I’m really nervous. I know I want to ride but it feels like it’s never going to get better!

Posted by in nervous, nervous rider, nervous riders, Q & A on Apr 4, 2015

“My instructor tells me I need to sit back but when I’m scared I lean forward like mad. I did seem to be gettting somewhere on one horse recently but last week I had a new horse and had a fall. I’m beginning to wonder whether I really ought to be riding at all. Can you help?”

 

Panic not because you’re not alone!! Is there a chance you could stay on the same horse that you were getting your confidence on? When you’re worried it’s nice to feel that you trust the horse you’re riding – and that they’re used
to you. If you were starting to feel that you could sit up and not adopt what I call ‘The Crash Position’ (which unfortunately makes the horse nervous too and more likely to spook) then it would help you to relax.

The main thing when you’re nervous is never ever do anything you’re not happy to do. Even if that means you stay in walk for a few sessions – so what? As long as you enjoy yourself and nothing goes wrong it might help you to really stop
worrying about what might happen – that’s one of the most common problems with nervous riders. If you’re not always thinking about things that could go wrong you stand more chance of enjoying your rides.

I used to be nervous years ago – I was frightened of asking for canter because I’d been bucked off twice. I froze on every horse I rode because I thought they’d do the same – and because I was rigid in the saddle they sometimes did! Eventually I found a really lazy horse that I bonded with – because I had to really push him on I lost the worry of him freaking out – I was more worried about getting him going!  

I’d advise you to ask if you can stick with the same horse until you feel ready to change. I’d also remind you that just because you’re nervous it doesn’t mean you’re a bad rider – it means you’re extra cautious. Riding in spite of those
nerves makes you braver than you realise and in years to come you’ll be a better rider for it – trust me I know it was the making of me.

Below are a couple of blog posts that might help boost your confidence. I wish you all the best. Keep at it
because when it’s right you’re going to feel fantastic 🙂
http://www.schoolyourhorse.com/2012/04/07/its-a-pleasure-isnt-it/ 
http://www.schoolyourhorse.com/2012/11/24/stay-calm-and-stay-on/

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