Too Scared to Hack

Discussion in 'Confidence Club' started by gracesmum, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. gracesmum

    gracesmum New Member

    I have owned Grace for nearly 2 years now. We have had a bumpy journey together. I bought her as a quiet uncomplicated ride. It soon became clear that she lacked confidence and her default setting was to lash out, she became stroppy and would rear over my head when leading her. She frightened the life out of me! At this point she was being difficult for anyone who handled her even "confident" ones. I called in a NH member who was really fantastic and the ground handling has completely resolved. All through this time she was quiet to ride in the school, hack was a different matter! She is undoubtedly the bravest horse I have ever sat on, nothing seems to phase her but she is also a nappy nightmare! If something upsets her she either bounces sideways like Tiger or runs backwards at great speed. Then a few weeks ago we went out for a short quiet hack with another horse. We were on a country lane when my friend's horse was spooked by a monster grain lorry and he bolted down the middle of the road. Grace was a star. Since then I have developed a fear of meeting lorries, tractors, buses etc if we venture out ( Grace has never been worried about these before). I know my fear will trickle through to her and I am afraid of what she might do. Help!! I want to hack. Sorry for such a long post! I do love Grace and I feel generally that she trusts me too.
  2. annareeves0

    annareeves0 Active Member

    Ooo many of us have been here or somewhere similar so you are definitely not alone.
    I would say that there are 2 main approaches;
    1) go back to doing tiny steps - approach and retreat with yourself and don't push past your thresholds. Go a little way and when you've had enough turn back. Try and go a bit further next time but if you can't it's no biggie. Gradually your brain will learn to trust the situation and you'll become less anxious about it
    2) Go get some professional confidence help in the form of NLP or similar which will help you with the negative thought patterns you are building up so nicely :D

    It's a very common issue and can be tackled nut you do need to work at it quite hard! Good luck :)
  3. Flipo's Mum

    Flipo's Mum Heavy owner of a Heavy

    Yeah I have solo hacking issues. I do alot of inhand walks which help me test my horses reaction to everything before I ride it. I use a foot solider as well and am working on that person now walking a little behind us so we get used to being alone and taking a lead. Baby steps. Don't overface yourself as it will just scare you more for next time, just like Anna says, step back into your comfort zone and just dip your toe out every now and then. Good luck!
  4. tiga

    tiga New Member

    It took me a while of hacking with confident people to gain my confidence hacking. I knew Izzy was solid but I was nervous at first.

    What really helps me when i have a wobble is to concentrate on what ACTUALLY happened and how we coped. I try not to focus on what MIGHT have happened, even though I know that is sometimes easier said done.

    So actually what happened with the big grain lorry is that despite Grace's hacking buddy spooking and taking off, she stood still and did as you asked. That is amazingly good on her part. And, you didn't panic and you managed to keep yourself and Grace calm and in control - again, amazingly well done. So instead of worrying what happens next time you meet a scary lorry, remember how well you both did in a difficult situation. Grace came through for you, she trusted you to keep her safe and looked to you instead of following her hacking buddy. Concentrate on that, not all the things that might happen if you meet another lorry. You know what will most likely happen - Grace will be a sensible girl!

    Also agree with the others about taking things slowly for a bit. But I do find this approach helps me.
  5. Trewsers

    Trewsers Well-Known Member

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    In the past I have tried and tried to hack Storm, to no avail. We have separation anxiety issues (long story) now so it isn't an option to hack solo. But, I am still trying (emphasis on the trying part) to get us both into a position where we can hack in company and actually enjoy it!
    Baby steps indeed - I won't hack longer than I feel capable and I really don't push myself that much, because I know how fragile confidence is! It may take years to get back to where we were (we used to hack a long while ago) but I'd rather try and enjoy the journey. I think if you try small hacks and don't over-face yourself or Grace, you are more likely to come back with a smile on your face! I always think long hacks and giving yourself certain critera to meet is setting yourself up to fail ina way. (Of course, we all need to set goals, but lets be realistic). Then, you can build on it - hopefully one day you'll look back and realise how far you've both come!
    Good luck.
  6. gracesmum

    gracesmum New Member

    Thank you all so much for your replies. Tiga, I've got tears in my eyes thank you, you are right she was so brave. I'll let you know how we get on!
  7. laceyfreckle

    laceyfreckle Active Member

    I agree with the other, little steps. Can't offer much advice as my pony is a bit like Grace. Perfect in the school but nappy and a bit spooky out hacking. He's great with traffic but does feed on my anxiety too.

    it's something we're working on as well so you're definitely not alone!
  8. gracesmum

    gracesmum New Member

    Thanks Lacey Freckle its nice to know I'm not alone!
  9. tiga

    tiga New Member

    Looking forward to hear about your progress.

    And remember, Grace sounds like a goodun!:wink:
  10. gracesmum

    gracesmum New Member

    Had a quick mooch around the farmyard today after our lesson, just very calm and not scary.:smile:

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