riding your own horse without instruction because if you mess up then you are stuck with her, whereas another horse you don't necessarily have to deal with again.
I was similar to you by the sounds of it when I was younger, and the one thing that fixed it was taking lessons on my own mare. The trainer was familiar with her as well, which made things go smoother.
There was no fear of losing control or not being able to work through a sticky situation because she showed me how to deal with her so that I felt confident enough to do it on my own. Now I ride several days a week without worry and I enjoy it.
Another thing that helped was learning new exercises to do with my mare so that it wasn't just boring rides, plodding down the road or trotting laps in an arena. Now we have fun and I change it up every ride so I look forward to it whereas in the past I usually only looked forward to a ride if I was going riding with friends. This made me drag my heels and make excuses but not anymore ;)
Thanks for your feedback! I definitely have felt some of that myself as well, especially the last part. I guess the main thing I can do is get riding lessons on her at this point then, as well as come up with some other excersizes. I know I want to try to do jumping and she's been introduced to it, so I suppose that could be something fun and different for teh two of us to do once I'm more comfortable with her in the saddle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,230 Posts
So I have a bit of a question that I'd like to hear other people's thoughts, opinions, or advice on.

It's taken me a while to really acknowledge and realize I have a bit of a problem. For some reason, I drag my feet when it comes to riding. If I'm going for a lesson or riding someone else's horse, i don't really hesitate to the chance to hop on for a ride. However, when it comes to my own horse, I drag my feet and almost dread it. Occassionally I also get a minor anxiety attack a few minutes before I go out for a ride simply at thinking or prepping to go for a ride.

This only happens when it comes to riding my horse as well. If I'm riding anyone else's horse, I don't get any of these feelings. I can ride random strange horses without getting worked up or anything, but as soon as it is my horse, that I do know, I hesitate.
I've also had 0 bad experiences riding my horse so far as well, so I really have no excuse to dread go for a ride.

I'm thinking of trying to take more riding lessons, but with my horse instead to try to get myself over whatever block I have, but I'd love to hear what you guys have to suggest about getting over something like this. I used to have the excuse that my mare was still too skinny and I had no saddle. However, she's put on weight, and I've found a saddle so I have no excuse to not ride.
OK, I really feel this honestly. I am the exact same. I could never figure it out - I jump at the chance to ride other horses, it's thrilling riding random horses you've never met before you know? Or really any horse that you don't usually ride/is your own. But when it comes to my own horses, riding alone... ugh. With Blue it's always complicated and w'eve had many rough rides, accidents, blow ups, etc, but I still ought to be able to you know just do it the way I used to. I always do feel a lot better afterward - relieved/proud of myself ig lol/happy. That is if it didn't go far south. So I ride as much as I need to. If I have a certain goal I want to work towards, like doing a long ride with friends or whatever (now I'm needing to keep her in easy work/exercise for her own health and that's a pretty good incentive but it's still hard to actually ride her) I will do regular riding to get her and me in shape, but I don't enjoy it the way I used to... Don't get me wrong tho, I love horses and I do love riding, it's just complicated here u know. Like, I don't have an arena or something to ride in - I always have to do the trails or open fields and on a hot horse who's been out of work all winter or would rather go home and eat and doens't mind throwing me to reach that goal it's less than enjoyable. I still get a high of just sitting on the dang horse though even though she's misbehaving and it's dangerous and all that. lol. I guess for me though it's more because of bad experiences though - for example running into invisible electric wire that Blue has a freaking phobia against = being thrown and left on the ground as your horse bolts through the wire and runs all the way home with reins flying around her legs, saddle maybe slipping (all the above causing a heart attack of worry that your horse will kill herself in panic </3), all that fun stuff. So I just don't have a safe environment to ride in, and in the end there's nearly zero incentive to ride, when you measure everything that could and has before gone very wrong, against the small amount that could go right.
All this equals me mainly doing ground stuff with my horses now (and tricks/liberty work) and I guess until I either finally have the opportunity to take lessons/ride in a real establishment which could be many many years eek. But for now Blue goes for walks with me (and an occasional ride which is either OK or bad - good would be achievable only with regular work ig), Heidi who's currently in the on/off process of being started (*facepalm*) gets ridden in the "round pen" (many mental air quotes around that one), and with V the goal is ground driving and pony rides so that's a bit easier for me to handle.
But yeah, if you find some kinda spell that helps let me know :p
 
  • Like
Reactions: boots

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
It sounds like your first bareback rides didn’t go great and shook your confidence in the mare and her training? Totally understandable in my opinion.
I’m wondering if maybe your mare had never been ridden bareback prior to you getting on her? That could explain the side stepping and anxious behavior from her.
I’m also totally willing to jump on ANY horse that I’ve seen ridden or generally well behaved on the ground. A horse I’ve seen bucking and being fresh under saddle, I’m not quite so eager. There are definitely days I’m looking at other well schooled horses thinking I’d rather ride them than my hot head.
I’d get a saddle that fits her and have a trainer put a ride on her while you watch. I think seeing someone else ride her successfully and telling you what to expect from her and what holes she may have would help you feel more confident in riding her. I think taking lessons on her would help you a lot!
Or if you feel confident enough, you can restart her from the ground up and find the holes. Start with lunging and saddling etc. Try the jefferies method for backing her. Look into Warwick Schillers videos for groundwork and colt starting.
I’m confident you and your mare will be a great pair with time and trust! Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Could you take her out for some pleasure rides with another horse for company and confidence building? Spend some time with her, on her back, just chilling, getting to know her. Spending time riding your horse is really the way to build the relationship....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
551 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It sounds like your first bareback rides didn’t go great and shook your confidence in the mare and her training? Totally understandable in my opinion.
I’m wondering if maybe your mare had never been ridden bareback prior to you getting on her? That could explain the side stepping and anxious behavior from her.
I’m also totally willing to jump on ANY horse that I’ve seen ridden or generally well behaved on the ground. A horse I’ve seen bucking and being fresh under saddle, I’m not quite so eager. There are definitely days I’m looking at other well schooled horses thinking I’d rather ride them than my hot head.
I’d get a saddle that fits her and have a trainer put a ride on her while you watch. I think seeing someone else ride her successfully and telling you what to expect from her and what holes she may have would help you feel more confident in riding her. I think taking lessons on her would help you a lot!
Or if you feel confident enough, you can restart her from the ground up and find the holes. Start with lunging and saddling etc. Try the jefferies method for backing her. Look into Warwick Schillers videos for groundwork and colt starting.
I’m confident you and your mare will be a great pair with time and trust! Good luck!
The first bareback ride went great. It was the second, the one after her winter long break that didn't go so great. I would have ridden it out, but I haven't ridden bareback in a while so my balance is off. When I hopped on with the saddle, things went better, though I wasn't able to go for much of a ride.

I'll look into those methods, thanks! She has been well trained, she used to be used as a lesson horse for kids and other beginners. She just needs a refresher I think. She hasn't had much experience out on trails so that does make her a bit more forward, but not crazy.

I think another part of it too, is that she's been trained a bit differently than other horses I've worked with. So i've been in contact with her previous owner to find out what cues she used so that Roxy understands what I'm asking of her.



Could you take her out for some pleasure rides with another horse for company and confidence building? Spend some time with her, on her back, just chilling, getting to know her. Spending time riding your horse is really the way to build the relationship....
I don't have one else or any other horses around to ride with for company right now so that won't help. Thanks for the suggestion though, and I plan to try going for a proper ride soon and hopefully that helps things out.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top