Saturday, July 13, 2013

Afraid to ride?

Hi all, no real report or post today. I will be hopping up on Riley on Monday. I'm not worried about riding him inside, but...

Right now it is hard to imaging going in the outdoor or showing. It still blows me away that we rode and showed for three years and he was 99% a reliable steady Eddy, and then one day we're cooling out I go.

Will I ramp back up to riding outside and showing? YES. But I don't really look forward to it. I think I just need to get some rides under my belt.  Oh well, the bucking strap is in place. Here goes.


  1. Something I have learned through traumatic falls is this: You have to look at percentages and be realistic. You went several years without an incident like this. Therefore, the likelihood of another happening is quite scarce.

    When the percentages go beyond 5%, that's usually when I say a rider is well overfaced or needs a new mount.

    Now, to be human. You have every right to be fearful. Take it slowly. Hand walk him to the arena and enjoy treat time or something. Then, hop on for a minute of just walk. Then, two minutes. Then, before you know it ... :)

    I recently fell in my arena (my only arena ... so no substitute). I fell from the ground and hurt myself. For some reason, this made me feel weird about riding too. I'm going through the same thing. You're brave and honest for admitting it, which means you will heal faster than if you were in denial. :) :)

  2. Agreed with the above comment. I wrote a post all about this too after my recent fall. After 3 weeks of not riding because I was too injured from getting bucked off, I hopped back on and was scared (even in the indoor). I was scared for several rides actually. And it translated to my horse, he was nervous too because my seat was funny from my busted tailbone and I was tense. But, I'll happily say two+ weeks later, I am back to normal mentally about riding him and he's been a good boy too. It's natural to go through the emotions after a traumatic jolt and be a little tentative. I was even tentative leading him/handling him on the ground. It's a natural defense when you know youre not on your game, still hurting a little and feeling kinda vulnerable. It will pass, you'll work your way back to where you were before in no time :)

  3. How did I miss that you had a fall? I'm so sorry. I feel your pain. I came off my horse rather hard last Fall (my fault, I know exactly what happened) while galloping up the side of a hill, and I thought I was getting over it until he crow-hopped in the ring at a canter transition and I had a bit of a flash back -shrieked, and grabbed pommel! Thing is as he moves faster I.Can't.Let.Go! Just a regular fast trot on the trail and I want to old on to the breastplate strap. So I've prescribed myself some bareback time -me and my Fella and a bareback pad. First session it was walk, but trot made me freeze and cock forward. The nice thing about bareback is I know exactly what his response is (hollow backed inverted on the forehand -because DUH I just leaned forward and am holding on to his face). This is helping alot because I know a good transition to trot from a bad one and I'm getting a little taste of "correct" once in a while and it is encouraging me to move on. The second session had more trot -and more correct transitions.

    This is my medicine. I don't know if it would work for you. But I've learned to put away self-recrimination (what happened to me? I used to be a fierce rider, what the heck happened?), to not be in a hurry to recover -that gets right in the way of recovery, and not to believe my brain when it's telling me ALARM ALARM!

    Best of luck

  4. Just take your time. Riley's been a good boy for years. No reason to suspect he's changed in his basic nature.

    The other comments are right on the mark. Take it one step at a time, and don't push yourself too far until you are ready.

    And don't forget to breathe!! Deep breaths on your part will reassure Riley as well and help him relax.

    Sending you good wishes for some more great riding on your lovely boy.

  5. Getting out of the ring is the best thing for you both IMHO. If you ride trails it helps you react to balance changes, speed rating and letting go of the horse so he can manage on his own. You can't control him 100% of the time and building partnership and trust is everything. Your reflexes (instinctual) will get better cantering on a path and enjoy being in nature together with him. Arena riding is so artificial. I do this with a stirrup leather around his neck (W.Fox-Pitt) and one hole shorter stirrups. Enjoy your horse and be a kid again.

  6. Saw you didnt post my comment - hope I didnt offend with something I said?? Anyways, hope you get your courage back, heal quickly and figure it all out.

  7. nicku and others when I moderate through my cell phone I sometimes accidentally hit delete because the buttons are so small I deleted a bunch of comments probably 5 or 8. sorry my bad certainly no one posted anything that I would have had a problem with

  8. I think you wrote the other day that Riley has some sort of a buck most times that you ride him. Out of hundreds of rides, you've come off ONCE. Trust your riding skills, they have looked after you all this time and he only got you this time because you were caught off guard, which happens to the best of us. Your skills haven't suddenly flown away from you, and the moment your bum returns to the saddle a lot of the fear will drop away.

    A while ago I had a tumble when my horse tripped and tried to plant his ears in the ground. It made me apprehensive for a while, but I realised I was only concerned when I thought about riding, not when I actually got on the horse.

  9. I think we all go through this - every single one of us. IT helps to have a trainer on the ground helping, coaching, and verbally acknowledging every single step is a success!

    Also, Ifyou're concerned that this is a change in behavior - my guy started spooking regularly - we finally came to the conclusion (And subsequent fix) it was the SADDLE. He was hurting and it raised his anxiety level. It took about 2-3 months of "no hurt" before he settled back into the work. My trainer says they get post traumatic stress disorder just like we do, and getting trust back is hard.

    So it may be something else if he keeps up. For me, that was better than "my horse is just being an ass and naughty." Having a reason, addressing the reason, and having a coach who put things in to perspective (constantly since I am a worry wart) was huge.

    Good luck!!


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