ptsd / depression and recreational riding

All

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would any one here have first hand experience in neither teaching some one who has ptsd or depression
or if any one has had it them selves

i have a fellow rider and good friend (i believe they started riding because of one of the above reasons)
that has been struggling with a piacular horse at a piacular center (he finds the horse uncontrollable there is no real steering input he moves his body but the horse does the complete opposite to what he wants he gives it more leg
and the horse takes of in canter he tenses up and he pretty much just holds on hopping it will stop ) i am trying to get him on a different horse buy for some reason they keep putting him on this one ?
he no longer feels safe on this horse and its making his symptoms worse
which is not helping him

i brought him to the center where i ride he rode 3 different horses and loved it
the instructor had no major complaints Copple of small thing but that is down to saddle time

if i could find a non toxic yard i could put him in it and he would haply groom / muck out horses all day

i hope this make sense i am not very good a typing out what is in my head !
 
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teapot

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personally i would doubt that either center knows

I can understand both sides of the coin (from personal experience and my job), I think the centre(s) and coach(es) should know. Firstly in case they fall off and hurt themselves/need an ambulance job/are they on any meds etc - it's just good practice, but also for the benefit of your friend's lessons and enjoyment.

Private lessons or a decent, experienced RDA group would be a good bet. If they have any military connections, Battle Back is a good scheme too.
 

Pearlsasinger

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RDA groups can sometimes cater for PTSD people. The group I volunteer with has certainly had riders with depression but ours is not a typical group, in lots of ways. It might be worth you exploring that option though. IME RDA groups like to work *with* their riders rather than expecting them to fit in with the RS priorities.
 

Legolas123

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If the centre is continually putting him on a horse that is wrecking his confidence despite them knowing that it does so I would look for another centre (one that allows people to help out with the horses too?).
Also as a side note as someone with depression I have always found hacking more therapeutic than lessons in a school.
 

Roasted Chestnuts

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I have PTSD. However I have been riding a long time and have my own horse/s, I had my trauma in 2017. He needs to make the centre aware and if they are unable to cater then he will have to find somewhere else who can.

I have a weekly jump group and they are very understanding of my PTSD and also now of my long covid symptoms and if you have to stop you can.

The fit needs to be right. It’s the same with therapy, it has to be right for you. I tried four therapies before I found what helped me return to a useful existence.
 

throwawayaccount

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it'd be worth voicing your concerns to the centre, and perhaps reminding them (or telling them, if they don't know) about your friends diagnosis and concerns, so they can cater to him.
 

ihatework

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I think the centre has to be told the diagnosis for both your friends sake and the horses. Your problem will possibly be the centre not really understanding the implications of the PTSD so if you could get some literature or a letter from the therapist it could help.

It sounds like, for no fault of your friend (or even the horse), there is something about this horse that is triggering a response in your friend that is making them unable to overcome the fear or to follow instructions and learn effectively. So in addition to not being a great experience for the horse, it’s also putting your friend into a downward symptomatic spiral. You need to remove/change the trigger.

I’m sure once the school understand this then they will be in a better position to work with your friend. If they aren’t accommodating then you need to look elsewhere.

In parallel it would be worth working on this specific thing with their therapist. I’m assuming they have had EMDR? If not I’d strongly recommend
 

All

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Let's make one thing clear
I don't know how meny people he has told this to

When I worked with him I new something wasn't right but a year later when he got diagnosed he phoned me up and told.me

The center in question do RDA groups
( I have had lessons with one of the instructors before (not sure if she still does the RDA any more ) but the way she was treating me I would not trust her with him or any one else that struggles with a horse

And I am not the type of person to say to the centre with out him knowing
(It's fine to say on this because you can't put a face / name to who I am taking about )
 

throwawayaccount

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Let's make one thing clear
I don't know how meny people he has told this to

When I worked with him I new something wasn't right but a year later when he got diagnosed he phoned me up and told.me

The center in question do RDA groups
( I have had lessons with one of the instructors before (not sure if she still does the RDA any more ) but the way she was treating me I would not trust her with him or any one else that struggles with a horse

And I am not the type of person to say to the centre with out him knowing
(It's fine to say on this because you can't put a face / name to who I am taking about )

perhaps tell your friend to air his concerns then?
 

Pearlsasinger

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It
Let's make one thing clear
I don't know how meny people he has told this to

When I worked with him I new something wasn't right but a year later when he got diagnosed he phoned me up and told.me

The center in question do RDA groups
( I have had lessons with one of the instructors before (not sure if she still does the RDA any more ) but the way she was treating me I would not trust her with him or any one else that struggles with a horse

And I am not the type of person to say to the centre with out him knowing
(It's fine to say on this because you can't put a face / name to who I am taking about )



It sounds as if he would be better riding somewhere else, tbh. I also wonder if talking/thinking about Stage 1 might be a bit overwhelmoing currently, perhaps bbetter left until he has more confidence in his riding/handling.
 

All

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It




It sounds as if he would be better riding somewhere else, tbh. I also wonder if talking/thinking about Stage 1 might be a bit overwhelmoing currently, perhaps bbetter left until he has more confidence in his riding/handling.

We currently have him riding else were

I will be slowly be teaching him the care side because most of it is practical and it is easier for him to remember

The problem will be if he does the ride element there or else were
 

Wishfilly

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We currently have him riding else were

I will be slowly be teaching him the care side because most of it is practical and it is easier for him to remember

The problem will be if he does the ride element there or else were

Does he need to do exams? And even if it might be good for him, if he has lost all confidence, is it worth worrying about at this stage?

Whilst I don't have any experience of PTSD, I've been through the exam system and found it a hugely stressful experience- which ultimately made me fall out of love with riding/being around horses for a period of time. Obviously it is different for different people- but is it not worth letting him just have some time to be relaxed and happy around horses again?

Is he leading the talk of exams, or you?

I'm sure you are trying to help, and I'm glad you have got him somewhere to ride that is more supportive, though.
 

All

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Does he need to do exams? And even if it might be good for him, if he has lost all confidence, is it worth worrying about at this stage?

Whilst I don't have any experience of PTSD, I've been through the exam system and found it a hugely stressful experience- which ultimately made me fall out of love with riding/being around horses for a period of time. Obviously it is different for different people- but is it not worth letting him just have some time to be relaxed and happy around horses again?

Is he leading the talk of exams, or you?

I'm sure you are trying to help, and I'm glad you have got him somewhere to ride that is more supportive, though.

i am the one taking about the stage 1 manly because i just passed my care (failed the ride that's a different story)

its primarily a goal for him to work to wards (i am not saying he hast to do the exam but i want him to be able to rug a horse feed it ect )
 

maya2008

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His experience with horses is similar to my anxious daughter (right down to the holding on and hoping it will stop rather than pulling on the reins when the horse canters!). We are moving past this with the right pony and time on the lunge. I would encourage him to find a centre with a steady, kind older horse who will look after him. Do they perhaps put him on this horse because, as a man, he is heavier and they don’t have anything steady that will cope with a man’s weight/height?
 

All

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Do they perhaps put him on this horse because, as a man, he is heavier and they don’t have anything steady that will cope with a man’s weight/height?

the amount of times i have herd this about my self its unreal (but yes that is one of the reasons why (i have asked x staff members of this center about my weight and height and they say i will be able to ride a Copple of other horses there ) but the current instructor disagrees
 

Pearlsasinger

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i am the one taking about the stage 1 manly because i just passed my care (failed the ride that's a different story)

its primarily a goal for him to work to wards (i am not saying he hast to do the exam but i want him to be able to rug a horse feed it ect )


Good Lord, you don't need to take an exam to be able to rug and feed a horse! Take the pressure off and you might find that he relaxes much more.
 

All

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Good Lord, you don't need to take an exam to be able to rug and feed a horse! Take the pressure off and you might find that he relaxes much more.
I believe you miss read my last statement
I can teach him the care side of things over a 6 month period
( I have taught the guy things before in one of the company's we worked in all you do is brake it down in to smaller more understandable chunks ( he's spent his life doing things a certain way if you show him something he will do it exactly the way you show him )
I am not saying he hast to do the exam !!
He is relaxed on the ground it's when he is on the horse things go wrong !
 

Pearlsasinger

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I suggest that, as he has changed RS, you concentrate on your own exam practice and leave the professionals to teach your friend what he needs to know. It might well be good for you to pass on your knowledge but it is unllikely to be deep/broad enough to explain fully to someone else. I have re-read your previous post and believe that I could hardly understand it any differently.
 

Wishfilly

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i am the one taking about the stage 1 manly because i just passed my care (failed the ride that's a different story)

its primarily a goal for him to work to wards (i am not saying he hast to do the exam but i want him to be able to rug a horse feed it ect )

What does he want?

There's no need for him to do BHS exams in order to learn some basic horse care, either...
 

ihatework

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What does he want?

.

This is the question that jumps out at me.

I may have read into it wrong but you are coming across as trying to impose what you want for him, on him.

He has PTSD. He isn’t incapacitated. Really try and understand what he wants out of it, gently guide/steer him, but ultimately he has to take charge to make it happen.
 

P.forpony

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I've worked in several different varieties of physical and mental therapy programmes with horses.

It sounds to me like learning to ride and helping your friends PTSD are two separate things right now.
They need to be looked at together to improve.
A person who is struggling with PTSD symptoms while on a horse will not learn to ride easily. Neither will a person's PTSD be helped by struggling to ride.

Find an instructor that is both willing and able to approach this the right way and your friend could learn a new skill and personally benefit massively from it.

I once spent 6 weeks just focusing on breathing and body awareness with a chap while he was on a horse taking the 'riding lessons' out of the equation, by the end of it he was walk trot and cantering without even realising he'd learnt it.
 
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