Riding Fear

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Posted on Oct 21, 2006 at 02:53 PM Total posts: 21
Hello, 2 years ago I was in a terrible horse wreck. Refusing to give up I started riding my daughters very broke 23 yr old mare. It takes everything I have to get on this horse. My fear is great. I have a very big 6 year old that is a great horse but intimidates me to no end. He knows how to take advantage of my inexperience and fear. How do I overcome the fear? How do I get past the intimidation of my 6 year olds size? Any tips?

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Posted on Dec 16, 2008 at 08:30 AM
Horses and Books...Are a lot alike in that the outside can be anything from beautiful to downright ugly. But until you read a few pages you'll never know what's inside. I would recommend the book and DVD Horse Follow Closely by Gawana Pony Boy. Once a good partnership is formed, think of that old John Wayne saying: Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway...

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Posted on Dec 15, 2007 at 09:05 AM Total posts: 8
I may be a little late but here is my story: I grew up with horses and ponies. Did 4-H and the QH show circut. Was considered good to better than average rider. Went off and did the college thing, sold horses, got married, divorced and then moved back home at 35 after being diagonised with MS. I met some horsey friends again when I was about 40 but I was scared because the MS wrecked havoc with my balance, and leg strength. They took me under their wings and said we have something that will take care of you and get you back in the saddle. I started slow, trusted my ride and my friends. I now consider myself a good trail rider now. A huge thank you to anyone who has helped someone get back the love and passion for equine friends.

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Posted on Jul 04, 2007 at 07:31 AM Total posts: 21
Hello to all - here is an update on my progress. I have spent many hours on the ground with my horses. I have ridden the old mare and just spent a weekend trail riding. Rode up to the top of a bluff one morning and had breakfast. Then I spent a weekend at a Parelli clinic and the next weekend at a Clinton Anderson clinic. I have really gained some confidence and am very excited about working and riding more. I appreciate the many words of wisdom shared. Thanks to all!

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Posted on Feb 27, 2007 at 01:22 AM Total posts: 3
I agree with horseykimm, you need to be confident and comfortable with the horses on the ground again before you get back in the saddle. I know we're all told to get right back in the saddle but that's not always the best route. When you're again comfortable with the horse, then it's time to try the lounge work. Just remember, baby steps. I would definately say though, before you move on to the younger horse, once you get your confidence back on the ground work with the older mare. Again, build your confidence before moving onto the more difficult horse.

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Posted on Jan 17, 2007 at 06:42 PM Total posts: 69
Thanks Edylyn, I like the way you see things.

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Posted on Jan 12, 2007 at 10:37 AM Total posts: 5
I would suggest that you ride on a lounge line. This will keep your guy from taking advantage of your fear, and will make you feel a little better knowing that he isn't going anywhere while you rebuild your confidence. Start walking on the line; then when you feel comfortable, let your feet out of the stirrups and close your eyes (which will help you find that more comfortable and deep seat). Remember, as long as the person holding the lounge line is actually holding on your horse isn't going to go anywhere, and you will eventually regain your confidence and comfort. You can go pretty far riding on a lounge line; you can even jump while on a lounge line.

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Posted on Nov 29, 2006 at 08:12 AM Total posts: 6
Anyone who has had a bad incident with horses develop a kind of fear. If you truly love horses and want to be around them....more experience and time will help you more than anything else. Don't push yourself to overcome it because it will just make you more tense around horses and they can sense it...Take your time and just be around the horses and one day you will be surprised to discover that the fear is gone. Trust me...just take it easy...

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Posted on Nov 09, 2006 at 11:21 AM Total posts: 1
I agree that the Parelli methods are great. Also I would highly recommend Dr. Stephanie Burns book "Move Closer, Stay Longer" this book is written specifically for overcoming fears and is written from Steph's perspective on being a new horse person, having an incredible fear of horses, and overcoming these obstacles. It is an easy read, amusing, and makes sense. You can buy it through the parelli website. Good luck - I can completely and totally understand what you are going through.

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Posted on Nov 01, 2006 at 09:20 PM Total posts: 11
Hi Countryrider2, sorry to read about your fears. I would suggest if at all possible that you have some lessons if you can find a good teacher in your area. Also get to know your horse better. I found the Tellington Jones Teamwork programs and exercises very rewarding. I still use the exercises and methods in my training programs with young or retraining horses. Imprinting is also an invaluable tool. You can get videos and books on the subject, they help you to train your horse from the ground and also help you to learn to be firm and confident. I have also participated in Parelli classes when he first came to Australia and found some of his teachings quite useful, although when used by inexperienced people the results can be less than desirable, but then again that accounts for lots of training methods. The first thing you really need to work on is your confidence. The best place to do that is in a safe environment, not in a 20 acre paddock, a round hard or holding yard can give you confidence as the horse can't get away from you. But I can't stress enough the need to develop a bond with your horse/s, he needs to learn to trust you too. Maximus

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Posted on Nov 01, 2006 at 12:20 PM Total posts: 2
In horse world, he, who moves the others feet, is the leader. Thus the importance of defining your personal space(bubble, hoola-hoop) and not allowing your horse into it unless invited. And it's even more important not to let your horse move your bubble. There are many people teaching Natural Horsemanship each with their own "ideo-lect". If you have DishNetwork or Directv, you can watch many of the clinicians. Parelli(@8PM Wed) and Reis(@8PM Mon) are my favorites. (I wish I could give you my friend Dennis' number, he's in NE Co.) What we humans learn about how to be polite in our society works against us in horseworld. If you'll watch horses in a herd situation, you'll see that they test each other to see who is more dominant. Once they know the answer about what the "pecking order" is they settle down and trust the more dominant horse with their own welfare. That's the organization of the herd in the wild - also for an elk herd. So when you learn how to be a great leader for your horse, your horse can trust you to be in charge of his welfare.

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Posted on Oct 25, 2006 at 05:13 AM Total posts: 21
Thank you horsecrazy. Your encouragement means alot. I will look into the Parrelli system. I have heard the name but have not really checked into it. I agree with building relationships and I have spent alot of time on the ground with him. I have tried to sell him but no one that has looked at him appreciates him. He has the softest eyes. I truly feel the Lord brought this horse to me. So, I am sure He has a plan. By the way, wheatridge is in my neck of the woods. I am east of Cheyenne.

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Posted on Oct 24, 2006 at 02:56 PM Total posts: 13
I've read a little about Parelli, but have never tried it. I've been hearing some good reviews about it though. If you don't want to try another horse, it is worth a try. Good luck.

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Posted on Oct 23, 2006 at 09:05 AM Total posts: 1
The answer is very simple. Parelli Natural Horsemanship. I am in level two now and it has saved my life many times. I have horses that buck,rear, bolt and spook but now I have the tools and horse savvy to help them and be a confident leader. I have only been a horseperson for two years and the first year I was terrified of my horses. Then a year ago one of my friends was doing level one PNH with her very misbehaved pony. the results where unbelievable and the great thing is she never even had to get on and ride. Everything is done on the ground in level one and they teach you to read your and do tests to see when your horse is safe to ride. They also teach how not to act like a predator, to protect yourself and be a good communicator and leader for them. So now I do PNH with all my horses.I wont even get on a horse unless they have had this training. It will change your life forever. So dont get rid of your horse yet because he is your friend, you love him and he loves you. We have a responsibility to help these horses out and we do it with love, language and leadership. If I can do it you can do it. It's not about the riding its about the relationship.

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Posted on Oct 22, 2006 at 09:08 PM Total posts: 13
If your horse intimidates you that much, perhaps you need to get a different horse. Almost every rider at some time or another runs up against a horse that is just too much horse for us. There is no dishonor in admitting our limitations. Look for another horse that is more laid back. When you find a possible candidate, perhaps you can lease the horse for a few months to see if you "click" before buying. I suspect your 6yr old would be happier with a more confident rider also. When we experience fear and intimidation while riding, our mount can sense this and can cause him anxiety also. This can reflect in his behavior as being "spooky" and more high-strung than he would act with a more confident rider. Which in turn will make you more anxious, which will effect him, and so on and so on. What I saying, is he may not be actually "taking advantage" but subconsciously feeding on your anxiety. He could turn into a very mellow fellow with the right rider, but it doesn't sound like that rider is you. So, find him a more confident owner, and find yourself a horse more suited to your personality. Good luck.

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Posted on Oct 22, 2006 at 06:27 PM Total posts: 1
Hi. The only thing I can recommend is to spend time on the ground with the horses. Groom, feed and just hang around them (closely). This helps you bond with a horse so i can only think it would help you relax and feel more comfortable around them. Keep in touch.