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Always * Offline
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My friend and her horses - October 29th 2012, 01:45 PM

One of my friends from back home has horses, and I used to ride with her a lot. But then I moved away to go to university. During the period that I have been in university (3 years) first I got thrown and fractured my spine. It was NOT my friends horses fault, the horse was spooked and she spun really hard away from it and I just wasn't able to hold onto it. And then last summer I rode this horse at a barn close to my current city who just jerked me around a lot, like he gave me a lot of problems where he wouldn't let me mount or he'd get all spooky in the one corner of the riding ring and he even bucked once, and considering the magnitude of my last riding incident I needed a horse that would build my confidence back up and not shake me up even more. I finally started riding this really huge (seriously, her back was 2 inches higher than me) but really sweet tempered and easy going mare, but I only got to ride her about twice before I went out of town for a month/started school again, so that didn't really get me anywhere.
ANY HOW, so that's my background. And my friend said she wants me to go riding at Christmas when I am visiting my family. But I don't know how to tell her no. I LOVE riding, it's just that I don't know how to tell her that I am afraid of falling again and that don't think I can just go for a ride just like that. The second a horse gets antsy I start freaking the fuck out, and I want to be able to ride again so badly because I love horses and I love riding, but I want to ease back into it slowly and I don't want to have to insist on a super slow/short ride because of that but I dunno... What should I do? I don't want people thinking I am afraid of horses, it's the riding that I am afraid of, and I want to deal with that and get past it, but I also don't want to admit that to anyone (everyone being mostly my friend)




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Last edited by Chris; October 29th 2012 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Added: Non-PG13 (Strong Language) title
   
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Re: My friend and her horses - October 29th 2012, 04:29 PM

Bumble bee there is nothing wrong admitting to your friend that your scared, it's completely normal, you trusted that horse and since you fell and hurt your spine that trust turned into fear, You lost your confidence and explaining that to your friend is better then to bottle it up. Bottle up your fears, thoughts, truth wont be ok. You need to tell her your scared she will understand and maybe she will help you get through this don't go through it on your own, everyone needs support right? Get to know the horse make a relationship with him you get to know him or her and she/him gets to know you so you both can trust each other. The horse isn't use to you that's all. Forget riding the horse, focus on the horse and yourself build trust, Let you and the horse be very natural with each other first it wont take long it might take a month, weeks. When you and the horse know each other and your relationship has been successful, You can take some lessons with him have fun around the stable or nearby before going too far out. Develop your confidence naturally through practice and patience Take your time, one step and then the next. Not too fast, nor all at once. Let things build on themselves. Lay a good foundation. These things will help you to replace your fear.....with trust
   
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Re: My friend and her horses - October 29th 2012, 04:49 PM

I've been there and done it, i got trampled by a horse and it really freaked me out and i was terrified of going on a horse again which was pretty difficult since i worked at a riding school and i took treks daily.

I think you should spend sometime with the horse but not get on it at first, groom it, walk it, bathe it, touch it, familiarise yourself, learn it's mood and it's dislikes and likes, gain it's trust then when you feel ready take the horse into the school with someone there you trust to help you build your confidence, start off by sitting on it and when you feel comfortable walk with the horse at your own pace and then maybe try trotting, if your really nervous have someone put the horse on a leadrope and walk with you, take your mind off the fact that your on a horse.

If the horse senses your nervous it will get nervous himself and be more likely to spook because they can feel you tensed up and every move you may make an uncomfortable noise (i once screamed because the horse sneezed). It's easier said than done i know but from the sounds of it the horse isn't a badly behaved horse and unfortunately falling off is part of being a rider.

I once got really badly winded when i tried to jump a spread and was shaking all over from the shock of it but my instructor was having none of it and once i caught my breath back she helped me back on and told me to walk the horse round the school and trot. I was in agony and still shaken but done it. I then asked her why she made me do that and she said "If you hadn't gotten back on that horse today you wouldn't have got back on for a very long time and it would have made it worse".

Tell your friend, i guarantee she's had her fair share of falling off and broken bones, ask her to help you work through it because it's your hobby, it's your passion and you never want to lose that. Stay inside the school and not on the roads or fields for your comfort and work your confidence up from there.

Let me know how it goes!


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Re: My friend and her horses - October 29th 2012, 05:05 PM

That wasn't the first time I'd fallen off a horse though. It was the fact that I was injured and that I couldn't get back on and then the next horse I rode made it worse. Horses spoking or getting antsy used to happen a lot, and I used to be really good at staying calm, I remember my friend (who is much older than me, like 45-ish) congratulating me because I was better than lots of other people at not showing the horse if I was nervous. The fact I've been thrown off before or had horses buck or what ever NEVER bothered me prior to the last fall. And I know she's NEVER been injured riding a horse past maybe a bruised back side.

And I do agree that just being around horses again would help a lot, and I know if I was back near to hwere she lived, I'd be able to be in her barn all the time, but I don't know where I can go where I actually officially live to just BE around horses, because a lot of the places make you pay like a minimum of $250 a month, and I am not about to pay shit loads of money to take care of horses (especially since I'd technically be doing work for them). And I only go home for like 1-2 weeks maybe twice a year. Do you think it would be possible to just ask someone to let me BE on their farm though and hope someone will be ok with letting me come around and not charge me (since I won't be riding), and then I'll pay if I start actually riding... Because, like I said, I'm not afraid of horses, I am VERY comfortable with horses, it's the riding part that I am having issues with, but I can definitely see validity in why just being around horses and building from the ground up (literally) might benefit me...




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