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So I moved to a new riding school a few months ago, and do group lesson every week.

However, I find that although the instructor is very helpful (she gives plenty of feedback), I can't help but feel super anxious all the time!

Although the horses are very well schooled, they're much different to what I'm used to. I'm used to the kind of lesson horses that won't canter (or sometimes even trot!) without divine intervention. The horses at this place are much more forward, which by my standards means that I have to hold them back to stop them from cantering. Which feels very scary and makes me feel out of control!

I have a particular fear of turns, however. I'm always scared even changing the rein or coming up the side of the arena (so even a 90° turn). I'm scared of losing my balance going around turns, the horse losing its balance and slipping, or the horse speeding up on a turn.

Any advice on building confidence, especially around turns? Thanks
 

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has it ever happened that you fell off in a corner, or the horse tripped and went down in a corner?
Does your instructor know you feel anxious about this? could you make the corners less tight for a while?
Really focussing on leaning back a bit could perhaps help. you might be curling forward out of self-preservation feelings.
 

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First off, your horse is the original "four wheel drive" and most horses can manage their feet very well. I don't worry about my horse slipping unless we're on ice or deep snow. I recognize that this explanation may not calm your nerves much, but your horse will be ok.

Your fear of turns suggest that you "feel" unbalanced and I wonder about your tack adjustments. Can you stand up in the saddle? Are your stirrups set correctly? You don't mention if you're riding english or western but I'd bet english. Others on here can advise you on how long your stirrups should be so I won't try since I ride western and I have my stirrups set a little long. However, if you can't put pressure into your stirrups because they're too long, I'd imagine you feel pretty loosy goosy when mounted and that can feel very unsafe. Your girth should be snug without being tight enough to cause the horse problems breathing.

I too was panicked for years about falling or being out of control. I worried about falling and never cantered, ever. I found that I was over-mounted on a horse that was too forward for my level of ability so I was always feeling on edge and out of control. Two things can fix this and I did both: ride more often to gain experience and ride a horse better matched to your ability. You mention that the horses your used to riding were quieter and more laid back so that's one of the things I'd try until you gain more confidence and experience.

Good luck and happy riding.
 
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if you can't put pressure into your stirrups because they're too long, I'd imagine you feel pretty loosy goosy when mounted and that can feel very unsafe.
This says, if you feel this way, that balance is an issue. You should never feel the need to use your stirrups to brace for balance no matter the saddle. OP perhaps you should spend time bareback or stirrup less to develop your balance.
 

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Are you taking group lessons? A little harder for you to avoid deep corners if you are. if it is possible try to avoid the corners for a while, do circles in the center of the arena and after this feels better try some shallow corners more like a 20m circle rather than riding deep into the corner. You are already riding these if you do a 20m circle at the center of the arena. This can be a little less scary or confining for you.
Can you have a lunge line lesson where all you have to do is concentrate on yourself and not worry what the horse is doing.
I don't know if this is possible to do with your lessons but can you practice half halts and use this before a corner to better balance your horse.

Can you trot along the long side of the arena and when coming to a turn, come down to a walk then trot again before the next turn so only trot one turn at the end. Do this just enough to build your confidence then try to trot both corners, but not too deep.

Can you practice some 90 degree turns in the middle of the arena just at a walk, get this down pat and then try at a trot. this way you do not have a wall to concern you and if it isn't perfect, so what. It will get better and without the wall you will feel better about it and more confident.

I know these things can be scary at time, it's happened to me but with practice it does get better. I have done many of these things and they did help.
Can you discuss this with your trainer and maybe they can help you through it?
I'm sure you can do it.:)
 

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I remember having some of the same concerns you have not too soon after I got my first horse. He was an Appendix and definitely had more forward than our current horse.

One thing I could add to some of the suggestions already posted is to try to look 1/4 of the arena ahead of you as you are riding... The tendency to look down can definitely add to a feeling of imbalance.

I really like some of the recommendations you got; talk to your trainer, maybe ride a bit off the rail, learn about half halts, and work on 20m circles.

You will feel better the more experience you get.
 
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