Scared to ride my own pony in new yard..

Discussion in 'Confidence Club' started by liz_scarlet, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. liz_scarlet

    liz_scarlet New Member

    So i didnt think I'd come across this one...well not without having fallen off or something, has anyone else randomly found theirselves nervous/scared to ride???

    Scarlet is obviously behaving differently just now as is still settling in, feel like we have gone back a million steps :cry: Feeling useless and unable to deal with her. She has also gone into season...there is a beautiful stallion at the new yard and she got a bit overly excited and hard to control, poor girl she used to be a brood mare so knew what he was after....she looked at me with such a confuzzled look as if to say is this what i'm here for.

    I got upset last night, couldnt get her to stand long enough to even get her fly rug on...couldnt help thinking how the hell am i gonna tack her up anytime soon. Spoke to lovely YO who is going to help me tonight and try lunging her to see what she is like, she offered to walk me round the school on a lead rope....i'm so grateful of her help but feel so stupid as at old yard I was sticking tack on her and heading off merrily into the woods! how could I have lost so much confidence in less than a week ???!!! I cant remember ever being on a lead rope but to tbh it sounds appealing right now i'm that low.

    Sorry for the long post!
  2. Roxy's Mum

    Roxy's Mum New Member

    You're not alone - I empathise!

    I'm very nervous of riding my own horse and I have absolutely no idea why! It just gets worse and worse.

    I have had to resort to being led around the school on a leap rope before now so I know how much of a noob it makes you feel. But at the end of the day it's self preservation on your body's behalf so don't beat yourself up.

    Also, your mare has just come into season AND been shown a new stallion - it's all just so exciting and a little (okay, a lot!) confusing for her. Give her a little time. Lunging could be a good idea to blow off the excess excitement.

    And don't go pushing yourself too hard because if you DO have a fall, or even if something minor happens, you could end up blowing it out of porportion and making it worse. Just give it a little time and patience, you'll soon get there (although I do appreciate it's not easy).
  3. tiga

    tiga New Member

    Don't panic.

    Scarlet is in a new place with new horses and a stallion. She is naturally a bit unsettled and unsure of herself. Give her some time to chill out and get used to her new home. And try not to worry about it.

    Why not just do some groundwork with her for a bit and don't rush to ride if you feel nervous. There's no rush.

    Scarlet just needs to know that you are still in charge and that everything is fine. She will get used to the new surroundings and you'll soon regain your confidence.

    Take up your new YO's offer of help and I'm sure Scarlet will calm down.
  4. Cortrasna

    Cortrasna Grumpy old nag

    Don't beat yourself up - most of us have been in similar situations from time to time. Just as you are starting to trust yourself and your horse something happens (in your case a new yard) and sets us back again. Just keep in mind how well you were doing and just how good you KNOW she will be again when she has settled in the new place - and stopped flirting with the stallion!:biggrin:

    So what if you are lead around on the lead rope - there has been times I would have given my right arm for someone to lead me around while I readjusted my nervous thought patterns! Take it slowly, don't push yourself and within a short while she will have settled down and you will be having nice relaxed riding again!:wink::biggrin:
  5. liz_scarlet

    liz_scarlet New Member

    thanks Rox's Mum, I will have to control that part of my personality. I do have a habbit of jumping in the deep end, will take this slowly and build back up to hacking. i am so nervous about tonight :unsure:
  6. shockblue

    shockblue New Member

    I can't trust anyone on the ground to lead me. I've taken a break from riding atm until I can get my head sorted out. I can't even put my foot in the stirrup.

    You are not alone. Focus on little things and the bigger picture will improve.
  7. liz_scarlet

    liz_scarlet New Member

    She has good taste he is lovely! :giggle:

    Thanks everyone!! I will take it easy...and get over myself who cares if i'm on a lead rope, ifit gets me where I need to be then its a good thing.

    Biggest thing is remaining calm, YO/RI is going to show me breathing and calming techniques....i must have made a complete tool of myself last night.
  8. Flipo's Mum

    Flipo's Mum Heavy owner of a Heavy

    Chin up mrs, you'll get there. Am in the same position alot of the time although I do have seven falls behind me to blame :showoff: If you're relatively new to her as an owner and haven't seen her react this way before its probably why you're getting a tad nervous. You thought you knew everything about her and now you're seeing another side to her. Typical that its when men are involved lol!
    I echo Tiga's sentiments about letting her settle in. I'm not one for being led either like Shockblue it completely unnerves me (and my horse is far too strong for anyone to hold anyway) so I would prescribe some in hand walks to let her see the area and let you see she's perfectly fine. (I must be like a broken record, I'm always suggesting inhand walking:redface:).
    Good luck mrs, and sounds like you've got a good YO to help.
  9. liz_scarlet

    liz_scarlet New Member

    I am so glad I found this forum, without you guys I'd be a bubbling mess right now, only an hour till I'll be fetching her out the field.

    YO has same view as you flipo's mum, she is going to get me working with her in hand in the school next few nights...she has noticed Scarlet bossing me about :redface: I was her leader but she knows i'm feeling soft right now and taking advantage...bit of a vicious cirlce.

    maybe I :inlove: her too much and need to toughen up a bit.

    I'll let you know tomorrow if tonight goes ok.

    Thanks again for your advice, its v.much appreciated :smile:
  10. Jane&Ziggy

    Jane&Ziggy Learning together!

    We'll be rooting for you. Let us know how it goes.
  11. Shetlander

    Shetlander Member

    Aw Liz I've been exactly the same as you are now but for different reasons. I think I was being way too soft on Prince when I first got him and he got to thinking he was the leader.

    My YO is also brilliant and when she saw me having a problem with him refusing to go up to the school with me on board, she stepped in and got on him going up and down after a fight. She is a great horsewoman and always supportive so I'm grateful for her (and the RIs there) giving me advice. You prob know this but me and Prince are currently on a 3 month probation deal that the YO suggested so I'm getting a lesson a week plus hacking out on a RS horse with my RI on Prince so that my confidence grows as I can see how he's behaving.... at first I was terrified of riding him but as the lessons improved my riding I soon couldn't wait to get out hacking on him again.

    We have one month left but I'm feeling ready to start going out with other liveries now and my confidence has soared in my own ability to manage him.

    My RI also taught me how to lunge him and I have to say that has been the making of us! I read lots about horse behaviour and discovered that the lead horse is circled by lesser horses and the leader controls the speed and direction - ie lunging. Hey presto - my new skill (after some practice!) has developed trust and things have just blossomed from there.

    I totally agree with Tiga and the others... if you have a worry or fear about something then use that to keep you safe - if you are anxious about riding Scarlet then there is absolutely no shame in doing things in small steps instead of steaming in and putting yourself in a position where you might have a fall or something.

    I felt stupid when I first had a disastrous fall and it's taken ages to rebuild the trust but it has been worth every second... and I don't feel I have to hide my lack of confidence or knowledge because everyone goes through this - I just didn't realise that at the time!

    Really hope it's all gone well this evening - thinking of you xx
  12. sjp1

    sjp1 Well-Known Member

    Agree with everyone else. New places/yards/horses are unsettling for them. I say groundwork all the way. Then when you start riding, keep riding. Somehow it helps the nerves. You tend to think yesterday was fine, the day before was fine, so today will be fine - and it will - she won't really have changed personality that much, just be a bit hyper til she comes out of season.

    Friend and I went on confidence course - for me, not her. Her horse (usually dope on rope) went on hyper spin, fell in love with another gelding and was worse than anyone else's horse there I think. Fortunately friend had her for 14 years and not slightly worried about her, but she was a pain in the bum. Back to normal slopping along once we got home ........ friend not happy as had liked new hyper horse, but it wouldn't have lasted long even there I don't think. Oh, and we were there for 5 days, so give it a couple of weeks.
  13. Shetlander

    Shetlander Member

    SJP1, your confidence course sounds interesting. Can you share the details?

    Ta muchly :happy:
  14. liz_scarlet

    liz_scarlet New Member

    You guys are all amazing :smile: No tears tonight!! lol

    YO was great, I tottered up to field and spent about 15 mins getting Scarlet out of it....not a great start she was totally taking the p**s out of me. YO seen me and met me in the yard, she lent me controlling head collar to use for next few nights. She took Scarlet around the yard getting her to stop, walk out and basically get her listening and respecting personal space (she is bad for nudging you to get attention). We took her in the school where she only twice played up. Then it was my turn, we wondered about stopping and walking forward. she took the piss once and i addressed it.

    YO left me to it and I continued to work with her, got her stopping when I did with a whoa and loose lead rope. If I'm honest its the most I've ever felt in control of her...I then stood and chatted to some people outside the barn while she calmly stood beside me :biggrin:

    Tomorrow we tack her up....and see what happens.
  15. Jane&Ziggy

    Jane&Ziggy Learning together!


    Good luck, good luck, just show her you're the boss
    You know you want to, she's a lovely hoss!

    ...:redface: er, sorry, don't know what came over me
  16. tiga

    tiga New Member

    Well done.

    I found the Dually headcollar a lifesaver with Izzy.

    As soon as he sees it he behaves now!
  17. liz_scarlet

    liz_scarlet New Member

    love it!!! :biggrin:
  18. liz_scarlet

    liz_scarlet New Member

    I know this will be a long roller coaster journey with good and bad days but today really felt like a step in the right direction. I'm not to be mummy for a while but leader.....I can do that, i think!
  19. Shetlander

    Shetlander Member


    Well done Leader. Am gonna call you that now while you get your head round it lol.

    I read or saw something about how to use body language with horses.. think it was when Prince was being a pest about coming in from the field. It said that you should walk confidently towards the horse but not directly at it so aim for just past her head... as soon as the horse looks at you or moves towards you, you stop and "drop" your body language (so like turn slightly to side, head to side, relax and stand still) You keep doing that until you get the horse and eventually they learn to come to you (as leader).

    Prince took the mick for a while even doing this but fussing the other ponies and casually eating a carrot nearby soon solved that problem lol.

    Reverse psychology!
  20. Jane&Ziggy

    Jane&Ziggy Learning together!

    The psychology of our relationship with our horses is fascinating. Early this year I had an animal communicator come to work with me & Ziggy. He homed in straight away on the fact that I felt sorry for Ziggy - gutted in fact - by how his life had been before me. He told me sharply to stop feeling that way, it wasn't my fault, and Ziggy was just picking up on the emotion and getting confused.

    I didn't like this a bit but I took it to heart and since then my relationship with Zigs has really gone to a different level, so that people coming to try him for a share have all commented on what a strong bond we seem to have, and our hacking has come on by miles.

    So it seems to me that how we feel about our horses - the emotions we have when we are with them - must really matter. I try to exude happy calm positive confidence! :redface: Ha ha, when he is behaving like a muppet, but that's the plan!

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