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Thinking of just giving up
10

Greyhorses · 08/08/2017 20:51

Maybe a bit long but just feeling so rubbish at the moment. I have lost all of my confidence in riding. I feel like the only thing I can ride at the moment is something half dead Confused

I haven't had any really bad experiences, I don't know why I'm like this.

I used to be a really confident rider. I would ride anything literally however bought my first horse who really tested me. I managed to get on top of him and had some really good years (had him 10 years in total!) however the last 3-4 my confidence took a a bartering and I rode less and less. He never did anything horrible just lots of incidents that frightened me (violent spooks, ranking for home that sort of thing) and eventually I stopped riding him and retired him.

I bought a supposed confidence giver to replace him who turned out to be dangerous on the ground and who bucked for England. Sold him at a huge loss of over £2000.

I had 6 months off and purchased a lovely sweet mare. She really tries so hard and puts her all into everything. She's a lovely personality to handle and is a little pocket rocket and would be loads of fun if I could get a handle on my nerves. I've struggled with confidence as despite her willingness she can be sharp and has caught me off guard a few times. Nothing that wouldn't have spooked other horses, a panic at horses galloping behind us and another panic at a huge show but it's still knocked me. I've had experienced riders ride her and they all get lots of lovely work from her so it's obviously me. I had her ridden by a top show producer who said she could easily go to the top if I could just man up.

Really I should sell her but I don't want to be riding plods forever I want to get back into what I enjoy.

I've had lessons weekly but nothing much seems to help Sad

Should I sell?

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SquashedInTight · 08/08/2017 21:22

Every horse spooks sometimes, they are not robots and they take confidence from the rider. Your mare is wonderful for everyone else because they are not nervous, so if she is worried, they don't react or quickly reassure her.

I think you need a new instructor, and some serious time spent with your horse. You need to feel connected/bonded to her, that you know her and trust her and you're in this together. That will make it easier for you to read her (to forestall any issues) and her more inclined to trust you. Then work on the skills to stay on and regain control when it all goes wrong. When you know you'll be fine, it will no longer worry you.

And work on that bond. It takes time. My old best friend is retired and it has taken nearly a year to start to bond properly with my current mare. Now she makes me laugh, and we were zooming around playing games with my son on his pony last week. Not sure who was having more fun, but we were a team, both trying to 'tag' the other pony - me with my hand, her with her nose! On another day she'll round nicely for some schooling, and try her best, just because I asked.

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Greyhorses · 09/08/2017 05:33

Thankyou Squahsed!

My confidence seems to go up and down, I get to the point where I'm looking forward to riding her then something happens (usually a dramatic in air spinning spook!) and I loose it all again.
I haven't come off, I don't know what I'm really bothered about.

This happened with first horse, I got really confident then lost it all again and can't get it back.

Tried to talk to non horsey DH and he said the common denominator is me as I have a problem with every horse I've owned or ridden and he is right Blush

I am thinking of changing instructors as we aren't really getting anywhere fast.

She isn't brilliant hacking alone, much more worried so we haven't bonded as much just the two of us as we don't really go alone at the moment. Confident friends have taken her without issue but she takes a lot of reassurance which I can't give her because I'm like jelly!

Like I say, she isn't a nasty horse. She is responsive and really doesn't do anything any normal horse wouldn't do when they get a shock so I can't really blame her Confused
She's only 13hh as I thought a small pony would help me feel better than a massive horse but obviously not!

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donajimena · 09/08/2017 05:41

Have you considered beta blockers for the anxiety? They will help with the physical symptoms while you work on the rest.
I've not ridden for around 7 years now having totally lost my nerve (I didn't come off either just had a few happy hacks that turned out to be anything but!)
I miss it dreadfully but even thinking about riding again turns me to jelly. I should have kept working at it.

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VisitorFromAlphaStation · 09/08/2017 05:43

Won't you regret it if you sell?

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donajimena · 09/08/2017 05:43

Thinking about it maybe I could start again with a 'dope on a rope' Grin

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Greyhorses · 09/08/2017 06:06

I think I would regret it if I sold as I wouldn't bother with another so would be giving up altogether- I've had 3 and felt the same with them all so I don't think it's the horses!

I've tried riding schools but hate the lack of freedom involved so wouldn't want to do that. I also don't want to part loan as I don't doubt it would be the same only on someone else's horse. I have friends horses I can borrow who are bomb proof and I'm still worried on those Hmm

I don't think dopes on ropes work for me as I wind them all up Grin

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Stras · 10/08/2017 21:58

I have had really boring problems with riding anxiety in the last year to the point that I had a few sessions of hypnotherapy for it. I found a great equine-specific hypnotherapist and had four sessions with her, going through everything I was worried about, and imagining working through it. The Centre for Horseback Combat also does a really good nervous riders day course. I did that in November and, combined with a lot more riding (and some non-jumping hunting) I feel much better.

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user1471517513 · 11/08/2017 13:30

How long have you had her? If it's only a few months I wouldn't sell just yet. I've had my new boy just over four months and we are only just starting to click after I lost all my confidence with my previous mare that I had to sell on.

I've been doing a lot of ground work, liberty training and in hand "hacks" so we can get to know each other and start to bond. Also when I first started to ride him, I had a foot soldier to keep me company and talk me down when I started to panic. Maybe you could give that a go?

I hope you get it sorted as it is such a horrible feeling when you can't keep control of your nerves. Good luck!

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RatherBeRiding · 11/08/2017 13:40

In your shoes I'd give it another few months before making any decision, and get yourself a different instructor.

Can you hack out with someone else, or get someone to go with you on a bike? My nervous hackers love following a bike! Or is there someone else to ride her as well as you, to keep her in work which might settle her down a bit.

Ultimately, if you can't get on with her you need to find a more suitable home for her. And there is a huge spectrum of suitable riding horses between sharp/spooky at one end and kick along plods at the other. If you do decide, in the end, to try again - don't buy anything that is an unknown. I would only buy again from someone I knew, or who could personally vouch for the horse for me.

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Fosterdog123 · 13/08/2017 09:21

My circumstances are so similar to yours that I had to check your name a couple of times to make sure it wasn't me who'd posted this and forgotten all about it! If she's really doing mid-air spinning spooks then this horse is going to shatter your fragile confidence. You need a rocking horse something quiet and steady that's going to inspire confidence in you. Dont give up - just keep looking for the right one.

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