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You are in... Forums > Riding and Training > General > Nervous rider :-s

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Cath87

Joined:

Dec 11

Posts: 3

Cath87 says:

Nervous rider :-s

Hi all

 

I'm in desperate need of some help here. I've been riding for 16 yrs in a riding school and due to a few bad experiences - all due to having the horse bolt on me, I've totally lost my confidence. I've tried herbal calming tablets which I think worked because I subconciously thought they would and I also quitted my regular lessons and opted for a private lesson, which I found enjoyable but probably as I had a sympathetic instructor and my horse was fairly nice. My problem seems to be with the more experienced horses as they are quick to pick up on my nerves and seem to behave worse. I've also tried requesting certain horses but obviously in a riding school, this isn't always possible and the one private lesson I had they put me on a different horse to the one I'd requested, which has put me off going again.

I really don't want to give up on riding but don't want to dread it either. Does anyone know of any ways/tips/centres/courses etc that may help me?

 

Thanks in advance

Catherine

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brook

Joined:

Sep 08

Posts: 5218

brook says:

Re: Nervous rider :-s

Hi, have a look at Ashen Equestrian Centre's web site as they do alot to help nervous riders, they also sell CD's to help conquere those nerves and help you to enjoy riding again. I'm surprised that you did'nt get the horse that you had asked for on your private lesson, maybe you could try again and explain that you can get nervous so it's important that you ride the horse that you've requested. good luck i hope that you start to enjoy your riding again soon X

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SarahR123

Joined:

Feb 10

Posts: 451

SarahR123 says:

Re: Nervous rider :-s

I do feel for you!  The more good experiences you have the more confident you'll feel but it does help having the same horse each time so you can build on the good experiences.  I was contemplating having to stop riding last year as I was so nervous.  Moving to the yard I'm on now and riding out with people who were very kind to me and allowed me to only progress at my own pace (slowly!!) helped massively & a new livery has joked that I'm a bit mad in the way I like a gallop or whatever which I think is so funny!  Any hypnotherapy CD for anxiety or nerves would help but there are some amazing places specifically for people with nerves.  Have a look at Kelly Marks' Perfect Confidence book, be honest with your instructor!  I don;t know how old you are but often the older you are (especially if you have children) the more you see scenes of carnage!  All I can say is I've now almost come out the other side so keep at it!! :o)

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Cath87

Joined:

Dec 11

Posts: 3

Cath87 says:

Re: Nervous rider :-s

Thanks guys!

I'm only 24 but yes, the older I've got the worse I've got too! I might have a look at a few CDs/DVDs and I'm thinking of booking a lesson in the Bitless Bridle Centre in west wales as they apparently specialise in nervous riders. We'll see if it works but thanks for the replies :)

 

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Jane Menzies

Joined:

Feb 06

Posts: 221

Jane Menzies says:

Re: Nervous rider :-s

Good luck, I can't ride at the moment, but when the time comes no doubt I will feel the same as you.  It might be worth booking say a 3-5 day intensive riding course specialising in getting you to a stage that you feel comfortable with.  The type of horse helps a lot too.  I am extremely light, ie only 7 stone and just over 5ft so majority of horses are just way too big for me so consequently ponies are what I ride, but you need to find a horse that looks after you and try and stick with that one so you build up a rapport.  I used to quietly sing to myself when I used to hack out alone and think that also relaxed me and the pony.  Only do what you feel comfortable with, it is all very well hacking with more confident riders and ponies but if they go at a much faster pace than you feel confident doing, that will only make you more nervous.

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SarahR123

Joined:

Feb 10

Posts: 451

SarahR123 says:

Re: Nervous rider :-s

^^^Singing is a good thing to do but may make you look very daft!  when riding out Missy on my own the first time I couldn't think of anything to sing and ended up singing... "Nelly the elephant" Most embarrassing when a jogger came past!

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irb13

Joined:

Jan 11

Posts: 140

irb13 says:

Re: Nervous rider :-s

Hi Catherine. I wouldn't worry. I'm 36 and regularly do battles with my confidence but it hasn't stopped me from riding. It could do but I don't want it to. I do use the Bachs herbal remedy bottle spray but it just takes the edge off and doesn't really cure it. I did go to Gilfach last year in the Brecon Beacons. Sheila MacMillan was lovely and did a weekend of one on one with me which helped. At that point I couldn't dismount properly and was freaked out just by the thought of trot. It helped me over my first hurdle. I would like to go back there at some point as she's amazing with horses. I've also got Mary Wanless's book a right brain approach to riding. Reading it I can see what I'm doing wrong as I have a tendency to start collapsing in to the foetal position if I'm spooked when riding. I've become more aware of my body since reading it and have a better understanding of what I'm doing wrong and how to correct it.

 

Fast forward 12 months and I've had some bad experiences this year and as such I've changed school twice now. I've found a lovely place which will do me for now where I can work on my confidence. I'm like you I don't want to give up on my riding and thats perhaps the main thing that you should be pleased about is that you have an underlying determination there. The next is how you work at it. I'd never ridden up until the age of 34 last March when I decided to try. I have additional challenges in that I have vertigo so at my height its hysterical getting on a horse as I'm nearly 6ft so I don't get the little ones. I still manage, the largest I've ridden so far is an 18.3hh suffolk punch x. I also have a long term illness (M.E. or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as its sometimes known). I've managed to confront both of these although I had a really bad loss of energy on my last hack in Nov and a nightmare with my instructor who was extremely rude to me and didn't acknowledge my illness and put myself in danger, which is why I've changed my stables.

 

What I try and do for myself is to make a list of goals of what I want to do with my riding and the steps that I need to take to get there. I've also had a ring around a few stables first. The current one I'm up invited me there first before I even booked a lesson. I had a long chat with the yard manager told her what had hampered my confidence, and also about my illness and she got one of the stable hands to give me a tour of the stables and introduce me to all the horses/ponies. Before my first lesson she went through what horses I'd ridden and the size, and what I was comfortable with. I ended up for my first lesson with a cob at 15.3hh who was just perfect for what I needed for my first session back on a horse. She's been so lovely and I feel like at the moment from the experiences I've had with them is that they listen to me and are working with me to get me back to where I want to be and to maintain my enjoyment of horse riding. I hope you're able to get back to where you want to be with your riding as well.

 

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jenappaloosapony

Joined:

Aug 11

Posts: 532

Re: Nervous rider :-s

Hey, I used to always feel the same as you. I was nervous and was too scared to ride, I got bolted on too, and other experiences on naughty ponies. I don't know how expensive it is for you but round here it is cheap to get a horse on loan/share. I've done that and I've found riding the same horse is incredibly confidence boosting. Some do it for free, in return for some stable jobs like mucking out.

Hope it improves!

JennyMyAppaloosa♥Loveyou

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poppyxox

Joined:

Jan 11

Posts: 21

poppyxox says:

Re: Nervous rider :-s

Dont think your the only out in the world like this, loads of people are like it!

When i was younger i wouldnt get on a riding school pony without a body proctor on, i have no idea why but it made me feel safe, i wasnt a nervouse ride at all when i was on the ponies but without a body proctor i was a totally different person.

I think it gave me confidence because i knew if i fell off it would hurt as much!

Do you ride in a body/back proctector?

Try ground work with horses before you ride to get a little more trust in them, i dont know where your from but if your anywhere near the derbyshire area try Milbourne equestrian centre, they're fab with nervouse riders and begginers as i used to be a stable hand there.

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