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You are in... Forums > Riding and Training > Hacking > Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

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irb13

Joined:

Jan 11

Posts: 140

irb13 says:

Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

I'd been looking forward to the hour's hack yesterday with my instructor, but while I've got my lesson booked for next Sat already I've been rather upset over night and I'm feeling rather reluctant to go back. I've coped well with an hour's hack but yesterday my energy levels went down really quickly. My instructor knows I've got M.E. and I did say a number of times that I was struggling to cope and couldn't keep up with her. I just got told to stick my horse in trot and 'keep up'. She seemed annoyed with me when I said I didn't want to canter when we got to a field, but by that time I'd got a stitch, was out of breath and was quite simply scared (I know my confidence and nerves are a big hurdle for me). It hadn't helped that her horse had recently gone blind in one eye and was skittish at best and while she was able to cope with her horse it was unnerving me, especially as her horse when it spooked went into reverse and was coming back towards me. By the end of the ride I was feeling sick, tired and just wanted to get off the horse I was on. I didn't enjoy the hack at all.

 

If that wasn't enough we got back to the yard only for her to yell across the yard to one of the staff to take her horse as I'd made her late for next lesson as I'd been 'slacking' and not keeping pace. I wouldn't mind but she knows the area and the fact that she'd got another lesson scheduled at 10 straight after the hour's hack we were on. We could have shortened the distance and headed back so we got there in time. In addition to which I've blistered my fingers on the reins. One of which was bad enough that I needed to do first aid on it before I could even get in my car to drive home. She'd seen the state of it and just cleared off to her next lesson. All I can say is good job I carry a first aid kit with me in my car.

 

So I don't know what to do now. I'll probably go back next Sat, provided my hands have healed enough that I can hold a set of reins and do at least one lesson but I'm not sure about the future. I don't particularly want to have to look for another school to ride at having only switched earlier this year to where I'm at currently, but at this point in time I'm not happy and am feeling rather offended as to how I've been spoken about infront of me with other staff.

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brook

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 5218

brook says:

Re: Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

I'm so sorry that you had such a miserable hack, your instructor is out of order and has no empathy atall ! Do you have another stables nearby, maybe it's time for a change. If not ask if you can have a chat with her and explain again about your illness and you may need a bit more time set aside for your next hack. don't let this episode spoil your enjoyment and don't give up ! Is there anyone who needs their horse exercising, maybe you could part loan a private horse. Whereabouts are you ? I'm in Essex and you would always be welcome to hack out on my fab safe Welsh D. Good luck, let us know how you get on XX

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lauralou15

Joined:

Apr 10

Posts: 449

lauralou15 says:

Re: Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

 I know you don't want to find another school but that might be the best idea...where you are now sounds incompitent to be very honest. The instructor should of been a lot more considerate of your needs and how you were feeling even without your medical condtiton there is absolutley no need for her to have such an appaling attitude towards you.

Is there another instructor on the same yard you could have lessons etc with instead of this woman? and have you thought about complaining to her boss?

or another option maybe you could find a share horse for you to ride for as long as you want when you want etc 

Don't give up yet there is always another option :) Good Luck and let us know what you decide etc :)

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lcmcd

Joined:

Nov 09

Posts: 34

lcmcd says:

Re: Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

I'm so sorry you've had this sort of reaction from your riding instructor. My dad suffers from ME and some people's inability to recognise and sympathise with his illness (and the way it allows him to do certain things and not others and has good days and bad days) is something that I really struggle not to get angry at.

I would agree with the others that I think another riding school might be the way to go - there is no reason why your enjoyment of riding and hacking out should be in any way hampered by anyone making you uncomfortable and pressured. I definitely don't think you should allow your confidence to be dented and consider giving up on the basis of this. If you can physically manage a hack - be it an hour or a little less - and you enjoy it there should be a riding school / sharer / trekking centre where you can do this, build up your riding and confidence and enjoy the horses without any negatives.

Really hope you find this and enjoy your time with the horses, very best of luck. x

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wagonsroll

Joined:

Jul 11

Posts: 668

wagonsroll says:

Re: Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

Oh sweetie, I'm so upset for you. My mum has ME and though i would never tell her my met syndrome is complicated by ME symptoms and as you mnow stress WILL make you ill and send you into a decline. This woman is so unprofessional and YOU have been doing so well. I've been riding since i was 3 and because of my illness and my exhaustion i cant ride for more than 45 mins at a walk, let alone have a "real" lesson, and i think this silly cow is thinking the usual crap about "you're not really ill" just self indulgent until somebody has experienced not being able to walk, finds sitting is tiring (last night we were in bed at 6.13 because i was too tired to sit upright)they cannot understand.

Please change riding stables, i know i spend a lot of time pretending I'm "normal" but since i took up cycling its been the best experience and i think its because i had to sit and go through my illness with the instructor and how every little thing effects me and he had adapted a route for me and i'm doing really well and i think its the same for you. You have to make an appointment to visit a stables and then go and explain everything, right down to the negative experiences you've had.

I find with my horses that the love and care i have to give them is such that i find reserves of energy to keep them but have difficulty with enough energy to ride them! You are doing it the right way round and this should be fun and relaxing not stressful and giving you heartache.

The difference between me and the 70stone man winched out of his top floor flat? I have fought my illness all my life, seeking answers and listening to my body, starving myself and moving as much as possible always, but also it comes down to LUCK, intellect, reasoning, being able to understand its not your fault so not letting any person bully me, but stand up for myself (I quake in a cupboard afterwards lol) and carry on and get on with it.

I know how hard this is for you, i know how the stress of this one incident will set you back, but know that you're not on your own and i love knowing there's someone else out there who's fighting their illness to do this. So have a relaxing 24 hours and pick up the phone and ring round the stables and can i suggest you explain that you are a disabled rider. The only time i admit to having a dizzy badge is when it comes down to horses, they are too dangerous not to have everyone involved aware that i am less able!

Good luck and please let me know how you're getting on. xx

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irb13

Joined:

Jan 11

Posts: 140

irb13 says:

Re: Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

Thanks guys for your advice. My problem is that she's the owner. Its a small school. The other main teacher is the co-owner and there's a third teacher but she's not there that often. I'd switched and started going there in May this year after plateauing at my last school. Since starting there she'd put me in the lunge rein a few times to work on my canter. I'd since started cantering on my own. Not perfect but was getting there. Her personality is abit brusque and she demands hard work from her pupils but Sat last week I felt was out of order. I thought she understood especially when she said she taught another lady who's got M.E. although that lady can't do as much as I can. When you consider that in 2003/4 I spent four months where I could only walk for an hour a day to be working full time, studying part time and riding even if its only 30 mins once a week is a massive achievement for me. Yes I do get stressed and it does impact in to my M.E. which is why I don't have a riding lesson during the week days. By the time I've finished work I have no energy and am certainly in no position to be riding a horse so I save it for the weekend when my batteries have recharged and I know I can cope. My right hand's okay now, but one of my left hand fingers is still healing and has got quite a sizeable scar on it. I've also been feeling quite green with it since the weekend and feel sick at the thought of riding at this place on Sat. I want to go back and conquer this hurdle on Sat but at the moment I'm thinking I should cancel. There's pressure when I try and bend that finger, its the speed with which its healing. I've been practicing my rein hold position to see whether I could cope and am also v. aware of the 48 hr cancellation policy so if I'm going to make that call I need to do it by 9am at the latest on Thurs. At the moment I think I could cope with walk and trot but not canter.

 

I wouldn't have minded but while I've not been riding that long (only started last Mar) I am responsible enough to know that because of my medical condition I do carry a mobile on me when hacking. I would have happily given her it to use if she'd wanted to call the yard and let them know we were going to be late. I'm based in Bedfordshire and this is the third school I've been to since I started riding last Mar. The first which wasn't that far away from me I stopped going to after becoming concerned about the way they taught. The second I stopped going to after not progressing any further, which is why I'm where I'm at now. There is a place I've seen up at Buckden at Offord Cluny I think it is which I'm wondering whether to give a call and visit sometime. Its in the countryside, offers off road hacking and its got an indoor and outdoor menage. Its also registered with the RDA.

 

My aim when I started riding was to see how far I got and just enjoy it. While in my dreams I'd love to do cross country and jumps in reality just being able to canter confidently and do hacking is more than enough for me. Although I wouldn't mind trying jumping just once to say I'd had a go, if I ever got experienced to be in a position to try. I don't know if my M.E. will ever clear off but I'd really love to be able to build myself up where I could do hacks of 2 hours or more but at the moment I've managed to get myself up to an hour and I have coped with an hour 3 times no problems, last Sat was the exception and the first time I've felt really bad. I also love it when I get a 30 min action packed lesson when I've done walk, trot and canter with a mix of drills. But like you guys say, I need to find the right place for me x

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irb13

Joined:

Jan 11

Posts: 140

irb13 says:

Re: Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

I've phoned this place up I was thinking of this afternoon and had a chat with them. I explained I'd had a bad experience and that my confidence has taken a dent. I said I didn't want to give up riding but the thought of going back to the place I've been at is making me feel abit sick. I've mentioned about my M.E. and that I've been having a private lesson and usually ride at the weekends because I never know how I'm going to be during the week after work. They were lovely. It turns out the lady I spoke to knows of the place where I've been riding and used to be there herself. Anyway. She's said if I can visit them this Sat and go togged up for riding and have more of a chat with them. They've got a lesson slot currently available but she said if I have a look round first and decide whether its right for me. She's not booked me into the slot but its mine if its not been booked by Sat morning. At this stage I don't mind tbh, I just want to check the place out. If the slot is gone then they'll look at when I can get a lesson with them. It won't do me any harm to have a weekend off and besides, I've got YHL to look forward to on Sun. I've also cancelled the lesson I had booked at the other place.   

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wagonsroll

Joined:

Jul 11

Posts: 668

wagonsroll says:

Re: Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

Whee, you'll have a ball, honestly being "handled" by someone with experience in caring for the disabled, is so great for us. They know what to look for and how to stop us when we're pushing too hard.

 

When i went cycling yesterday I was having trouble walking in a straight line and there was none of this i'm in a hurry (he was running really late and dead busy!) jsut patiently lifted my feet into the things, strapped me in and then lectured me for the next 20 minutes on how i mustnt overdo it or i'd end up giving up!  Ithink i said before to you i've never experienced professional care before i started cycling and its so different, i hope that as your new school is an RDA school that they really get "it" and give you all the help you need when you want it. I am a great believer in making a joke out of not asking for help "no, no get away, when you see me go green thats when i need you!" sort of thing but i find personally that this enables me to squeak and the help materialises before you're aware you've squeaked!

 

I truly hope that your next experience is as positive as my current one.

 

I'm being firm with my OH as well, told him his friend rides my horse on Sat, as i need a recovery day after cycling so cant ride until Sunday, so we'll be back in the forest again on Sunday with a saddle that works and hopefully i wont end up walking home again!!

 

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jinglejoys

Joined:

Aug 11

Posts: 18

jinglejoys says:

Re: Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

I'm so glad to hear you're sorting things out my  immediate reaction to reading your first post  was "Sack the instructor!" ;)

     I have to work things out on  my own as I have no one to go out with.I've only once hacked ojut in company (and that was enough) but sometimes I have wished I could.I have suffered badly from the "What if's" and extreme lack of confidence in my ability along with SAD in the dark months,add to the fact that I have struggled with an unbacked young mule sent as a ride suitable for a novice, for 6yrs.Things changed a couple of years ago when I found people with the knowledge and support to help us and I was given my own time to get on or off as I felt fit.This boosted my confidence and I realised out hacking yesterday that I hadn't had a bout of the "what if's" for months.

 I went to a lesson a couple of weeks ago with someone who was not of the same school of thought as I have been using and he said "Do you RIDE this?!"....maybe I'm not as bad as I think I am (or maybe I understand Mules better than he does:)  Anyway I now have the confidence to disagree if an instructor tries to make me do something I don't want to....after all I'm supposed to be looking after my "partner" and I know now how a lesson should go.

Too much Horse for Donkey people,too much Donkey for Horse people...You've got to be a MULE person

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irb13

Joined:

Jan 11

Posts: 140

irb13 says:

Re: Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

Went to the new stables this morning and got shown around; introduced to all the horses and ponies and where the indoor/outdoor school are. I had a long chat with the yard manager who was lovely. Turns out she used to be at the previous place so knows what it was like. She agreed that the instructor shouldn’t have taken out the horse that she had last weekend especially on the road, plus we should have headed back to the stables when it became clear my health was affecting my riding. So after a good natter we’ve got a start point.

 

I’ve got a lesson booked for next Sat. I’m going to ride Spencer. I explained I’d ridden a range of ponies/horses from 14.2hh to 18.3hh that they’ve been a mix of breeds and ranged from dozy to forward going. The yard manager asked me what sort of temperament I would like to ride. I said I didn’t mind as for me at the moment the biggest hurdle will be just getting back on a horse and not stressing. She completely agreed that at the moment what I need is a few sessions just ‘getting time in the saddle’ and then seeing where I go from there. While I’m not sure about my confidence at this stage I have to say I do feel happier after meeting Melissa (the yard manager) and having a look round Northbrook.

 

Northbrook itself is at the end of a road and has fields all around it, so v. little chance of doing a hack on the roads. One of the helpers said the usual route was to head out to the end of the road where the stables are (it’s a single track road and the stables is at the end and it peters out). Then the hack continues out in the fields. Fab. The only downside at the minute is that there isn’t a regular Sat instructor, but again Melissa said just see how it goes and we can review in a few weeks time and if I think I want the same instructor then we can look at the schedule as to when would be a good time for me to ride given my work and my health and the travelling to get to the stables. I did say about my M.E. and she said not a problem. There’s someone there who has M.E. as well and Melissa’s taught them, and said that there’s been times when they’ve said they can ride but they’re not up to much so Melissa’s not pressurised them but just let them do what they’re able to do which sometimes means just spending a lesson walking. Its good to know I wouldn’t be pushed beyond what I’m capable of then.

 

At the moment, I have to give Northbrook ‘two thumbs’ up for making me feel welcome, for the meet and greet round the stables, for taking the time to talk to me and listen, and for coming up with a plan to start getting my confidence back and what I need for my first lesson.
 

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brook

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 5218

brook says:

Re: Loss of confidence and when do you know its time to quit?

Oh that's lovely news, the new yard sounds great and i hope that you will be very happy there, keep us updated with your progress, well done to you !!

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