Struggling with anxiety since getting my new horse 🙁

Joined
10 September 2018
Messages
16
Just that really and I suppose I hoping others who have experience similar can reassure me things will settle down.
My new horse is the first horse I’ve owned although I have had a loan horse at my riding stables for six months, however he was a very very laid back not forward going chap.
I’m struggling to ride her unless Im in a lesson with my instructor and even then I’m an absolute bag of nerves, to the point where I’m unable to listen properly or ride to the best of my ability.
My instructor has confidence she is a nice horse, not nasty in any wy and is suitable for me, however she is comsiderably more forward going than my loan horse (this was virtually inevitable) however she is rather clever cob and she is more Than able to use tactics to avoid doing what Im asking.
We have had a number of small teething troubles with things handling wise since I got her and these things are already 95% better.
Everything is stressful, from learning the routines of the yard,buying tack, organising vets and farriers when she arrived, getting to know her and her being so different to my share horse. And I have a lot of professional support whee I am so can't blame that.
I just feel so out of my depth and on the verge of tears a lot at present!!
Tell me it will get better!!!
 

dogatemysalad

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Joined
22 July 2013
Messages
2,995
What you describe is probably true for nearly every new owner. I still remember the feeling of utter uselessness at trying to do something as basic as mixing my horses breakfast or putting on a new piece of tack. Those memories from decades ago make me smile now. Just remember that as you become more familiar with your new horse, you will be the expert of her. You'll know everything about her personality, every lump and bump on her body and how she is through the seasons.
I'm pretty impressed that you've organised lessons and persist even though you find it hard. So many people don't bother and give up at the first hurdle. Give your self time, no one becomes an expert without a journey of practising, failing and trying again.
Don't be too hard on yourself, you will get there.
 

Lindylouanne

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2 November 2013
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6,395
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On the edge of the Cotswolds
Just take a deep breath and focus on what you have achieved so far. I see it as a learning curve in which you are starting to understand her, she no longer tests you like she first did, you are riding her in lessons even though you are feeling unsure and nervous, you have a great and supportive instructor, you are getting the hang of yard routine and you have arranged services that you needed. I call that success 😁

The more you do the easier it will get and in a few months time you won't know what you were worrying about and we will look forward to hearing about your adventures together.
 

Upthecreek

Active Member
Joined
9 May 2019
Messages
32
What you are describing is all perfectly normal. It is so different having your own horse for the first time when you are responsible for everything. I remember lacking in confidence so much and being so worried I was doing everything wrong.

I know it’s easier said than done but try not to stress too much about the riding. You need to get to know her and build your confidence. Being more forward than your loan horse is not bad, just different, and it will take time to get used to. Take the pressure off by doing fun things you both enjoy. Do you have someone you can hack out with?

Spend time grooming her and building a bond and I’m sure your confidence will grow and your anxiety will reduce daily. We all have our wobbles though, that’s the joy of horse ownership!!

There are people on here with loads of knowledge and experience so don’t be afraid to ask any questions, no matter how silly they seem. A problem shared and all that......
 
Joined
30 September 2018
Messages
4
I've had my mare for 7 years and she was the first horse I owned. I can honestly say that for the first 12 months I felt physically sick travelling to the livery yard!! It takes a lot of courage getting to know/handle/ride and build a bond with a new horse. It is soooo worth it though - what helped me was keeping a diary of even the smallest successes and achievements. Be brave and persevere - you won't regret it!!
 
Joined
11 September 2014
Messages
10
It will get better - I could have written your post almost word for word a few years ago! I was quite overwhelmed by the responsibility of horse ownership. There seemed to be so much to learn and so many choices to make (with lots of potential for making the wrong decision). I found/still find setting myself small goals (rather than focusing on the "big picture") helpful - it allows me to appreciate my achievements/progress and actually enjoy the experience rather than focusing on all the things I can't do/don't know yet. It sounds as though you have lots of good support and you are doing all the right things - just hang in there and don't be afraid to ask for advice or help - we are all learning when it comes to horses. Horse ownership has caused me lots of anxiety at times but has also brought such joy - it really is worth it!
 

equi

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Joined
25 October 2010
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8,965
Location
Northern Ireland
It all takes time. The best advice I can give you is to give yourself a break! Many new owners want to do everything perfectly and immediately perfectly. That’s never going to happen! Let yourself make mistakes, let yourself be rubbish at something - it’s okay! Stressing about doing things perfectly will only aim to achieve disaster.

Have fun, don’t take things too seriously and ask your instructor to give you some fun bonding type lessons too so you’re not just focused on riding perfectly. There is a reason riding schools make people do around the world and play with stirrups and the like - it’s all about fun!
 

ownedbyaconnie

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Joined
3 October 2018
Messages
119
Set yourself small goals/tasks and jot them down so you can see what you’ve achieved. Your brain will naturally concentrate on the one tiny thing that didn’t go to plan and ignore the 10 other things that went well.

Anyone that doesn’t feel this way when they get their first horse is lying!
 

Trinket12

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20 December 2017
Messages
148
I hear you! I have had Sugar for nearly three weeks and also feel overwhelmed. There have been issues with her feet (she's barefoot and the previous owner trimmed her too short), some shenanigans coming in from the field (though that's sorted, but one of her new field buddy's is being a numpty), because of her feet I have only just been able to start lessons last week properly (she was great thankfully). Trying to get a saddle is also an issue, I am short and need a short flap which seem to be like hens teeth in an 18 inch :rolleyes:

I can also relate to the more forward part! My sort of lease horse was not a fan of trotting and it was exhausting! But with Sugar, she get's excited and I have to half halt and slow down, not something I am used too!

I think it's normal to feel this way, there's a lot to learn and it's a very different feeling when it's your own horse! I try to take each day as it comes, and also focus on the positive things that happen that day.

Good luck!
 

Horse2018

Active Member
Joined
21 April 2018
Messages
41
I hear you! I have had Sugar for nearly three weeks and also feel overwhelmed. There have been issues with her feet (she's barefoot and the previous owner trimmed her too short), some shenanigans coming in from the field (though that's sorted, but one of her new field buddy's is being a numpty), because of her feet I have only just been able to start lessons last week properly (she was great thankfully). Trying to get a saddle is also an issue, I am short and need a short flap which seem to be like hens teeth in an 18 inch :rolleyes:

I can also relate to the more forward part! My sort of lease horse was not a fan of trotting and it was exhausting! But with Sugar, she get's excited and I have to half halt and slow down, not something I am used too!

I think it's normal to feel this way, there's a lot to learn and it's a very different feeling when it's your own horse! I try to take each day as it comes, and also focus on the positive things that happen that day.

Good luck!
It took me a year to feel confident on my horse and I can completely understand the short people problem I am 5 foot and my horse is 16 hands good luck with your horse.
 

tiahatti

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Joined
19 October 2018
Messages
111
Sounds as though you are dealing with everything as it crops up, I think its really good that you are having lessons with the instructor. Don't be so hard on yourself.
 

Highflinger

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Joined
15 December 2016
Messages
149
I think virtually every first time owner feels this. Give yourself time and take small steps to build confidence. I felt the same when I bought my new horse last year - he was my third but I hadn't bought a new horse for 18 years and was so used to my other boy that the new one being "different" was stressful . It took a good 6 months for me to get used to him .
 

Trouper

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Joined
11 May 2015
Messages
51
It's all been said here really because we have ALL been there and, however experienced you become, horses will always throw curved balls at you. I think sometimes when we worry we become too wrapped up in ourselves and how we are feeling that we forget to look at it from the horses point of view. It does take time to get to know a new horse(and mares are surely different from geldings) but she is looking to you as "her person" who provides the continuity and security in her life so just move forward gently and slowly and consistently with her handling - the riding will fall into place later. You will get there because you are obviously are a caring owner and your mare is lucky to have you!!
 

Pearlsasinger

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Joined
20 February 2009
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23,999
Location
W. Yorks
It's not just first time owners who wonder if they've done the right thing. Every time I bring a new horse home, I wonder if I've done the right thing, will the horse settle, will it behave as it did at the viewing, how will it get on with the others, etc, etc? It takes time to build up a relationship of mutual trust with any horse.
It always works out in the end, sometimes things have to change, we had to move a mare to a different yard before she would settle and, even now they are at home, we had to separate 2 mares before there was a serious injury. You have to work round them, rather than expecting them to change.
 
Joined
15 June 2019
Messages
12
I c
Just that really and I suppose I hoping others who have experience similar can reassure me things will settle down.
My new horse is the first horse I’ve owned although I have had a loan horse at my riding stables for six months, however he was a very very laid back not forward going chap.
I’m struggling to ride her unless Im in a lesson with my instructor and even then I’m an absolute bag of nerves, to the point where I’m unable to listen properly or ride to the best of my ability.
My instructor has confidence she is a nice horse, not nasty in any wy and is suitable for me, however she is comsiderably more forward going than my loan horse (this was virtually inevitable) however she is rather clever cob and she is more Than able to use tactics to avoid doing what Im asking.
We have had a number of small teething troubles with things handling wise since I got her and these things are already 95% better.
Everything is stressful, from learning the routines of the yard,buying tack, organising vets and farriers when she arrived, getting to know her and her being so different to my share horse. And I have a lot of professional support whee I am so can't blame that.
I just feel so out of my depth and on the verge of tears a lot at present!!
Tell me it will get better!!!
to It me sounds like you don’t mach with each other . A horse could be suited to your riding ability but not your personality. A lot of people just don’t get along with certain horses. I would take lessons a see how you’re feeling but if you’re still nervous then you would have to think is these the right horse for you . I wish you the best and I hope it works out for you. Good luck
 
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