Exercises to build confidence under saddle?

Discussion in 'Horse Chat' started by noreins, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Oh I do wish that were possible. But I spent many many years working all night and then having to go into work. The old body is too old to change.
     
  2. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    No. This is not fear. This is anxiety.
     
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  3. CJ

    CJ Senior Member

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    Ive been in that "Want to ride But Scared to Death to" where you are. It manifested after getting thrown repeatedly by a rental pony that I found out years later was very very green. I couldnt be led on a horse without hands/shaking hard. I wrote to trainers and associations asking how to get nerve back. Trying to defeat a mental monster is at best Difficult.
    The two prong attack that seemed to work, ultimately was 1. You have to be riding a horse you Trust, implicitly, that it wont do something mean or stupid. (That doesnt mean that it wont spook, but that it wont spook at Shadows.)
    2. Give yourself Credit for the good rides and small victories. Thats proof that its not life-threatening dangerous, and that you have the skills to do what youre doing, or want to. The More non-consequential rides you have, the more proof you have that "It Is OK; I Do know what Im doing".
    Push your limits a lil bit when you feel up to it. Do Not ride with someone who is inclined to make you "Ride Hard" to "Get over it"; getting scared, hurt, feeling out of control, can Undo in one bad ride what it may have taken many or months to buildup in self confidence, and be harder to restart over and reconquer. (Cuz now the voice thats been saying "Were gonna die" :willynilly: has the proof positive of a bad ride/ incident to make you re-doubt yourself for a long time.)
    I would bet you are dealing with an ingrained sense of self-preservation, esp since now theres a child. Part of you is giving priority to SP, to protect you so youre there for the childs benefit, taken to an extreme. That doesnt mean dont ride, or dont be careful, just use reasonable care. And dont 'let' anxiety talk you out of riding, or other things you like, if you do it with some precaution, objective care. (y)
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  4. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Actually, for some people, having an instructor bark out orders, one who insists you do just as she says right now, this instant, and pay complete attention to her only, DOES work for some people.

    Most people are unwilling to try it because they think it will make them more anxious, and they do not want to be pressured into doing the things they're scared of and they don't like to feel like someone is 'bossing' them.

    The trick, however, is that the instructor knows exactly what the person is able to do and is actually playing a very delicate balancing game. She has to keep the person JUST focused enough, JUST busy enough, to shut out that anxiety. Not enough to bewilder her. An instructor will NEVER be able to pull this off if she's irritated with the rider. It takes incredible focus on the part of the instructor to make this work.

    The thing for everyone to remember is that in any given crowd, the person with the severe anxiety is probably the bravest one in the bunch. He, after all, is THERE, despite his brain playing nasty tricks on him. Everyone else is just obliviously tra-la-la'ing along, LOL.
     
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  5. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

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    THIS----^ X 100.
     
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  6. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    I have no idea what a 12 year old felt like, I'm guessing these days we wouldn't put a 12 year old on a rearer, probably called child abuse or something.

    You are not comparing like with like, if you have to ask why someone wants to ride when the anxiety is so high you simply don't understand PERIOD.

    I don't know if skill overcomes fear, repeating an action safely again and again reduces fear, until eventually it can be beaten down to a little nugget. Adult anxieties and worries are so different from that of a 12 year old.
     
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  7. noreins

    noreins Senior Member

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    The Riding Fear Free book is based on the same principals I believe. That's where I learned to focus on smaller things. Some days I would tack up, lunge, and then just sit on him and flex. I keep taking things slow to let the "good" riding experiences build up to override the bad. I do need to start back with weight lifting and eating better. I always feel so much better when I do. Thank you!

    I love taking lessons and wish I could afford to take them more often. It was hard to find someone who understood what I needed, trouble is she also costs 2-3 times more than others in my area. It's nice to have someone else sort of "in charge" so I have a little less to focus on. Plus every time someone else rides my horse it helps me feel more comfortable on him.

    I will definitely look more into the guided visualization too, thank you!
     
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  8. apndi

    apndi Senior Member

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    This just gave me a whole new perspective on my anxiety. Thank you
     
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  9. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I'm by no means suggesting you wallow in self pity or sit around feeling sorry for yourself. I'm saying that when people with anxiety go about every day they are fighting it tooth and nail, they deserve some admiration and some credit.

    People who don't ride the lightning have no idea what it's like. Equating it with normal fear is - nonsense.
     
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  10. apndi

    apndi Senior Member

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    I mean I figured you weren't saying that, actually I interpreted it as being exactly the opposite. I used to wallow a lot, but I learned to kind of live with it and beat anxiety down when it threatens to overwhelm me.

    Also yes, it's not the same as fear. fear is rational...like people having a fear of being in a car accident. That's a perfectly rational fear. Anxiety is not rational. A few years ago, I couldn't even walk into a store by myself. Yeah, I know it sounds stupid. But I just couldn't. What if I messed something (??) up, what if people looked at me and judged me (over what??) The first time I was able to walk into Target by myself to buy something, it was huge. The anxiety over it was irrational.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
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