I had a bad fall with an 3year Arab when I was about 15 in Percy Warner Park someone dumped a bag of popcorn on the trails and scared my horse to death He fell head first and I hung onto his neck and we rolled down the hill.
That was several years ago thankfully nothing happened to me or my horse just banged up a bit but I gave up horses till about age 40.Then I bought another Arabian (just love em) THE FEAR WAS WITH ME!!!!!!! and still is.
I just try to stay calm and just get off if I'm afraid. I showed for about 10 years love every minute of it, Now with new issues I have fear again. Xanax is my choice I know its bad but I do have terrible anxiety it works quick and doesn't stay with you long.I can remember at some of the Dressage shows upper level riders taking a shot of scotch before big rides. I love all my horses and the fear factor is better I have tried to teach mine to yield away from pressure and to respect my space and I try to relax and enjoy I'm really glad to see people open up and talk about their problems PS I wear a helmet(most of the time) you only have one brain
I now own 3 appys and a quarter horse. I still have my Arabian( sort of )
I got back into horses when I was 50. I was apprehensive at first due to all the years since I had ridden and I knew my physical limitations (balance and strength are not as good). It was manageable apprehension and I looked at it as a good thing because it kept me from doing stupid things! I always wear a helmet and always try to longe my horse before riding to gauge his mood (frisky or calm, etc), warm him up, and reinforce to him who is in charge. Summer before last he spooked and spun right out from under me. I fell hard and injured my ribs. I learned practically EVERYTHING on your body is connected to your ribs! It hurt so badly to move anything but my toes and my eyelids, that just the thought of getting out of bed would almost make me cry! I didn't ride again for almost 8 weeks while my ribs healed. Apprehension turned to gut wrenching fear. I would almost get sick at my stomach at just the thought of riding. I was determined to get over it. I still longe my horse before riding (if possible), still wear a helmet, although none of my riding buddies do, but I really concentrate on my breathing when I get around my horse, taking deep, slow breaths. I also sit a minute or two after mounting, again keeping my breathing slow and even, and talk to him. Once we have started riding and are on the trail, I am ok. It is getting easier and I am almost back to the 'healthy apprehension' stage. I don't think I will ever have enough skill or confidence in my skill to be totally fearless. But the enjoyment I get out of riding with my buddies is worth 'pushing through' that fear and keeps me riding.
Hi All--Your sharing has made me feel really wonderful!!! And here I've been riding, or maybe just taking care of horses since 1976, with the emphasis on taking care of rather than riding. Barn chores were my way of avoiding riding. I think I've really begun to get things together.
I boarded with a friend in Watertown over 10 years ago. As it turned out I was always riding some of her walkers instead of my quarter horse. When she trained a horse and thought she was close to ready to sell the horse, Iwas the final test. If Mary can ride it, then anyone can ride it! I was also good at urning out dead-heads. That was a good thing.
You see, riding quarter horses was just not my calling. I'd come off at the least little bobble. Had some wrecks; knocked unconscious with and without a helmet; accidentally became a rodeo rider and broke my collar bone (a whole story to itself. lol); and I was scared even thinking of riding. But I sure did a lot of lunging.
Even today I'm a little nervous about riding. I'm determined to ride, even with recent disabling health issues. It took a lot of work to get where I am today. I even became confident enough to be the first person on the young horses I raised. I'd always berated myself for being such a clutz and kept being on the verge of throwing in the towel. I finally discovered that I had a motion sickness problem and have been taking OTC meclazine for several years. It has really helped. My friend in Watertown, Penny, was very helpful in helping me gain confidence by only puting me on horses she felt I could be successful with. Riding a lot of different horses was a good idea, too. Also, I took riding lessons as I could afford them with the intention of riding many different horses. Did I mention that I've been a TWH, SSHEBA owner for more than 10 years. Oh, I still have come off my walkers a few times, but I just say I bounce really well for an old lady of 59 yrs.! I'm now a certified riding instructor and fully understand the timid rider. I'm also the proud, but broke, owner of 16 horses.
To all of you who have shared, just don't give up. Keep working on your riding. Surround yourself with riders who are willing to help you through a scary trail situation and understand what a grip fear can take. Good horses and good people, that's the answer. A special thanks to Penny in Watertown for all her patience and kindness that helped me become a better and more confident rider. I'm not sure that includes the steep and long ride down the mountain side at Short Mountain. She had to keep looking back at me to be sure I was remembering to breathe! Happy trails and much fun this riding season....................
Amen to that, sister! Good riding buddies are essential! You can take lessons, work on the ground work, lunging, etc...but once you are ready to ride that trail, good riding buddies who will ride with you, at your pace and level of confidence, helps immensely! My group of friends ranges from very skilled to...me (lol), not so skilled, our youngest member is 10, the oldest is...again, me (lol), but we always have fun and we always look out for each other. That's why we call ourselves the S.H.O.T. Club...if we all get to the end of the ride and everyone is still in the saddle, then we are "Still happy on top!"