Fear of riding.

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Marleesgottagun, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. Marleesgottagun

    Marleesgottagun Registered

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    Hey everyone! It' been so long since I last posted.

    I've got quite a dilemma right now.
    My sister has a 16.2 throughbred mix that we've been sharing and riding as I'm a full time college student right now and can't afford my own horse.

    Hes a super big silly goof of a horse. I love him but hes' been very unpredictable in the past with us. (bucking, bolting, etc.)

    My sister who owns him is 12 years old and an amazing rider. She has two lessons a week with him and has the time to ride him every day and spend lots of time with him on the ground which I don't have time for. Because of this she's grown an amazing bond with him and has started to figure him out.

    I feel like despite my best efforts I still have a rather poor bond with him yet I've been able to ride him okay through all his moments so far, until recently.

    I went on vacation for about a week and came back super excited to ride. I spent a long time brushing, tacking, and spending time with our horse on the ground before getting on and about two minutes into the ride the horse flopped and rolled on me, hurting my leg quite badly in the process.

    To begin with I'm quite a nervous rider, I'm much better with smaller breeds but I've been able to control our horse fine yet this was super unpredictable to me and left me in tears and terrified.

    I took about a month off from riding due to fear, recently picked up a beautiful western saddle, and decided to focus more on building my confidence and working on natural horsemanship like my sister's been doing instead of stressing like I've found myself doing before.

    I'e been feeling super happy to get back into ride with our horse and feel like I've got a better understanding for him yet the three times I've been on him recently I've had a panic attack and gotten off in tears. Of course the horse looks at me like I'm crazy and I feel bad for being so terrified when all he was doing was walking around.

    I'e had a couple lessons on my coach's horses and have had no struggles with them but then again both were smaller stocky ponies which I feel more confident with.

    Any advice? What should I do? I' missing riding like mad but get nervous the instant I'm on our horses back.
     
  2. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

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    Can you have more time on the ponies you're comfortable with?

    I wouldn't want to get back on a horse that flopped on my leg and hurt me either.
     
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  3. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Don't ride that horse. He knows you are hesitant and takes adantage of that. He is just being a horse: they take advantage when they can. Ride your lesson horses and leave this horse to your confident sister.
     
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  4. Marleesgottagun

    Marleesgottagun Registered

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    Unfortunately I can't just stop riding him and ride my coachs' horses due to be being a full time college student with no job

    Id really like to work through my fears as he is a super sweet horse. He just sensitive and seems to easily sense my nerves and fear.

    Once I'm finished school my whole situation will be super different as I can get a job right away and hopefully be able to afford a horse for myself but for now I'm stuck with my sister' horse if I want to continue riding for the next 6 months of my schooling :/
     
  5. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    It's generally not a good thing to try to work through your fears on a horse that makes your fears worse. And it messes up the horse.

    Riding a 16.2 TB that has flopped on your leg is NOT a good way to get over fear. It's a very good way to end up with crippling lifetime fear. I'd advise taking the next 6 months off riding if that's what you have to do, finish school, and then try taking some lessons with a good trainer who can help you work through the fear.
     
  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Suggestions:

    Don't ride the big horse. Maybe you feel like you have to because your sister does? You really do not have to ride this horse. And it's not a good idea.

    Personally, I don't think your sister should be riding him either. I'd want to see a professional evaluate him and find out why he went down while you were riding him. I wouldn't let anyone on him until it was very clear what happened there.

    Sometimes horses lie down when being ridden because they're just being a brat or something itches them. But it can also be due to back pain or a neurological or heart problem. I'd want to be sure if my kids were riding the horse.

    Suggest you stick with the horses you get lessons on.
     
  7. Marleesgottagun

    Marleesgottagun Registered

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    Thank you all for the suggestions. Won't get back on him. Last thing I want is for him to sense my fear and end up falling off again cause I'm nervous.

    He in very goood health. Gets monthly chiro and massage work done and has a very well fitted saddle. Doubt its a pain issue as weve ruled all that out with maby different vets. Hes just a bit of a brat at times.

    My sister though younger is an amazing rider and has no fear with him. They trust each other beautifully and she's always watched by one of our coach's or barn friends when riding. :)
     
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  8. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    There are horses out there that do not well under riders who are not confident and knowing exactly what they are doing.

    Can be because they take advantage, can also be that it's a sensitive horses way to express that they are uncomfortable or confused.

    There are also horses that will not do well for multiple riders. Not because of a bond thing but because they get uncomfortable when the aids etc are suddenly different to what they are used to. They find it irritating.

    To get anywhere with this horse you would need to ride him several times a week with a good instructor.
     
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  9. QRTXhorseman

    QRTXhorseman Senior Member

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    Hello, Marleesgottagun.

    The information in your initial post describes a common situation where our emotions seem somewhat unrelated to the present reality although related to an actual experience in the past.

    It is difficult to understand exactly what happened when the horse flopped and rolled on you. For example, did he lay down to roll? Did he trip? A rational reaction would be guided by the difference. An emotional reaction, however, is guided by the results of what happened. The fact that this horse is larger than others you have ridden only enhances the emotional reaction.

    The presence of others often helps us deal better with our emotions. Like horses, we are usually more confident when there are others around who act calmly in a situation which might otherwise stimulate our anxiety. If you do seek to ride this horse, do so in the presence of someone who understands your anxiety but is able to help you realize your feelings may not be based on the reality of the present situation. This person should be calm and reassuring rather than judgmental.

    Trying to do something in an effort to overcome a fear may actually increase the fear. The results may be enhanced even more when dealing with an animal that is particularly sensitive to the reactions of others.

    If you are around this horse, focus on what you can do to help the horse relax. This will take the focus off your own feelings, allowing your emotions to be influenced by your efforts to help the horse. If your emotions begin to overcome these efforts, remove yourself from the situation before your anxiety becomes to strong. If you come back to try again, you will come back with a better memory of what happened than if you had left only after your emotions had overwhelmed you.
     
  10. palogal

    palogal Senior Member

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    Is it fun? If not, you're doing it wrong. Stick to what you can do with this horse. If it's walking in circles in the arena do that. Baby steps. If you don't ride often, it's going to take a while.
     
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