The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So on Tuesday I rode Lacey and I realized that I'm actually afraid of her little acting up-nesses and that's why I lunge the heck out of her before every ride... >.<
I realized this because after I brought her in after she ran around all spastasically, I noticed myself getting major butterflies about getting on. Also, I haven't ridden for more than twenty minutes in quite awhile, which might be another sign that I'm scared.

The funny thing was that after I said to myself (I was on her back, freaking out at this point) "Ok, I know I'm scared, but I'm a good rider and I can handle this old nag" and relaxed my whole body, guess who else relaxed and got significantly less scarily tense? If you guessed Lacey, you guessed right. It was pretty funny actually, I felt her physically detense beneath me, through a western saddle! haha

What do you guys do when you're scared? I've never fallen off Lacey, she's just kinda a firecracker about things sometimes and once she did run away with and buck a girl off (the girl was being stupid and it was back when Lacey was Miss Perpetual Sugar High, but it was still REALLY scary for me) so I think I over think what she could do and psych myself out. And I think about "What if I DID fall off of her?" but when I really think about it, she's super short so it would be way less than a big deal to fall off.

I really wish I had a horsey friend who could come watch me ride and make me feel better but I don't and my trainer (who I haven't ridden with in at least 6 months) got in a really bad car accident a few weeks ago and is currently bedridden (she broke 3 vertebrae).

But yeah, what helps you feel better when you're scared?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,113 Posts
What helps me-
-To realize that if I do not get over it, I may never get back on.
- Being raised to never give up.
-The fact that if the horse is scaring me, it is my fault that I am in the situation.
- Telling myself to "Cowgirl Up!".
-To realize that most fears are irrational.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,320 Posts
I understand Honey, I share your list. I think that I must be a freak or something. I get those butterflies every time I get on a young horse but I enjoy the rush. It is my version of a high since I don't do drugs. I think it has something to do with my last name, I am not about to let a horse beat me by scaring me. I generally get on with the idea in my head "Ok, lets see what you got youngster. But however bad you think you are, you're still gonna lose. }:p hehehe"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
956 Posts
Knowing that if I don't try to forget my fear it may ruin my relationship with my horse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,113 Posts
I understand Honey, I share your list. I think that I must be a freak or something. I get those butterflies every time I get on a young horse but I enjoy the rush. It is my version of a high since I don't do drugs. I think it has something to do with my last name, I am not about to let a horse beat me by scaring me. I generally get on with the idea in my head "Ok, lets see what you got youngster. But however bad you think you are, you're still gonna lose. }:p hehehe"
Well we are peas in a pod then:lol:, big ole ditto^^.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
852 Posts
I'm a very logical person, so with horses, I know if I'm scared, I'm in MORE danger then I was if I was calm and thinking through it. I've ridden a lot of silly horses, so I guess that helps too, but I know that being calm is the absolute best reaction to get me out as safely as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,760 Posts
But yeah, what helps you feel better when you're scared?
Fall off ;-) No, in all seriousness, first of all good for you for noticing that when YOU calm down, so will Lacey :) It's SO hard to do, though, when you're nervous. I used to be SO nervous riding Sandie after she bolted one day and bucked me off, that I couldn't even WALK on her anymore! It took a long time of having many many good rides just walking her around to make me gain that confidence back. Then after it was back, I found that when something happened and I fell off a few times, falling became no big deal all of a sudden haha! ;-) And since that was pretty much what I was afraid of, I just got over it.

After you have several good rides your confidence will come back slowly. And when she acts up and you can handle it calmly you'll feel like you can handle anything and then you won't get nervous much anymore! Sounds like you can handle yourself though if you haven't fallen yet, so you must have some confidence there!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
It sounds like you are doing the right thing. I started working on my fear by working with an easier horse adn then slowly moving up. I still get nervous, but I know that when I relax I am less likely to get hurt. I also remind myself that falling off is better than other things that could happen....and I would rather fall off than never get on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,303 Posts
What do you guys do when you're scared? I've never fallen off Lacey, she's just kinda a firecracker about things sometimes and once she did run away with and buck a girl off (the girl was being stupid and it was back when Lacey was Miss Perpetual Sugar High, but it was still REALLY scary for me) so I think I over think what she could do and psych myself out. And I think about "What if I DID fall off of her?" but when I really think about it, she's super short so it would be way less than a big deal to fall off.
For some reason I've never been afraid of horses and/or riding, but there are still times that I do have that 'uneasy' feeling before riding. I thought about it for some time and realized that the occasional feeling goes back to something our horse breeder friends once told me, "Every ride is different", and that my uneasiness wasn't fear, but an anxiety/anticipation (and thrill) of the unknown "what will today's ride bring...". Whenever I get this feeling, a couple deep breaths and a soothing 'chat' with my horse help me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Honestly, like PaintHorseMares, I haven't been afraid either. I've worked with tons of mustangs and I jumped for six years. The point is, just think positive. If you fall off, so what? I know I sound a lot meaner than I actually mean. Just once you fall off numerous times, you realize that its just part of riding.

Hope we help you out, so you can go enjoy your horse to the fullest :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,652 Posts
One of the best things I ever did to curb my fear of falling - was fall.

I was a cautious rider for a long time. Then I met Shorty. He was the kind of horse that knew he could teach you, and knew how to be dead broke without being a deadhead. He'd stop if you fell, and wait for you, but he also expected you to get back up and finish your ride, without complaining about it.

He was the first horse I ever fell off of, but also the horse that taught me to ride bareback, work through my seat, and ride, not perch. Hitting the dirt a couple of times woke me up, and made me change what I was doing wrong, and made me a better rider. And Shorty was always there, waiting for me to dust my *** off and get back up.

Lacey doesn't want to hurt you, but you're right, she's feeding off your tension. She going, "Why is she so tense up there? She's the one telling me what to do, and she's scared, so maybe she doesn't know what she's doing and she's going to walk me off a cliff or feed me to a horse-eating monster or..."

You sort of have to take this attitude of, "I know what I'm doing, so you just need to trust me," even if you maybe don't know what you're doing all the way. She'll react accordingly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I understand Honey, I share your list. I think that I must be a freak or something. I get those butterflies every time I get on a young horse but I enjoy the rush. It is my version of a high since I don't do drugs. I think it has something to do with my last name, I am not about to let a horse beat me by scaring me. I generally get on with the idea in my head "Ok, lets see what you got youngster. But however bad you think you are, you're still gonna lose. }:p hehehe"
It means a lot to me to know that you get scared too. Thanks for sharing. =)


The funny thing is that I've fallen off other horses too many times to count and I know it's no biggie, but falling off Lacey is some sort of really scary thing. I mean, I've fallen off of a 18 hand monster, 14 hands is NOT that big of a deal. haha
Maybe I should just throw myself off of her one of these days to get it over with.
I guess I'm more afraid of what will happen after I fall off than what'll happen as I am falling off. I'm worried that she'll go trotting off to her buddies and be a poo face. I'm also worried about how she'll behave undersaddle after I fall off since whenever anyone falls off of her, she has gotten, in the past, really antsy for the next few rides and she'll keep her head turned so she has an eye on her rider at all times (which is cute, but unnerving).

I do try to tell myself that I can handle anything she can dish out, because I can and I have for the last year and a half when she was way more of a firecracker than she is now. I know inside that I can handle it, it's just hard to really physically believe I can, yknow?
I know it's just part of who I am internally to to perpetually a little scared about something but I don't want it crippling me as much as it is right now. Fear is not something that I need or want interfering with my riding, like it is right now.
Maybe making a list of time I HAVE to spend in the saddle and things to do while I'm there might help... Since I want a friend to come force me to ride for 30-45 minutes and I don't have a friend who can do that, I'll have to be my own friend.

Thanks for the words of wisdom everyone, I appreciate them all. =)
Keep them coming!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,738 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
One of the best things I ever did to curb my fear of falling - was fall.

I was a cautious rider for a long time. Then I met Shorty. He was the kind of horse that knew he could teach you, and knew how to be dead broke without being a deadhead. He'd stop if you fell, and wait for you, but he also expected you to get back up and finish your ride, without complaining about it.

He was the first horse I ever fell off of, but also the horse that taught me to ride bareback, work through my seat, and ride, not perch. Hitting the dirt a couple of times woke me up, and made me change what I was doing wrong, and made me a better rider. And Shorty was always there, waiting for me to dust my *** off and get back up.

Funny thing- The horse that got me over being scared of falling off was named Shorty. Hahaha I fell off of him at least twice every month during the summer I spent with him. And actually, he was probably the one who taught me how to stay on through pretty much anything and to stop perching, just like your Shorty. That's awesome.
Thanks! =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,320 Posts
I think one of the reasons why she usually gets antsy and excitable for the following rides after a fall is because the rider is nervous. You have already said that she knows when you are nervous and it makes her nervous.

I fell off a big (15.2, 1200 pound) roan mare about 10 years ago and hurt myself pretty bad. I pushed her farther than she was ready to go and ate dirt as a result. I was training her and even though she wasn't ready to be outside the roundpen, I was, so I took her out. I had my head up my butt and she boogered at some scary monster, which in turn tossed me out to the side, which scared her more and she took off bucking HARD. I stayed with her for a couple of jumps but she got the best of me. I ended up landing on the side of my head and my shoulder. I layed out in the pasture for a couple hours thinking that I had broken my neck and how stupid I had been to push her so fast. Anyway, I started to get that tingly feeling all over and finally was able to crawl back to the house. When I was able to walk again, I went and caught her and took her back into the arena. Not the rounpen but still a more controlled environment. I was really scared to put my foot back in the stirrup but I made myself do it because I knew that she would always remember if I allowed her to stop work after bucking me off and possibly make it a habit. When I realized that I was scared of a horse, I began to get mad at myself because I had scared her worse and what happened was my fault. I got back on and trotted about 3 circles each way before I put her up. I would have rode her more but I couldn't breath and my fingers were still tingly. She was perfect for those circles and the only time she ever bucked again, it was really half-hearted and she quit immediately after she started. Last time I checked, she was carting her owners grandkids around 3 and 4 at a time through parades and on cattle. But the moral of this story is that even though I was scared, I made myself get back on because I knew it wasn't her fault and what happened, happened because I wasn't watching her and I didn't ask if she was ready. She taught me to pay more attention to what the horse was ready for rather than what I wanted to accomplish. I haven't been bucked off since. There have been a couple of close calls but I generally knew they were coming and had time to prepare.

Getting bucked off or falling off hurts, but not as much as being scared.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
950 Posts
I'm at the age I do NOT want to fall off ever again!!!! When I get nervous or scared, usually when I've planned a ride on the road, I tell myself: "You're grown up now, you don't have to do this." So then I say, well, I'll just mount up, and maybe just walk around . . . how about we get as far as that scary mailbox? Step by step, and pretty soon I'm into the adventure of passing spooky hedges and trash cans, and it's kind of fun, now that my horse is starting to trust me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,061 Posts
I always have taken on an attitude of "I've got to trust my horse, as much as I have to trust myself."

If you "think" your horse is going to bolt, or buck you off...geuss what? He just might. But if you think positively about your ride the chances of horrific things happening aren't as likely, because you are calm, and your horse will remain calm, because he can sense your confidence.

Here's a little 'experience' on this first hand...

My mom and I had co-owned a QH for a few years, and I did all of his training, broke him in as a 2 year old, and never had an issue with him...the funny thing is, I only saw him every other week. At any rate, in his late 2 year old year, my mom started riding him, but he was always nervous, for some reason; I could get on him, and he would drop his head, and settle down. Well, one day, mom and I went for a ride, and all of a sudden Shadow bolted, and bucked like a true bronc; mom fell off, and because of the way she landed, hurt her hip pretty good (not broke, just no way she was getting back on that day). Well, I caught him, did a little ground work to settle his nerves and get his mind back, got on, and worked him like as if nothing had ever happened. A few days later, mom went out and put the bareback pad on him, because she had promised my cousin a ride on him (he had been on him MANY times before, always lead, but never an issue). Well, I could see from the time mom brought him out to the pasture, Shadow was not calm...but she took it as him being an idiot, and instead of trying to get him to relax, shook his lead and told him to knock it off (he was pulling ahead, prancing, etc). Well, she got my cousin up on him, and started leading him around...'okay' so far. But then she tried to longe the horse (again, something they had done before with my cousin), and Shadow freaked...bolted, bucked, and of course, off came cousin (uninjured, minus his pride). My mom won't admit it, but it was her energy, and fear (from the previous ride), that caused that horse to behave the way he did; but at that time, she refused to address the confidence issues face on, and Shadow never trusted her again. She did sell him later on, because even when she had gotten to a point where she could ride him again, she never felt comfortable on him, and the feeling was mutual, because Shadow was never really relaxed. That same day that the horse bolted and bucked cousin off, I got on him again, and he was a totally different animal. NEVER underestimate your confidence, because if you do, you're horse will. I've been bucked off, bolted off, etc, but I've never had an issue getting back on, because I know how much that can damage your relationship with a horse; if you can't trust him again, why should he trust you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,624 Posts
Take a Xanax :lol::wink:
Don't laugh, I have been to that point with a horse that I had to take a happy pill to calm myself down enough to mount up. If I hadn't I wouldn't be here today a happy horse rider. That was years and several horses ago. I walked out happy as a lark to get on a horse who the day before had sprained my wrist and broken a tooth :lol:
Now, after many terrors I never get on any horse without a plan. I alway keep a "what if" list running in the back of my mind. If she spooks I'll do this, if she bucks or crow hops I'll do this. It really helps keep the fear to a reasonable level if you have a plan of attack if the worst happens. Knowing what to do in any situation is the best defense against the fear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
luckley, my horse is bombproof
like, today i was riding in the indoor and a HUGE sheet of snow slid down the side and made the loudest crashing sound ever. it scared the heck out of me, but cutter didnt even twitch an ear. he got lots of treats after that haha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
492 Posts
I'm at the age I do NOT want to fall off ever again!!!! When I get nervous or scared, usually when I've planned a ride on the road, I tell myself: "You're grown up now, you don't have to do this." So then I say, well, I'll just mount up, and maybe just walk around . . . how about we get as far as that scary mailbox? Step by step, and pretty soon I'm into the adventure of passing spooky hedges and trash cans, and it's kind of fun, now that my horse is starting to trust me!
This is exactly how I am. "Let's go to the scary mailbox" then when we get there without incident we go to the next driveway and then the next. I tend to talk a lot when I'm afraid, mostly to calm myself and the horse down.

I had a really, really bad fall in May and I'm still getting my nerve back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Just to pipe in---One technique useful to me is creative visualization. This is a process that pro athletics also use. I image the situation and what my reaction will be to it. Example, my horse bolts, respond with a one rein stop or start circles. The key is to strongly, repeat strongly, visualize the situation in every detail and your responses in every detail, repeatedly. It helps me. Another thing that has helped is the realization that my horse is not really mean. Basically they are animal of flight not fight. Scared maybe, hurting maybe, bad day maybe or confused maybe. A horse would probably react the same way if it was 12 lbs rather than 1,200 lbs to an external stimuli. I don’t want to minimize the danger of this large animal. I just think horses are not totally aware of their size, as in, I am bigger than you so I rule. Anyways, I would wager all of you are superior riders than I and I think this is a great topic.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top