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You are in... Forums > Riding and Training > General > help! lost confidence after dodgy fall...

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maryzee

Joined:

Oct 10

Posts: 4

maryzee says:

help! lost confidence after dodgy fall...

hello, forgive me, i'm new here but wanted to ask for a bit of help with an issue that has arisen! hope this is the right place for it...

i ride twice a week at a yard near my home, i don't own a horse but tend to ride the same horse a lot, trying to mix it up with a few others here and there! she is about 9 years old, heavy set cob type mare around 15.2hh, often very head strong but willing once she settles in and realises who is in control. i've ridden her for over a year now and we've finally established a really good relationship and she works really well in the school with me.

unfortunely last weekend we had a little blip... we were working in the school, crossed stirrups, working trot in 10m circle when she tripped over. it all went a bit slow-mo but basically i was thrown to the side (clear from her thank goodness) and she fell over onto her back; we both leapt up immediately, not sure who was more shocked, and after brushing her off i remounted, however she was very stiff so i ended the session and she has rested until today (she wasn't lame fortunately, i think just a bit shocked from the whole experience). i didn't feel pain in myself until the adrenalin had gone, and then my whole body was hurting! but thankfully nothing too serious.

so today i rode her into the school again, i purposely went into the same school because i was nervous as hell, it really shook me, but i knew in my head i had to just get over it. the whole time my mind was thinking about her falling over, she went well though, even though i just did very basic work, literally just 20m circles and rein changes in walk and trot, and a small canter on each rein (my back was feeling the pain by then). when i got off i felt so relieved, but to be honest it wasn't relief that i had got back on and rode her again, it was relief that the ride was over, it felt horrible!

the problem is now that i still have to ride her again this weekend and in the future. i have to ride her this sunday in a group lesson, i am petrified. i even told my boyfriend about it and i started crying which is very unlike me! i know if i am scared then she will know this, but i have no idea how to get over it? it's such a shame because i've worked so hard with her and i feel totally useless now, my confidence is completely gone. she is such a lovely horse when she is going well, but i just have these horrible visions of her shoving her head down as she so often tries to, and ending up on the floor again.

so basically my question is do you any of you have any ideas for me to forget about my fall, what has worked for you and what is the best way for me to move forward? i really feel like i'm at square one again. i just want to ride and enjoy it, and not burst into tears when i think about it!

thank you so much in advance.

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soniadevereux

Joined:

Jun 08

Posts: 4347

Re: help! lost confidence after dodgy fall...

 i think a lot of us has had confidence crisis. Dont think of you getting on a horse and thinking about what could happen. Before the weekend think about what you have acheived with this lovely mare, think about how your riding has improved and how much you have enjoyed working together. This mare just tripped and fell, she didnt do it to scare you or to get you off it was just a bad trip.  When you get to the school at the weekend hum or sing to yourself and spend a bit of time with the mare before the lesson. Singing helps you to breath in a rhythm. When you get on concentrate on the lesson and work hard.  I am sorry you are feeling like this, but beleive me you ae not the only one.

chin up and just think all the good stuff that the mare has taught you. xxxx

Horses - if God made anything more beautiful, he kept it for himself. ~Author Unknown

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mcallistar

Joined:

Jan 05

Posts: 97

mcallistar says:

Re: help! lost confidence after dodgy fall...

I'm sure this has happened to most riders at some point, so you're absolutely not alone. 

Try to remember that although you both got a fright and have been shaken by this, your horse didn't intentionally try to get you off.  There was no badness there - she just tripped.  You obviously have a good relationship with her and have otherwise enjoyed riding her. 

From my own exprience, I found it easier to build up my confidence in one-to-one lessons and only once I was happy with this did I go back into a group lesson, so it might be an idea to do that.  Have a word with your instructor - I'm sure they'll understand and will help you re-build your confidence.  By the way, the singing (as suggested above) does work!  I know it sounds mad, but it does.

Good luck and stick with it. 

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maryzee

Joined:

Oct 10

Posts: 4

maryzee says:

Re: help! lost confidence after dodgy fall...

hi guys, just wanted to say thank you so much for your helpful ideas!

i rode yesterday, i had a group lesson in an indoor school. i must admit i was feeling quite shaky beforehand, but i did use the singing idea like a few of you recommended, i must have looked a bit weird driving to the yard singing my head off in the car, and i made sure i had a good positive song, that goes 'gotta get up, gotta feel good!', kept singing it while i was getting the horse ready!

the lesson went well, we even jumped a small course of 4 jumps indoors! i didn't imagine last week that i would be doing that so soon. granted, we kept them low, as i didn't want to get too ahead of myself with confidence. she behaved beautifully as well. i wouldn't say i am 100% back to normal but i definitely feel much better. i am having another private lesson on her tomorrow, so i hope that after that, we will be back to our old selves.

thanks again for your good advice!

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