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So I've trained many horses over the past 15years, I train them and then either send them back to their owners or rehome them so I can start another young one. Needless to say I've had many wrecks and been thrown more times then I could count. When I was younger it never used to phase me but a couple years ago I had a pretty rough season and don't seem to recoup as great from the falls. I love training so much but I cant help be nervous now during those first few rides and during certain situations. Any hints for how I can regain my confidence?
 

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Stop training the rough ones and focus on fine tuning the ones who are already started. Or only train the level headed youngsters.

There comes a time when we all have to slow down and let the younger folks do the scarier work. This is probably what you don't want to hear. None of us like to think about how we are getting more brittle.
 

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I reached the conclusion, many years ago, that on the whole the horses that are going to give you grief along with the bruises, breaks and scrapes aren't worth working with when you're doing it to sell on or for someone else.
They've got to show some real talent to want me to bother or it isn't worth the effort. Time's money and more so if you have to take time off to recover from accidents
 

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Not my words, but Clinton Anderson's:

I always gain a horse’s respect by working him on the ground first. All riding problems are directly related to problems on the ground. If you’re riding a horse, and he wants to get ugly and dangerous, there are a lot of things he can do to make your life miserable.

Most people don’t understand the importance of gaining a horse’s respect on the ground first, until they get bucked off and are flying through the air. Then it hits them that they should have done more ground work and prepared the horse for a safer ride.

Gordon McKinlay, my mentor, used to have great little sayings that I still say to this day. One of the things that he used to tell me was, “Clinton, the more times you pick yourself up out of the dirt, the better your ground work gets.”
 

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Similar to previous reply’s I also suggest to do more ground preparation before the first ride. There are a few things a horse must show me before the first ride. The most important these is they must be able to carry a saddle at W,T&C without bucking & off the muscle for a few days on a consistent basis. If they can’t canter relaxed with just a saddle then adding a rider isn’t going to help things. Along with this I like them to be subtle to halter or bit pressure so I can get their head around if needed, have good forward movement from a verbal cue "cluck, smooch", backup from halter pressure and some general desensitizing to the tack and tools I use. How much time I spend on these things varies with each horse. Even with preparation you never know how a horse may react the first time a human is on their back, but it puts the odds in your favor.

Best of luck.
 

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I'm 27, & I can't handle falls like I could when I was 16, 18, even 21. I think that's normal. I would start by riding/training the ones who aren't as difficult. That will help you build your confidence.
 

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I agree with mmshiro. I train horses as well and I am not a sticky rider so my groundwork needs to be flawless before I will even consider getting on a horse. I have yet to have one buck that I did all the ground work on and got that super solid before even starting on first ride work.
 

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Not a trainer here - but I've tried fixing a few horses that were what they were when I got them. I learned real quick that I'd ten times rather deal with a horse that's flighty and reactive or hot BUT WILL LISTEN than a rank b-word or sneaky lazy one that blows in two because he's done with the trail we're on an hour in, or worse... the hardhead, temper tantrum pitcher who thinks in a straight line like a bull dozer, no matter the terrain, no matter the trees and brush, and will throw himself down in a walleyed toddler fit when you enforce your will to Not Die on him.

I just off loaded two just like that. Loved Sarge to pieces on the ground - but the ground isn't getting any softer when I get bucked off. Sally was a rude b-word no matter what I did and she was teaching her daughter, Outback, to act the same way around humans. Leroy is the first one I offloaded, a couple of years ago. He was the spoiled huge bulldozer. He was exhausting to ride, nerve wracking and dangerous.

My friend who breeds Streakin Six mares to Dash with Perks, whom I also trail ride, is the same way. She has a foal born to her mares and it's pretty and a good mover, but hard headed and dumb, he or she is out of here. She said she doesn't have time to mess with a horse like that, of any age, and it's not worth risking getting hurt by one in her opinion.


Think I'd stick with the further along in their training horses, tbh.
 
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