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You are in... Forums > Riding and Training > General > how can i ride a horse again

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Jun 12

Posts: 1

corkieblaze says:

how can i ride a horse again

i have been riding sice i was 3, but only just got back into riding after a seven year break. i had a bad fall when i was jumping my first loan pony. i never rode again and now im very scared of riding. i cannot look at a horse tacked up before getting butterflies and shaking like mad. sometimes i get upset about the height of the horse, saying its too big and its not.

i want to be able to ride my own pony. but her lease owners say i cant till im confident. but i know theyre saying that so then the womans little kid can just ride and ride and ride till she drops through exhaustion.

i would like it if someone could just give me some tips on what to do. and what to do about the lease owners. blaze has been leased before and we took her back. but this time its like i cant. please help. have put her in some photos. the only ones i have


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Jan 11

Posts: 39

cosmos says:

Re: how can i ride a horse again

Do you brush her and spend time with her? Surely if you build up a strong, confident, ground-level relationship with her (maybe even lunge her or long rein her!) then you'll become more confident in yourself.

You could even get someone to lead you around for a few minutes, then get off, and build up to 10 minutes another time. It's all about little bits of progress. You don't need to get straight back on and do everything you were doing several years ago.

Good luck! x

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Jun 09

Posts: 818

Re: how can i ride a horse again

Sympathise with you, I am 200% on the ground with horses but suggest I get on my own and I go to pieces (thanks ZZ).  Interestingly I found when I rode other peoples horses I was OK once I got over the initial nerves, in fact I really enjoy riding so long as its not mine!

I suggest go to a riding school where you will be supervised which will help with your confidence, fully explain the situation so they are really helpful - then as times goes by you will become more confident in getting in the saddle and can then try your loan pony.

You may need to try a few riding schools to find the one that suits you, but you can do it and try not to think of falling off but think about the thrill and sense of being on a horse - there is nothing quiet like it really :-)  Good luck.

There is no greater gift than to share time with a creature of such beauty - The Horse.

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Feb 10

Posts: 451

SarahR123 says:

Re: how can i ride a horse again

Good ideas suggested above.  Another option if these don;t work is to consider something like hypnosis or NLP.  There are people out there who specialise in this for horse people (so they have a better idea of the type of fear and can be more specific)  I really hope you manage to get to grips with it and can have fun around horses again :o)

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Apr 05

Posts: 2848

rhapsody says:

Re: how can i ride a horse again

I agree with the others in how to get your confidence back, it will take time and just do what you're comfortable with until you're ready to do more, don't push yourself too far too soon.  With regards to your pony, if you are the owner of the pony then you have 100% say in what happens to her - no way would I allow a lease person to tell me about when I can ride my own horse and no way would I allow them to put a child on the pony and work her too much.  She's your pony, start making the rules about what happens to her - these people don't have the right.  Don't allow them to bully you over your own pony, she's yours not theirs and maybe they need reminding.

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Jul 12

Posts: 8

Sparrowgrass says:

Re: how can i ride a horse again

I've not been in this exact situation but I do know a bit about being scared of things. What I've found is that doing the scary thing is not as scary as the bit just before you do the scary thing. You said you get butterflies seeing a pony getting tacked up - well that's the bit before. Mounting might be even worse for you but after that it should get better.

I think this is how fear works, and I think it's the same for people and for horses.

1) A bad thing happens

2) Fear builds up around the memory because your mind wants to stop the bad thing happening again.

3) You think about trying to do the scary thing but it's really scary so you don't do it and more fear builds up. The more this happens the stronger the fear gets.

4) The fear is now really strong and makes you feel like there's no way you could do the scary thing. Your mind and body are shouting at you that a really bad thing will happen if you put yourself in that situation.

5) You make yourself do it anyway. This is really hard but it's the only way. But the trick is to only do it a tiny bit at a time.

6) You did a scary thing and nothing bad happened. You're still here, safe. If you tell yourself as you do it "Look, I'm safe, I'm OK even though I'm doing the scary thing" this will help.

7) The fear will get less because although it was telling you the bad thing would happen you proved it wrong and your subconcious mind will learn from that and not shout "SCARY" at you so loudly next time you do it.

8) Keep making tiny steps through the fear, doing something a little bit more scary every time and seeing that you're still safe.

9) One day you'll look back and see how far you've come and be amazed that the things that once scared you are easy now.


Maybe you could start out by standing by that tacked up pony that makes you scared. At first your heart will be racing and you'll feel nervous, but if you stay beside the pony you'll find that you get less nervous over a little while. Try this a few times. Stay at that stage until you can feel calm standing on the ground next to a pony that's tacked up/being tacked up. If you can do that, then maybe next you could stand a tacked up pony by a mounting block, with no intention of getting on, but just of breathing through the fear until you can stand on a mounting block next to a tacked up pony without being nervous. Tiny steps are still progress. The key is to get yourself goals that scare you a little bit, but that you think you might be able to do. No one else knows how you feel inside, only you, so you have to decide how much you can ask yourself to do one one day. Just remember to feel proud of the small achievements. Don't expect too much of yourself at once. Maybe the first time you get into the saddle you'll mount, count to 10 and get off again. That might be a massive achievement against the fear. And the more you practice doing scary things the more you'll know that you can beat the next challenge you set yourself.

I hope this helps. Obviously the stages I've suggested might not suit you, but I hope you get the idea. The main thing is to know that fear is really nasty but if you go through it it gets better. Right before you do the scary thing your fear might be at 10 out of 10, but as soon as you actually do the thing it'll drop down to something easier to manage, even while you're still doing it. Sounds wierd but it's true.

Best of luck and let us know how you get on.

Sorry that's really long!


Forum noob - please be kind!

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