Just found your site. I started riding for the first time early last Jan, so not quite year yet and bought my own horse, a quarter horse mare who is sensible. I fell off her ( didn't have a balance seat) I said "Oh" she thought I said "whoa" and put her abs brakes on and I did a face plant into the ground. Black eye and I heard my neck and back crunch. I am OK, but it has been 5 weeks now and I have been able to sit on her, but I freeze up trying to even walk while on her. I thought I was a gooner and broke my neck.I thought of Christopher Reeves. I want to ride my mare, Sienna Rose", but I am scared. HOW DO I GET NY CONFIDENCE BACK? HELP!Oh, by the way, I am 51 yrs.old.I have waited all my life to buy a horse.A dream come true.I can't give up now.

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Barbara, I am sorry you fell. It can happen to any of us.
It is best to face it one thing at a time.
I had a head-on collision with a drunk driver, which triggered my Multiple slerosis big time. The first time I tried to ride after 5 years out of the saddle, I was on my 28 yr. old Anglo-Arab with my husband leading. This did not work well, my husband did not walk as fast as the horse and my leg kept on bumping into him. THEN my horse told me that I was perfectly able to trot and started jogging.
So I would recommend TWO people leading your horse, walking a lead-rope's distance from the horse. If you just have one leader, find a fence for one side.
First ride: just BREATHE and let your body move with the horse. Grab the mane if it makes you feel more secure. Do this at a walk for as many times as you need (or can find help for) until you get your mojo back. PRACTICE KEEPING YOUR HEELS DOWN. Practice walking and stopping, keeping your heels down (do not brace your leg in the stirrup, keep your heels under your hip) until you feel secure during the slow transitions and you are able to keep your balance through the speed changes. And keep breathing with your belly.
This should get you started.
Hi Barbara, I am in the same boat as you. I have owned my horse for over a year now, she did some really dirty twists and got me off good! My coach has taught me to sit back on my rump and not my t-bone. If you are on your t-bone you are not balanced and you will come off. Sitting very tall, looking us and remember to sit back. It is amazing it works. I am no longer with fear of coming off, she is coming forward and rounding for me. As soon as I lean forward I loose her. Hope this helps.
Rosemarie, Good suggestion too! How are you doing now? At one point a couple years ago Cash started backing up and kicking out when he was trying to intimidate me. I had someone walk with us and just touch his heels when he didn't want to go forward and once I got that feeling of sitting back on my rump and feeling balanced, he felt me be more confident or something and just quit that naughty behavior. It seems to me that we can snowball in either direction~~when we are up-tight, our horse will get that way and then we will get worse but on the other hand if we relax then they will relax and we can relax more and it just keeps getting better and then our comfort & riding area can get bigger and bigger too. Horses are such a grand creation!
Hi Barbara, sorry to hear of your fall, it happens to all of us once or twice in our riding careers, even to the most experienced. Hard lesson to learn that "Oh" and "whoa" also watch for the "no" or anything that sounds like it. It's good your horse has those good brakes if she didn't who knows what could have happened. It will be a struggle for awhile to get your confidence back, so you will need some one to help you as others have said. Find someone who specializes in mature riders not necessarily a 'show' coach or instructor. Just someone with some horse experience willing to help you back on. The freeze up part will go away if you let it, sometimes we hang on to those feelings because we think we are supposed to but we just feel worse. I'm telling you now it's okay to let go of that feeling of "how could this happen?", "why did this happen to me", "I'll never get over this", remember your dream, remember how you felt when you got your first horse, don't let that go. You are only bruised not broken like Chris Reeves was. The last line of your post has the answer to your difficulty. Remember it's not the horses fault, you're the one out of balance (your own words) and you're the one who said the "O' word. There's a life lesson here learn from it, Sienna looks and sounds like a great horse don't give up on the two of you together, suppress the fear. All the best to you and I'm praying for you to see this through.
Thank you to everyone. I am crying right now from all the beautiful, helpful words of encouragement.They really mean a lot to me. I will be out to see my lovely Sienna on Monday and I will get on her for only the 2 sec. and take baby steps to gain my confidence back. I know it was not her fault, that it was my balance. I really think that being over weight and busty is causing me to be off balance. So, what better incentive to loose weight to enjoy my horse. I am seeing that horses have a tendency to teach us what we need to learn. I see my learning curve to become fit, learn continuity,assertiveness, prolonging gratification and confidence.Sienna will make me into a better person, but thank goodness she loves me now as I am but sees my potential!
I will keep you all posted.........
Yey Barbara!!!!! Good for you I am sooo proud of you! I will be visiting my horses as well on Monday and will be praying for you. :-) Horses are the best teachers I totally agree, trouble is sometimes it really hurts. :-)
Well Jackie, I don't think I saw your recommendation when you wrote it but I can now vouch for it's accuracy as this belly breathing is helping me ALLOT. After six years of lessons and efforts this simple thing gets addressed. That was the very first thing my new trainer started working with me on. Everyone has said 'breath' but just carried on as if I was doing so properly rather then making sure I was doing it well before carrying on to other things. I'll have to work on it for a long time but that instinct of working on it has to be there to do anything else effectively. If your horse is sensitive at all and you aren't breathing he can't carry on his/her job cause they feel something is wrong. Anyway, that's been my experience.
It's getting to where it needs to in my brain to become automatic. I find now when something startling happens when riding or driving in the car I automatically take and release a deep breath rather then getting more and more tense. WHEW!! That feels good....


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