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So in the horse world I’m new to horses. I’ve had lessons for a couple of years, then I lived on a horse ranch for 2 years where I was responsible for catching 29 horses and bringing them in for feeding, turning them out and generally taking carence of them. I lead a couple of trail rides but I’m by no means an expert. Then I went away from having horses in my life for about 6years because of a career change and now I’ve recently gotten my own horse.


She’s an 8year old Arabian mare who isn’t broke.

I should mention that I had a pretty bad fall when I went for a ride with a friend where my saddle came off at a pretty good canter and I hurt my back which has never been the same since.

So I’ve lost my confidence for some reason around horses and I have a coach who’s helping me train my horse. But when I’m working alone with her I’m often intimidated and she picks up on it. She’s pinned her ears at me once and tried to come at me, but I put both of my arms up and stepped towards her aggressively and with a loud voice I commanded her to stop and she ran away. She hasn’t tried it again since. I’ve tried to join up with her a couple of times unsuccessfully. But when I’m close to her body she trusts me. I’ve been able to get a saddle on her and lead her over a plastic tarp.

My question is what can I do to help increase my confidence when I’m with her one on one and to get rid of the fear that she’s going to attack me
 

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Trust between horse and owner or rider takes time to develop. It can start with being friends. IMO all the emphasis on horses keeping their distance that all the gurus seem to preach has caused people to distrust horses intentions.

IMO people don't need to worry so much about a horse always obeying the human. Just hanging out with a horse can lead to a bonding. Spending time brushing, and braiding a horse can help with bonding too.

The more one spends time with their horse, the more one can understand the horse.

That being said, an untrained 8 year old Arabian mare is going to be more difficult for you than a kid-broke 10 yr old QH gelding would be (generally speaking)

I have rarely ever seen a horse maliciously attack a human for no reason. The chance of that happening are really low. No way to know what the mare was thinking because we didn't witness it, but I have seen horses put their ears back and snake their heads out shaking it and it didn't mean they were planning to attack me.

Actually, the times I have seen a horse get the most angry when I am standing in the stall with them...is when another horse walks by outside the stall. In other words, the horse is not angry at me, it is threatening other horses not to come near. They definitely are meaner to other horses when I am with them.

I call it jealousy...

Again, you need time, lots of time to build a good relationship with your mare. Try to just enjoy her. Say sweet things to her. Brush her and fuss over her. Give her treats. She will soon look forward to seeing you arrive. Once you witness that joy of your horse being thrilled to see you, your anxiety will lessen.

Speaking of lessons, take lessons and if needed send your mare out to be saddle broke, then learn to ride her.
 

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With the above great advice, remember :


"This is NOT the horse that caused my back pain. This is a different horse".


They are ALL a 'horse of a different color'. You WILL pass through this difficult time. You know that you have what it takes to stop her if she comes at you, so you can relax on that front. What's important is for you to stop assuming she will do that again.
 

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With the above great advice, remember :


"This is NOT the horse that caused my back pain. This is a different horse".


They are ALL a 'horse of a different color'. You WILL pass through this difficult time. You know that you have what it takes to stop her if she comes at you, so you can relax on that front. What's important is for you to stop assuming she will do that again.
This is great advice! I agree with both of the previous posters here. And I made the mistake of when I first got my new mare after multiple years off from horse ownership and regular riding that she needed to have complete obedience and check all the boxes. Well she doesn't check all the boxes but she is safe for me to handle. And we are really bonding well. I stopped trying to always be so in control and started just hanging out with her like I used to do with horses. Relaxed, just brushing her, petting her...etc. It got wayyyyy easier for me when I stopped putting the pressure to have a perfect horse on and started just loving her.
 

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So, you have an 8 yr old unbroke horse that is used to just being a horse and now you have the audacity to ask her to do work?!?!!!! Ahhhh Arabians.....always thinking to keep you on your toes!! I can see where she will actively test you until she is confident that you are the leader and someone to trust. Your best resource is your trainer. I definitely understand about losing confidence, I've ridden all my life but now that I am older it has taken a dive. I just keep of the good instead of the bad.
 

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IMO people don't need to worry so much about a horse always obeying the human. Just hanging out with a horse can lead to a bonding. Spending time brushing, and braiding a horse can help with bonding too.

The more one spends time with their horse, the more one can understand the horse.
On that note, I saw this video linked elsewhere and it relates exactly to AnitaAnne's point:

ETA: I see that @therhondamarie makes basically the same point! and it's a good one.
 

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So in the horse world I’m new to horses.
Hi & welcome. I'm guessing you meant NOT new to horses, with that list of experience. ;-)

She’s an 8year old Arabian mare who isn’t broke. ...
So I’ve lost my confidence for some reason around horses and I have a coach who’s helping me train my horse. But when I’m working alone with her I’m often intimidated and she picks up on it. ...
My question is what can I do to help increase my confidence when I’m with her one on one and to get rid of the fear that she’s going to attack me
Seriously, find a well trained, easy going horse & gain your confidence back with them, and send her to a trainer in the meantime, so she will have learned the basics & you will be in a better state when you come to deal with her.
 

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On that note, I saw this video linked elsewhere and it relates exactly to AnitaAnne's point:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nNh5VI696U

ETA: I see that @therhondamarie makes basically the same point! and it's a good one.
I am quite amazed and pleased to see this video! This guru has taken the time to try to understand horses in a personal way, and show others what to do. I'm impressed.

:rofl: with the 10 yr old girl analogy, kids can do anything and will spend all day practicing...
 

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I second @loosie's suggestion that you have a professional trainer work with your horse, and maybe in a month or two, you can start getting involved. This is a lot to take on and while I get that you have lots of experience with well-broke trail horses, training an 8 year old Arabian is a pretty steep learning curve and a lot can go wrong.

But in terms of bonding with your horse and becoming more confident, I agree with @AnitaAnne. Hang out with her. Sit in the paddock and read a book. Don't even try to go near her at first, let her get curious. Bring a crop or a whip if you think she will be disrespectful. If you are really fearful, it is possible to do this from the other side of the fence too. Have you ever noticed that horses move as a herd, but almost never touch each other? They mostly are just in each other's presence. Try to do this 20 minutes a day as many days of the week as possible, for at least a couple of weeks. There are great ground work and liberty work programs you can do to create a great relationship with your horse. You have to learn to read each other's body language, understand each other's personal space, and develop a common language. That takes time.
 

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Boy we must have been all on at once yesterday - when I wrote mine there were no other replies. Agree fully with '10yo girl training' too.

Love WS, of all the 'gurus' I've seen he is my fav by far. & I can't recall one single thing he's said that I disagreed with. Tho his 'Yankee' hat n dress.... at first glance I disregarded the vid, thinking it was CA - another Australian gone feral over there - until I saw Anitas comment & thought unless she is being very sarcastic, no way she is talking of CA...
 

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Boy we must have been all on at once yesterday - when I wrote mine there were no other replies. Agree fully with '10yo girl training' too.

Love WS, of all the 'gurus' I've seen he is my fav by far. & I can't recall one single thing he's said that I disagreed with. Tho his 'Yankee' hat n dress.... at first glance I disregarded the vid, thinking it was CA - another Australian gone feral over there - until I saw Anitas comment & thought unless she is being very sarcastic, no way she is talking of CA...
:rofl: I almost didn't watch it either, but that 10 year old girl title intrigued me...I can't watch CA
 

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I would suggest sending the horse to a trainer, and working with an instructor on a steady eddie to gain back some confidence while she is being brought along. There is a lot to training a horse, and requires tact and skill that takes time to develop. Congrats OP!
 
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