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Facing Your Horse Fear

May 10, 2008
Almost every good rider has an accident at some point during her riding career. While some riders see accidents as a part of the sport and get right back in the saddle, so to speak, other riders lose their confidence and even experience gripping fear. Some riders are so afraid that they ask themselves whether the time and money they spend on their hobby is worth it after all!

Here's the deal: unless you enjoy riding, then you shouldn't be doing it. If every time you get on a horse you experience a pounding heart, dry mouth, and crushing anxiety, then I would ask you why you continue to torture yourself in this way. Especially considering that riding is an expensive, time-consuming hobby.

However, many riders continue to torture themselves in just this way. Why? Because they remember what it was like, before the unfortunate incident, to love to ride. And they want to experience that feeling again.

If you are still going out to the barn and trying to get on your horse despite having huge fears, my guess is that you want to return to the time when you loved horses. The good news is, there's no reason why you can't. If you take it slow and put yourself in the right situation, you can love riding again.

The first step is to figure out what is getting in the way of your enjoyment. For many people, they just can't relax on their horse. They relive their bad situation, and this makes them tense. Knowing that you have a hard time relaxing is the first step in learning how to relax on horseback. Once you learn to relax, you'll enjoy riding.

Of course, you can't relax unless you are confident and comfortable. Being confident and comfortable are the cornerstones of relaxation. So how do you get confident and comfortable? By riding the right horse, and by taking lessons from the right instructor. That's right, I said instructor. If you are so fearful of horses that you want to throw up every time you get in the saddle, it's too much to ask that you conquer this on your own.

A good instructor is patient, kind, never demeans you, and understands that you've had a bad experience and need to move slowly. Since there are many riders who have faced fear, there are also many riders who help their students overcome it. To find the right instructor, ask others who have had similar problems for a recommendation. An instructor who is right for you should be downright enthusiastic about helping you get over your issues.

You'll also need the right horse. A calm, confident, and bombproof schoolhorse is the best choice if you've been frightened. Even if your riding skills are good, you need to remember that the goal here isn't to improve your riding skills. The goal is to ride without fear. The right horse will give you good experiences, and the more good experiences you have, the more your fear will recede. If you really love riding, face your fears but take it slowly. With a good instructor and the right horse you'll be happily back in the saddle in no time.

Want some more great advice on horses? Just visit our resource links below and make sure to bookmark us.
About the Author
Ron Petracek was raised in Souther Idaho,with a black morgan as his adventure companion. His Love for horses has expanded into the largest equine classified network on the internet to date with horse articles,classifieds and social networking. Amazing Equine Network System - Buy Sell or trade anything equine related. Get More Horse Classified coverage and distribution with less cost and work. Amazing Horse Forum
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