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I think I'm at the point of giving up riding. My 24 year old horse has problems now. I do have two younger wonderful horses but they don't have his experience and I just don't feel at ease on them yet. When I try to ride them the only thing on my mind is them spooking or running away with me. I am completely fixated on hitting the ground. I just don't understand, I have rode all my life. I've always rode bareback around home to keep up my balance. The strange thing is, if a person has a gentle horse, I will ride theirs and not be as afraid. I'm 43 and have had one bad accident and it was all my fault. (I could have prevented it.) What's going on with me?

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I have never met so many caring and helpful people in one place. Thank you for all your help and support!
Hey girl, most all of us have been there at some point or another. Fear is one of those things that can help you survive, if it is managable. You just have to get it back to a manageable level. Hang in there!
When i got back into this in my 40's, i never imagined how much there was to learn, i had a pony in my teen years and the faster the better right ! i got a sharp reminder that this is NOT like riding a bike ! after my wreck, BUT i got some help and guidance from Josh Guin (and still do e mailed him the other day for advice) he is always open and ready to help, knowledgeable and in no way intimidating, if my daughter had not come across him at the TSC horse day and started talking to him about my accident (i was still in a cast with a horse i was terrified of) i dont think i would of EVER travelled the journey that he helped me start, and by the way i am still on !!! i still cannot lope properly on my mare- its fear, fear of a sudden jerk to the left and me heading right, wow that ground is hard, and my mare is 16.2 so she is not near to the ground, the way i look at this which keeps me on the right track, is that i would rather do something that i enjoy and sometimes i have to convince myself that i enjoy it - FEAR again !!! its taking a long time to get to where i want to be, but whos on a time scale here ?? i dont have any time scheduled for completion of anything, i do try and push the envelope a little and i am lucky enough to have a big arena to be enclosed in so i am fortunate. I would give josh a call before i call it quits and also everyone is endorsing clinton Anderson, i too think he is brilliant and makes sooooo much sense, i am a member of the no worries club and i get a DVD every month, he did one called confidence building that had 2 ladies one in her 60s that had lost some confidence, he did the cruising lesson, where she let her horse go wherever in the round pen at WTC, and even she nearly became a cropper when her horse changed direction and she headed in the other, but the results were great !! please dont give up, keep in touch with everyone on the site, there will be a lot of rides coming up soon. i am happy to trundle along at a walk all day long, and one big thing i have noticed since i became a horse owner here in TN is that there are a lot of 40 something plus people to ride with, you are not alone !!!!!!!
I know the feeling I have two show horses I totally trust and two younger horses and I feel like you. With one of my horses I did a lot of ground work with a professional helping me that was great!!! It helped me with my confidence. Understanding your horse's personality is very important when you have that you can work on all other issues. LOTS OF GROUND WORK I totally believe in it it helps you understand them without having fear of riding when you gain their trust you have their heart. Good luck! Oh I forgot Josh Guin is the one that got me back on track he's great
i know what you are talkn about. i an 17 an have helpd train and break horses an i aint scared of nothn but my 3yr old i broke a yr and a half ago. my 5yr old bolts bucks rears an bout everything cuz hes so spooky an high strung but my 3yr old is laid bck an has never dun anythang wrong when i work with him. for sum reason i cant just hop on him like i can my 5 yr old. i will suggest 2 you what i was told. they told me to send him to a trainer an then take lessons on him, suck it up an think lightly (if u know what i mean), or sell em and buy a horse i an comfterble with. i dont thnk your scared of riding i thnk your just not comfterble with that horse like you are the older one.
Everyone so far has some pretty sage advice, but no one has mentioned supplementing. I bought one of my geldings (an Arab cross) at a university auction- he was being sold because he was so nervous that he was too dangerous for their equestrian team. I took him away from the busy school environment and saw an immediate change. He was much calmer in the country and on trails. I board him now in a relatively busy stable, and he gets jumpy sometimes. I supplement his diet with Accel; it is a vitamin with tryptophan in it so it calms him right down.
I am not much for the established trainer guys with TV shows (they all have good ideas, but I find something about each one that I don't like), so I took on my own way of training. It's important to remember to be gentle and quiet with spooky horses.
Also, ride the spooky horses in the same place (preferably an enclosed pen or arena) for a while so that you can get used to one another. Even if you only go out and walk and trot for a while, at least it is building your confidence, and eventually you can take the next step.
I've used all of these tips to calm down my crazy gelding, and people who dealt with him back in the day can't believe the change. He is like a different horse! I have even given children lessons on him.
Good luck with them :)
I think I need to get my gelding on some thing like that He is Clinton Anderson trained (by Me) but he seems to have lost it lately. He's spooky and flighty and won't get in the trailer anymore. I recently took him trail riding a couple of times and since then I think it fried his brain.
When I first got my quarter mare she was pretty fired up...I think she had been ridden by kids who knew how to ride and liked to run! Summer seemed like she wanted to go faster than what I wanted to go. My vet told me to try Thiamine powder (available at the co-op) and it should calm her down some while I retrained her to my speed. Thiamine is a B vitamin, no drugs or anything. I tried it, but the powder wasn't very good to feed as it would fall to the bottom of her feed bucket and she wouldn't get it all. I ended up making a horse treat type thing with the powder, some of her regular feed ground up in a coffee grinder, and a little molasses. I came up with a recipe that would be 1 scoop of the thiamine per treat...I called them my Moody Mare Muffins! Baked them in the oven for a bit, let them cool, and gave her one a day. It helped take the 'edge' off her until I got her to realize that being rode didn't mean speed! I have since found it in a pelleted form that would be much easier to feed, I found it in a catalog, called Quiessence. The last time I got it, the co-op ordered it for me. I don't have to use it anymore, but I wouldn't hesitate to if she needed it. It is good for when mares are on their cycle, too.
I'll check it out. Anything's worth a try. I'm tired of fighting with this horse. Oh yes, he's an ex -racehorse.
looks to me that you have a pretty good support system here. don't give up riding just yet. listen and learn, there is much good advise here.
Hello R. Phillips
I am 50 something and have had horses since I was 19ish -- there was only one horse Love of My Life, he got to be 23 and was hit by lightning. I have tried several animals and now have two TWH's that I plan to keep. I have had anxiety issues with several horses and also with hauling the trailer to trail heads. The way I deal with anxiety is by just making myself plan a ride, and take the horse to the ride, and make myself get on it, and of course a 10th of a mile out I am fine and happy to be riding. You just have to get over the initial trepidation, and get out and ride and you'll be fine. -- If you try this with your younger horses and still are uncomfortable trade around until you find one that will put you at ease. Some of the other comments about learning each horse and what to expect from it, are very true. And of course most horses can sense when you are afraid and they will try to take advantage of you. Show them that you are able to ride and they will also respect you more, and be more obedient to cues.
Hi Nancy,
You sound more like me than anyone else. I too am having anxiety about pulling the trailer. I do have two young horses that I'm a lot more at ease with. I had a buckskin mare that threw me twice. I'm really going to try this year. You are right about a 10th of a mile. When I just get on - I feel better pretty fast. Do you ever ride around Columbia or Lewisburg?


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