too scared to ride.....

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lilym

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It is official, tonight i have given up my lessons, it doesn't matter who tries to teach me the result is the same, i cannot ride in a school, i hack out occasionally, and that doesn't bother me but i just cant school.......tonight i got off half way through my lesson, i couldn't do anything, i just froze as i was sooo terrified, even on my old mare. I feel so damn useless and TBH will probably never ride again.
totally useless post but hey ho.
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diggerbez

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oh thats such a shame! as above- do you want to ride? if not then why push yourself? or if you are happy with the odd hack why not just stick to that....its meant to be fun after all
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LadyRascasse

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aww lily, is it your horse you are woried about riding or just in general, if it your horse you are welcome to come and have a plod on joe he is very safe.

other than that i don't know what to say hun
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Cliqmo

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As above really, seems a shame to give it up but if you really don't enjoy it then why do it to yourself? Stick with what you're happy doing
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MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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It would be interesting to know whether you have always had a confidence issue when riding, or whether this is something that has developed recently, coz if you can isolate where you lost your confidence, then that might give you the key to regain it.

I had an old cob for years and bless him he would have taken me past the gates of hell itself, then I lost him and just couldn't find the right horse. Riding different horses who I didn't know, I just lost confidence completely and was a nervous wreck.

I have heard that NLP is good coz it helps you to be goal-orientated and it also helps you overcome your fears by training your mind. I know a lot of professional riders have used it with great success so it might be worth a try? Or perhaps a sports/performance coach, but they'd need to either ride themselves or understand the riding/confidence dynamic.

I've now got a lovely cob; but I was totally a nervous wreck on him just a month ago. My fear was making him spooky and afraid to meet traffic on the roads (the old adage of "fear runs down the reins") and I advertised him for loan/sale coz I just hadn't got the confidence to hack out anymore.

BUT the storey doesn't end there coz I asked a lady to help me with him. She does natural horsemanship and picks out the best ideas from each discipline.

Within three sessions I was hacking out happily alone plus we have done our first pleasure ride. My horse is chilled, relaxed and laid back - a totally different horse and no way am I gonna sell my baby.

So its worth getting some help, and not to be embarrased about it coz we all struggle with confidence at some point.

Go for it!
 

Moggy in Manolos

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Try not to let it get you down.
I dont do schooling in a school, my pleasure is hacking and i will teach a few manners out hacking, i find plodding along in the countryside most relaxing after a long day/week, not that i am getting out just now
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There are plenty of us that dont like going round a school, do more of what you enjoy, try out a few things and go with what makes you happy as life is too short to not enjoy it, and if horse riding is not right then perhaps do something else, good luck and chin up x
 
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lilym

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[ QUOTE ]
This may seem a silly question, but do you WANT to ride and its your demons stopping you a=or do you just not like it ?

[/ QUOTE ]

yes i would love to ride and do want to.....i would love to be able to hop on and school and do a dressage test, and trot and canter, but i have visions of ending up in a wheelchair/bucked off/trampled etc etc
 

eventing09

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So why are you letting it get the better of you. This sport isnt about 'what if' its all about 'going for it'. you will only get to where you want to be with sheer hard work and lots of practise. Fight those demons inside of you and picture yourself in one year if you keep at it
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. You WILL get to where you want to be if you just keep trying
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Again, i know i keep saying this but you MUST fight those demons inside, we all have to, some more than others. Seems harsh but keep at it, im sure you will succeed, it may take time but be strong. Good luck were all here for you
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Just go for it
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lilym

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[ QUOTE ]
So why are you letting it get the better of you. This sport isnt about 'what if' its all about 'going for it'. you will only get to where you want to be with sheer hard work and lots of practise. Fight those demons inside of you and picture yourself in one year if you keep at it
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. You WILL get to where you want to be if you just keep trying
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Again, i know i keep saying this but you MUST fight those demons inside, we all have to, some more than others. Seems harsh but keep at it, im sure you will succeed, it may take time but be strong. Good luck were all here for you
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Just go for it
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[/ QUOTE ]

i have tried and i can't, it's getting worse.......i have a paralyzing fear when the horse so much as snorts or moves it head....think of an agrophobic being dumped on dartmoor!! that sort of fear, i can't move and can't breath, so i would rather give up than keep upsetting the horses, it's a shame as i want to ride.
 

samstar

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Ditto, I'm like that and won't even ride out on my own, but I'm forcing myself to have lessons so I can put those feelings in the dustbin.
I soooooooo want to be able to ride my mare out on her own but since rearing with me I still have those memories right at the front of my head. She has not really put a foot wrong since that but I can't shake it out of my mind.
I know I've got to think alot more positive to achieve this though.
Good luck with whatever you decide, but I say get back in that saddle
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eventing09

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Hmmm, isnt there some sort of counciler (if thats the right word "/ ) you can go to to help with your fear. Really its the last thing i can suggest. good luck in whatever you choose. Would be a real sad loss if you gave up.
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lilym

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if you saw me ride you would see it would be no sad loss to the horsey world if i did give up!
 

Flibble

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Sorry to butt in but nobody who loves riding should put themselves through this turmoil.

Self Preservation is good, being aware that horses can be naughty is good but your mind is taking this to extremes. Have you had a very bad experience at some point?

I am not sure how old you are but what you are describing could be your hormones playing up.
 

megwan1

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if ur scared to canter in the school (the thort terrifies me) then dont just stick to walk and trot (like i do) until u r really confident with that then u will have a break through
if u decide u want to quit then do what u want at the end of the day life is too short to be unhappy so good luck with ur choices
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eventing09

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The thing is, do you really and i mean REALLLYYYYY want to carry on ? The thing is theres no point putting yourself through this if every ride your going to be petrified about every movement. If you loved it seriously that much you would be determined to carry on and keep trying without giving up. I cant really put it any other way tbh. I do feel for you and understand what your saying but if your going to carry on worrying about it all without doing anything about it then ..... I think no matter who you are or what your background is everyone has to start somewhere and sometimes these things can only make you a better and stronger rider, strange i know
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but thats the way it works. We all fall off and most of us have lost our confidence at some point, i mean i know i have with xc but now my horse is juming again and ive had a break ive had time to pick myself back up again and soon im going to a xc schooling day
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i think the only way forward is to push yourself. sometimes its going to be difficult and scary but thats the way you learn. Weve all started from somewhere
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good luck in what you choose anyway
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MrsMozart

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Aw hun.

I wonder if as said above it could be hormones/age. I know I've had moments when I've thought 'What the feck am I doing?! I could get seriously hurt doing this! And my family depend on me for everything! I must be mad!'. So, I bought a body protector, a coat with body armour in it, the best hat I could find, and a five-point competitions breastplate so's I had lots to hold onto. I probably look ridiculous and I don't care
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. I now work on the basis that more people get hurt/killed crossing the road than they do riding horses.

I used to stress about other people being better riders than me, but then I thought, but there are better riders than them
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. Then I watched some dressage riders, and they were wobbling and bobbling round so much I thought 'Ah ha!', they don't look very good (alright, they know which buttons to press, but they're not doing a very neat job of it'. I watched some people who I think 'Wow'
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. I know I'll never be as good as them, but it doesn't matter, it's just a pleasure to watch them.

Just a thought, 'cos I think I'm rambling now, lack of sleep
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, but have a go at Western riding. No schooling as such, comfortable and laid back style, no stress on joints or mind - you can troll down the road or along tracks and do pleasure rides when you feel ready.
 

Chavhorse

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I am not sure what category I fall into at the moment unless you have one for "really really "bloody" scared" lol

I have been riding for over 30 years trained as BHSII owned horses all my life competed yadda yadda. Used to live in Cyprus and owned an ex racehorse who I would happily hack out for hours alone in the middle of nowhere ....always considered myself and was considered by my peers pretty much fearless erring on having deathwish!

Moved to Holland in January 2008 and took on a loan ex racer, very challenging horse, used to have the habit of being cool calm and collected then for no reason at all rear, bolt & nap but I was confident enough at that time to ride through it all with no problem. In September 2008 he bolted and I had the ice cold realisation that this time I was out of control he had totally lost the plot and had lost all thoughts of his own self preservation forget mine....I have no recollection of what happened I am told that at one point I was actually leaning out of the saddle trying to pull him up with his bit ring to no avail and that when he gathered to jump a canal onto a main road I actually bailed out.

I woke in an ambulance with a broken shoulder, three broken ribs, fractured knee, bruising, internal bleeding and a concussion that left me only able to open one eye for weeks afterwards.

The only stipulation my Husband made was that this horse went, he was gone back to the owner the next day. Further investigation showed he was medically sound with no pain issues he was just not a horse that could in any way be relied on....He is now a very happy pasture puff.....he was always great to handle on the ground. His owner has no idea what happend in his past to give him these issues but he decided that he was no longer prepared to take any risks.

I knew myself and that if I did not get straight out and buy something then I would never have anything to do with horses again. 1 month later (still on crutches) Vardi arrived a 3.5 year old Warmblood x Appaloosa. Madness indeed a youngster everyone said but my masterplan was that Vardi would be the horse I wanted no bad history no unexplained histrionics a cool calm collected all round horse.

I was lucky that I had friends who offered good back up (no way was I up to even leading a youngster in the first few months) I spent my time being with him sitting in his stable talking to him building a bond.....I will be honest and say I was terrified at first of even grooming or rugging him up......I knew and was terrified he would realise that I had no strength and he could walk very firmly all over me if he so wanted!

I contacted Emiel Voest a trainer in Holland who has developed a "freestyle" form of training or as I describe Horse sense and Commonsense combined told him of my gut feeling that I wanted him re-started from scratch.

My instinct was correct we have discovered a lot of gaps but are filling them in step by step and Vardi is blooming under this type of training. So Vardi is being worked with every day I go over for 2 x 1 hour one on one sessions so I can learn the techniques and methods so my confidence is building on the ground.

I will freely admit I am afraid of riding, but know how much I love it so it is something I want beaten also I do not want a 600 kilo dog! I have gone back to basics lunge lessions on my friends plod.....I cantered for the first time on the lunge last week which believe me was a major breakthrough!.

Vardi is with the trainers till the 30th May by that time I will be riding him I have told Astrid (the trainer) that I want to be hacking him out for 30 mins with another horse (if we can do it alone then perfect) by the time I leave for my new yard. Something which will be sustainable for both of us so we can slowly but surely build up to a 1.5 hour walk and trot hack out alone by the end of the summer. This from the woman who used to cream her ex racer up mountains alone.

Baby steps and the right support is the answer a loss of confidence can happen to anyone even someone who thought it could never happen to them which is humbling.....to be honest if someone had said to me "just get on with it stop being a wuss I would have run in the opposite direction.

As it is I will get there and once I do I then want to re-evalutate and specialise in teaching people with confidence issues.....it is a very fine line to tread between pushing someone to overcome thier fears and pushing them into giving up completly.

A large G&T for anyone managing to struggle through all this waffle but in a nutshell loss of confidence is horrible, there is no rhyme or reason to it and the worst thing is you know you are being totaly ridiculous.....but you are in a place where you can't get out of the loop.....time and patience and baby steps are the only answer.....
 

Brandysnap

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[ QUOTE ]
It is official, tonight i have given up my lessons, it doesn't matter who tries to teach me the result is the same, i cannot ride in a school, i hack out occasionally, and that doesn't bother me but i just cant school.......tonight i got off half way through my lesson, i couldn't do anything, i just froze as i was sooo terrified, even on my old mare. I feel so damn useless and TBH will probably never ride again.
totally useless post but hey ho.
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[/ QUOTE ]

Well, matey, you've just had wrong trainers, who didn't understand you?

If i'd ever taught anyone who felt they had to get off halfway through a lesson, i would shoot myself, as i'm sure all trainers would.

But then again, the main question is, why do you want lessons?

Do you enjoy hacking your old mare friend? Do you have any particular problems with her that you feel lessons would help? Yes, all horses are much safer on the roads, in direct comparison to their level of schooling, but my best horse ever on roads was Connemara baby (loads of brains, bless her!), totally unschooled by me.

You shouldn't worry about training sessions, you're the one who's paying.

Enjoy what you want to do with your horse, there's plenty of trainers out there, have you asked locally/checked BHS register? BS x
 

Brandysnap

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[ QUOTE ]
I am not sure what category I fall into at the moment unless you have one for "really really "bloody" scared" lol

I.....

[/ QUOTE ]

Hi Chavhorse,

What a horrific time you've had, breaks my heart that someone at BSHII level had such bad experience. But you're getting through.

Please never forget how easy it is to lose confidence, from one (very bad) experience (been there), and it will take a lot of time for other horses to restore it. Please never forget that you are a very competent rider. And Vardi will do you proud.

Keep chatting to all your friends about it, helps put all in perspective. And you've got a lovely horse now.

With trust in you + him, BS x
 

Chavhorse

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Well, matey, you've just had wrong trainers, who didn't understand you?

BS nail on the Head! I will put my hand up now and admit that when I was teaching I was of the "oh for gods sake stop being such a bloody wimp" school.....then it happened to me and it is a case of

you sorta have to go through it to really understand.

OP

1. Owning horses is too expensieve a hobby to spend the time fearful and hating it....if you hate schooling and enjoy hacking.....hack!

2. If you want to beat the demons find an instructor who understands how to work with pupils lacking in confidence work out a systematic approach with incorporates baby steps....what helped me was agreeing with my instructor a goal for each lesson that was achievable....my first time back on a horse after 6 months after the fall was merely get on and be led in walk (on a very short lead rope). If you are happy and want to push on in that lesson do so if not you have achieved you goal so get off and pat yourself on the back.

3. Give it time and don't rush anything it has taken time to build this up in your head accept it will take time to get over.

4. This will sound stupid but get a song in your head and when you feel nervous SING.....keeps you breathing and fools the horse into thinking you are the most confident person the world.....you may feel a numpty but who cares!

Sorry if I am coming over all evangelical about this but I am so aware (and eternally grateful to Anneke and Astrid) that if either of them had said either snap out of it you wimp or put me in a position where I could have easily have got out of the lession then I would have given up completly. Case in point my first lesson was booked for a January evening....it was hammering down I called Anneke assuming she would cancel she refused and I found myself on top of a soaking wet Fresian in a downpour with my wonderful instructor saying its ok I haven't drowned yet!
 

Brandysnap

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Hi again, Chavhorse

Just look back from where you've come, + how far Anneke and Astrid have helped you move on.

And congratulate yourself! x

Teaching is a lot about confidence, as you know, and your teaching friends have never thought you were a 'wimp', rather, they respected your abilities + commitment. They'd be mortified if you cancelled, think that way.

If someone like you cancelled a lesson with me, in a January downpour, i'd just think it was because i was total shite! There we go.

My song for my youngster (many years ago) was Louis Armstrong's 'We have all the time in the world', very relevant, + yes, i did sing it (it was my trainer's idea!!). She also got me talking about what i was having for tea, etc.

With all best wishes, + understanding to all who know what i'm on about, BS x
 

Tnavas

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I don't know how old you are but as you get older you do tend to think of all the things that can go wrong and that as you get older you don't bounce so well.

A couple of things you can do is to firstly think about the number of people world wide that ride, the number that fall off and the number that do get more seriously injured. Then think of the number of people who drive or travel in cars, get hurst and the ones that get badly hurt.

Second thought is to go to a hypnotherapist who may be able to help you cope better through suggestion.

In the meantime, enjoy your mare on the ground, lunge her and take her for walks.

Rarely do horses fall over in a dressage arena or in a school unless they are going stupidly fast, even then they have really good balance.

Finally have a stiff drink before your lesson!
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LadyRascasse

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i think its a sad loss lily, and as i have said to you loads of time in the last 24 hours (probably bored of it now) you are always welcome at my yard, i but my novice brother who has never been round horses before and in 5 mins he wasn't scared and was asking me to take him off the lunge so he can practise turning him.

if you need/want me to do anything let me know. i'm hear if you need me
 

YorksG

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I do hope the stiff drink comment was a joke, PLEASE don't use aldohol to bolster confidence! It rarely works and can lead to many further problems.
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lensmith7

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I know exactly how you feel. I'm exactly the same.

I got a sharer just so Josie would be schooled, as I just couldn't any more.

Once I'd done this, I took the pressure off myself, feeling guilty for not taking her in there, and was happy to hack (which I used to have HUGE issues with too, and overcame) I found myself happier and happier to get on, until one day, I didn't have that stomach churning inside me, and if I didn't ride I actually missed it.

Take the pressure off yourself, dont even think about riding in the school for a bit just hack, breath deep, and start to enjoy

Huge hugs x x
 

M_G

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If you enjoy hacking then carry on I know an awful lot of people who school all the time but are terrified to hack & to them you are a dare devil, I do both but wouldnt canter on a hack ATM perhaps in time.

We all have things that scare us and with help and support can still enjoy our horses doing exactly what we want to do
 

Pearlsasinger

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If you enjoy hacking, then go hacking.
Eventually you might feel that you could walk into the school to dismount at the end of your hack, then you might be able to walk along one side before dismounting etc, etc.
If you are fine out hacking you will be relaxed when you get back and may well feel more confident at the end of the ride than when you get on and go straight into the school.
If you want to school your horse it is more than possible to do so whilst out hacking.
 
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