View Full Version : Fell from cantor attempt!
7th Feb 2001, 04:57 PM
Combine the two major issues discussed on the board, nervousness about cantor and fear of falling, and you have my morning. Am sitting here waiting for the Tylenol to kick in.
I am a very mature new rider who is doing well at every version of walk and trot, but have only done a decent "accidental" cantor when a horse got a bit independent and caught me by surprise, or a bit of cantor while trail riding. All of my purposful attempts at cantor in school have been rocky, feeding my nervousness even more. I have read Heather's book, other books, the posts here, and my head knows exactly what to do. I have lately visualized myself doing my figures at a leasurely cantor and it looks pretty good on my inner eye. But the anticipation of really doing it, then the real attempt, forces my body into panic mode so I do everything wrong. Today I gave the aid for cantor depart a couple of times, I'm sure because the horse knew my intent was half hearted, before she would lift into cantor. When she finally did lift off, I bent forward slightly and after three paces went over the side and crashed onto my butt. Don't think I broke anything (although the pain is still settling in), but my pride is badly hurt.
I've been taking lessons for 1 1/2 years, I KNOW what to do, but I can't seem to properly engage my body. I KNOW to relax, sit back, sit deep, go with the motion, keep a light contact on the reins, etc. Why is it so hard to get the body to listen to the head intead of going into panic? My fall today certainly did not give me any positive reinforcement. I am determined to cantor because that is the only way I can be allowed to join group lessons at my school, or go on the dressage training vacation in Portugal that I have been dreaming of, or do any inn-to-inn trail rding vacations.
7th Feb 2001, 05:50 PM
I know exactly what you mean Mare-e - it's so clear in your mind's eye, but get on that horse and it's like your body isn't yours. The way it takes me is really irritating - I'm fine with leg aids on the right rein, but just try anything other than straight ahead on the left and my legs haven't got a clue! I s'pose it's a matter of doing one thing at a time, until it's instinctive, then going on to the next.
As to cantering, I'm afraid I'll have to pass - I've only given the aid once successfully and nearly came off as I didn't 'go with it'. And if someone could only bottle the thing that would stop us all getting up-tight, they'd make a killing! Keep at it and don't lose heart though - Portugal sounds worth the wait!
7th Feb 2001, 05:55 PM
I've said this a lot recently but that's because it has helped me so much. Try reading "Ride with your Mind" by Mary Wanless. She takes you through her own experiences of how fear and telling yourself you're stupid influences your ability. She also gives plenty of adive on how to work through it all. It's a hard read I found but it did help me. One thing that stands out amongst everything she said is STOP trying so hard, and STOP beating yourself up all the time. Good luck.
7th Feb 2001, 06:09 PM
Thank you, thank you for the support. You both have my feelings down pat. I feel incredibly stupid at not being able to connect with my own body to get it to do what it should. I will not give up, but I keep thinking there is some key I am missing that other riders have. I will look up the Mary Wanless book. Any other suggestions most gratefully accepted.
7th Feb 2001, 06:17 PM
i'm sorry this is not related to your problem, but this thing about dressage riding vacation in portugal got me interested. i would love to do something like that! could you give any more information about it? i'd be very gratefull!
and for your canter probs...well, i had the exact same thing just 3-4 months ago. i knew the canter aids perfectly, but i just couldn't get that horse to canter! i learned that the only thing to do is to keep trying over and over again. by the way, do you get lunge lessons? they're great while learning to canter. try the aids without your trainer helping at first and if it doesn't work try it again but this time with the trainer encouraging the horse (usually by a whip). the horse could get a little jumpy but he will sure start to canter. just sit back - the horse is not going to get anywhere - he's lunged! maybe this won't be your best transition ever, but you'll get a feel of the canter and to learn how coordinate your body during it. when your balance at this pace improves, the best thing to improve your seat is cantering without stirrups (still on the lunge). that way you won't stand in them. sitting deep in the saddle IS one of the most important parts in the canter aids and you can only learn it by riding without stirrups. you'll soon be able to do it all on your own! just relax, but at the same time be determined to reach your goal - if not today, maybe tomorrow?:) remember, it all takes a lot of practice!:)
hope this helped!
7th Feb 2001, 07:00 PM
I've tried lunge work before and find the centrifigal force of the small cirle tends to throw me off balance a bit. Will consider going back to the lunge if that will help though.
The Portugal vacation I want to go on is a dressage training center about 25 miles north of Lisbon, and can be arranged through Equitour(www.equitour.com). What I liked about this is that it offers lessons plus hacking out in the countryside and they will start at novice level. That means I have to be able to master short canters. Certainly is providing me with motivation, but want to go at the end of May and just don't see me doing that from where I am now. If YOU go, let me know!
7th Feb 2001, 07:10 PM
Sorry about your fall!
Thinking too much about what you're doing can interfere with what your body needs to do. Have you read "Centered Riding" by Sally Swift? Her chapter on left brain and right brain functioning discusses how you can't use both at the same time, and you must alternate between the two('hard eyes' vs. 'soft eyes') while riding. It was very useful to me. When I was having problems with steering (and stopping!) the horse during canter, my instructor told me to "Think about riding off into the sunset". It sounded so silly I nearly laughed out loud, but hey it worked!
Lungeing is a good idea, but if that's not possible will your instructor be willing to teach you the two-point seat? I find a two-point canter to be easier than sitting canter because you don't feel like you're bouncing everywhere while you get used to the motion and speed. After you've regained your confidence you could try sitting again.
P.S. I signed up for the Vermont trail riding clinic in June - can't wait! I decided to drive instead of taking the train though because I want to do a little sightseeing in the area.
7th Feb 2001, 07:24 PM
Sorry to hear about your fall. Glad that you are all right. Please do not wory too much about the canter as it took me 3yrs to even think about cantering. The only canter I would do was if the horse took off with me. Now cantering does not seem as scary as it once did. I have to say that part of it is thanks to my instructor who comes out with me on her horse and I am not sure if the other is me or my new stirrups. As I have problems with keeping my heels down I invested in some flexi stirrups and my riding has improved.
7th Feb 2001, 07:31 PM
thanx for the information! i'll sure check it out and tell you in case i'm going.
sorry you couldn't really take advantage from my post, but lunge lessons helped me a great deal! personally i find it more challenging to maintain canter in a straight line, but that's just me!:) maybe next time you could get a horse that is more responsive to canter aids??
7th Feb 2001, 07:36 PM
I'm intrigued by the 2 point seat. What's that?
I'm new to canter too. I'm OK at striking off but not sure what I'm doing when actually cantering. Depending on how frisky my riding school mare is depends on how long she keeps the canter up. I must be getting better though because at first I only seemed able to canter a couple of strides and now I can go once or twice round the school but I'm not really in control with steering/slowing. I'm just a passenger. She falls back into trot without me willingly asking for it or maybe I subconsciously start gripping up or my legs come off or something and she thinks I want to trot. Don't know.
Anyway I came off cantering a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately didn't hurt myself but was naturally a bit wary last time. However I did OK so I'm not TOOOOO nervous about it.
7th Feb 2001, 07:53 PM
Yes, I have the Sally Swift book and that section was one of the ones I skimmed over - now I'll read it tonight and pay attention. Thanks!
Hope you enjoy Vermont. What dates are you going, and are you going to Kedron Stables? If I can't make progress in cantor in the next few weeks I will probably return to Vermont myself. I got in up to 4-5 hours of riding a day there. They did some very short cantors for us wimps in my small group, and usually uphill so it was pretty slow and easy.
7th Feb 2001, 09:09 PM
The two-point seat is the position used when jumping or riding cross-country where your seat is just out of the saddle and most of your weight is supported by your thighs.
You're welcome. I'll be going to Kedron the last week of June. Although it would be nice to meet you in Vermont, don't give up on Portugal too soon. Have faith.
8th Feb 2001, 08:24 AM
Ouch! How are you feeling now, all bruised and battered?
Did you get back on or was the fall too much and when are you going to get back on?
Its strange how we KNOW what to do when it comes to canter but how the brain goes directly into meltdown at the mention of the word!
One of the things that I discovered is that not only has the horse got a soft and hard side, but I have as well. I noticed that when on a right rein I am far more successful than when I try it on the left rein and I think this is down to being physically weaker in giving the aids needed, so I always try to canter fist on the right rein to give myself more confidence, of course it helps if thats the horses favoured rein too!
The only other thing I do, is try to think about something
else, (I dont know any of you well enough to tell you what that is.....!) something thats related to movement, diving into a pool, (when I do this one it makes me sit taller as I dive/strike off)or driving a car onto the motorway, it doesn't really matter what it is, so long as its subconciously making you sit up and not allowing your brain to go into panic mode, try it.
Do you have a prefered rein? if so, try going off that for a while, untill you feel more comfortable, keep trying is the key, especially when a holiday like yours is the reward!!!
8th Feb 2001, 03:53 PM
Mare-e, I forgot to ask: What are the instructors at Kedron Valley like? And isn't confusing how there are two different tour operators named Equitour?
9th Feb 2001, 05:27 PM
Yes, I was able to get back on the horse immediately and go back to walk / trot. Especially did a lot of very energetic walk with my lower back loose and following to keep me flexible. Later that day and yesterday I was very stiff and achey (a normal condition on a cold day when one is in their 50's anyway). And this morning I am still stiff enough to have cancelled tomorrow's lesson. Figured if my body is not loose and limber plus I'm still a bit emotionally tense, I won't ride well. I'll go back again on Wednesday.
Re Kedron, was surprised to find the teachers rather young, but very professional. One was on a horse at age 3. They were relaxed, had a sense of humor, and really tailored the work to what we were interested in. There were only two other women in my group, both in their 40's, and they had only ridden for a year or two and had done minimal cantor in school. So when we we were too wiped out to do a 5 hour trail ride with lots of cantor and some gallop on the last day, we just did more schooling indoors and a shorter trail ride with modest cantors. That's why I feel comfortable about returning there to do another 4 days of that kind of riding. Have fun!
10th Feb 2001, 08:46 PM
I sem to have come in rather late on this one. I am certain that part of your problem is a saddle that is not helping you stay in balance, and also the lack of schooling of the horse/horses. If the horse is on it's forehand in canter, which 99% of riding school horses are, it makes the cvante sooooooooooooooo much more difficult to sit to. A good canter should feel like a series of jumps, with the horse feeling as if it's whole front is rising up in front of you. Most school horses it is the opposite, the front disappears down in front of you, whilst the back end flips up, and flips you with it!
Ask your instructor to let you do lost of transitions up and down into canter so that you only canter a few strides at a time- this helps to maintain a better quality to the canter which will get worse at each step unless you ae skilled enough to rider the horse 'up' in front. It woudl help you a great deal to ride a horse that wil go smoothly from walk to canter as all mine do- in this way, you do not get the problem with the hrose running into canter from trot, putting it imediately on its forehand before you even get into canter!In walk to canter, the hroe has to make the transition'uphill' to be able to do it. Riders can't believe how easy it can be when they ride my horses!
Hope this helps a bit- Heather
11th Feb 2001, 11:24 PM
I have just read your post and the flip sounds a little like Rhi. When I first ask her for canter she tends to throw me forward in the saddle. I then try and push myself upright. Once I am upright we have a great canter (I am glad to say). As this only happens when I first ask for canter could this be a problem with me or the horse? Rhi was very green when I first bought her or had a simple lack of schooling. She was nervous of the roads and simply did not know what I was wanting from my leg aids. Thankfully over the last year with the help of my instructor she has come along way.
12th Feb 2001, 09:43 AM
Is there any possibility that you could do a few more trail rides that include cantering? It is so much easier to get the hang of cantering if you are going in a straight line, rather than doing it in the school where you have to keep turning corners or going round in a circle. If you could learn to settle into the stride on the staight, I'm sure you would find it easier to go back into the school afterwards.
12th Feb 2001, 02:20 PM
Thank you for the reply. Sometimes I ride with a dressage saddle and sometimes an all purpose so I'm not sure how that is contributing to my seat in cantor. Also, I never get beyond a few strides to settle into it enough to have a sense of my seat-to-saddle. Regarding the horses, yes a smooth transition would probably make a big difference since one seems to "get it" or "lose it" within the first few strides. My biggest issue at this point is that all my school attempts have been failures, with me losing my balance and even falling off twice. This reinforces my nervousness and makes it ever more difficult to relax and allow my body to deepen into the correct positiion to transition and go with the motion. Will have a talk with my teachers to come up with a strategy next lessons.
Regarding trail riding, I am considering abandoning my dream of dressage camp in Portugal or any of the other intense training camps for the spring. If I can't cantor with some confidence then I will slow down my school mates and possibly put myself at risk. Don't want to take a fall when thousands of miles from home. So, yes, returning to Vermont to trail ride and do more easy cantor sounds like it might be the appropriate thing now.
12th Feb 2001, 08:44 PM
The moer practise you get the better, Mare-e/ When cantering out on a trail ride, try shortening your stirrups a little and folding forward from the hip, keeping your lower leg inplace against the horse's sides and letting your lower leg and thigh take your weight. Do not lift your seat out of the saddle, but keep it rather close. Gradually start to swing your upper body a bit with the rhythm of the canter (I wouldn't normally advoacte this as I don't want my students 'rowing' with the shoulders!- but in your case it is probably necessary, so that you come a little more upright with every stride. You should find your lower back starting to absorb the movement. The secret is gradually to let your lower back take over from your shoulders as you sit more erect, eventually your lower back will absorb it all, so that your shoulders can remain almost still, and it all looks rather elegant! Make sure that the canter isn't too fast- ths is very important. When you do canter fast, just fold forwards from your hips and take the weight on your thighs and calves again. Keep your reins short and hands low.
Hope this might help!
13th Feb 2001, 05:12 PM
Thanks for the additional suggestions. Won't get to do any trail riding until May or June so will look forward to putting them to the test. In the meantime, will go back to a basic walk/trot lesson tomorrow to get my body back in motion (am still achey and tight in my right hip). Will come up with a strategy with my Wednesday and Saturday teachers that will specifically focus on cantor for my future lessons. I feel stalled on this plateau until I can overcome this next step.
Again, thanks for the support and understanding of everyone here. Will share any progress, since a few of us seem to be struggling with the same issue.
13th Feb 2001, 07:46 PM
Not sure if this will help as i'm not cantering yet.
A couple of lessons ago I could not get my horse to trot and it was partly due to the horse being stiff and not breathing properly. I'm waffling. Basically my instructor said close your eyes and put your leg onto the horses side, to feel each hoof beat of the walk and then she said squeeze to go into a trot.
Well I have never had to do so little to get that horse to trot before. I still had my eyes closed and the instructor was behind keeping an eye on things. I trusted her 100% and it was the nicest feeling ever.
Perhaps you are tring too hard to canter. Could you ask your instructor to lunge you whilst you close your eyes (to make it a bit safer than doing it in the park as i did!) and ask the horse to walk, trot and then ask for canter.
You will be surprised as the part of your leg which is in contact with the horse becomes very clear when one closes the eyes. You won't be thinking of where your instructor is, if anyone is watching you but listening to the horse.
It works for me as i find it hard to feel the horse underneath me.
Good Luck if you try it
14th Feb 2001, 12:35 AM
Thanks Heather for the advice above. I will give it a try.
26th Feb 2001, 03:38 PM
What an emotional rollercoaster riding is! Had my lesson on Saturday and just felt the tiniest bit disconnected from my body and my horse. Not sure why. Maybe still a bit stiff from my fall a few weeks ago. Maybe a bit of delayed reaction/nervousness. Have had a few good lessons since that fall, the last one even had my mare on the bit enough for her to have "lipstick" at the end of the lesson. Anyway, my instructor was continually reminding me to sit back with my shoulders and arms back. The more she pointed out that my body language was tense, the more I actually became emotionally tense. Of course the horse picked up on it and started to be more independant. And of course we had the inevitable independant cantor! I was actually pretty relaxed and rode about three cantor strides comfortably before bringing her down to a walk. But after that, all I could think about was: (1) I rode a great cantor and that is what want to learn now and (2) I RODE CANTOR AND DIDN'T ASK FOR IT! - I AM OUT OF CONTROL! So I became nervous about asking for trot. Then I became nervous about just walking if my horse took the slightest mis step off a perfect circle. I was far from panicked, but just had this strange sixth sense that I needed to cut my lesson short. My instructor was reluctant to have me quit on a less than possitive note, but agreed at my insistance. My feeling was that I wanted to quit while I felt good about riding through the cantor and before I scared myself silly any further.
Why is it that some days all I can think about is winning the lottery so I can buy a horse and spend the rest of my life having daily lessons and lovely trail rides? Other days I walk away from my lesson feeling like maybe I should set this aside and save the money and quit the physical and emotional punishment. Sorry to go on, but none of my friends or family are horsey people so they would encourage quitting. Not sure I have any questions here. Just had the need to share my frustration. Getting this stuff out of my heart and on to this board helps to lighten the burden.
26th Feb 2001, 07:23 PM
You know, I went through that same argument last weekend, and I reckon we do it for the good days - the lows wouldn't be so low if it didn't matter so much (and the highs wouldn't be as high, which is what makes it worthwhile). Keep plugging - you're not the only one swinging on that pendulum!
2nd Mar 2001, 09:08 PM
Well done for staying calm during your unasked canter.
I had a really bad lesson a couple of weeks ago and was so angry as it takes ages to get there and is really expensive. I felt i had wasted time and money. But because i had a bad lesson it highlighted in an extreme way what i was doing wrong so that I can correct it and I have progressed like you wouldn't believe.
What I'm waffling on about is that you do need bad lessons to progress.
You sound like an experienced rider (so sorry if this is a bit patronizing) but could you have been sitting too long in the saddle which confussed the horse into thinking you were asking for a canter. That was the reason why I had an accidental canter a while ago.
Well done also for insisting to quit the lesson when you wanted to. I also did the same thing last lesson as i couldn't physically carry on and said i was too tired and didn't give a hoot to the fact that the pony walked without me telling her too!!!
My instructor agreed that it is better to end on a positive note.
Sorry for long post.
3rd Mar 2001, 02:07 AM
I know what you mean about the highs and lows of lessons. Last week was a bit of a disaster in that my horse - a different one from usual - kept bolting and I fell off twice. I've only been riding 11 months and I'm not experienced in staying on in such situations. The instructor then got on and he went as good as gold for her of course. Once I was up he was off again but managed not to fall off. Of course I was really spooked as well and my legs were quite jelly-like. We ended up changing horses to my usual mare and fortunately she looked after me and was fine.
I was glad today when I got her again. Today, however, I had a really good lesson and learned a couple of things that were major breakthroughs for me. Also did some quite passable sitting trot when usually I'm bouncing around like a sack of potatoes.
Last time I posted I was talking about now being able to canter a couple of times around the school. But back to the highs and lows again, I've not managed that since and last week my canter aids were really half-hearted and we only got a few strides.
It really does seem to be the way of things, doesn't it? - One week a good lesson, then a disappointing or frustrating one.
4th Mar 2001, 05:56 PM
You are totally right Stella about one week it will be a terrible lesson and then next week it is brillant. Part of life and the learning process but boy is it annoying!!!!!
22nd Mar 2001, 06:11 PM
I found that lunge lessons helped me a lot when I started riding again a couple of months ago (after a really really long break!) I actually started off riding western, now I am switching over to a dressage saddle. I got so used to cantering on the lunge, especially those nasty transitions, that now I prefer canter to trot. My instructor says that you should aim for the feeling that you can just canter a couple of strides over to talk to her, then canter a couple of strides to the end of the arena, etc. This is one of the things we are working on at present.
I also take Pilates and yoga, I find that these help to center you. When you improve your posture on the ground and really get used to keeping your shoulders down and wide, you go into that hunch position less easily when you ride. (I had terrible posture before!)
I want to go on one of those Inn-to-Inn rides in Vermont too! Anybody who goes, can you let me know how it is? I also want to take my horse (when I get one) camping, I think that there is a state park in Maine (?) where you can rent a stall for your horse and hack on miles of (car-free) trails. Its pretty reasonable too!
4th Apr 2001, 05:15 PM
Hi Mare-e, I hope you are well over your bumps and bruises at this point!
Barkless - My instructor told me to "grip" with calves and drop weight into heels, using flex of foot/knee joint to act as the shock absorbers for the motion of the canter in the two-point position. How is "taking the weight in your thighs" different? I'd like to give it a try to see which is more comfortable.
Thanks ~ KE
5th Apr 2001, 01:22 PM
When I get into two-point, my seat just barely comes out of the saddle, and I balance against my thighs. I still distribute some of my weight down through my legs and into my heels. I haven't done any jumping, so maybe this is the reason for the difference?
Did that make it any clearer?
5th Apr 2001, 06:00 PM
Thanks for asking. Actually, since my fall in mid-February have found through x-rays and MRI's that it may have caused damage to my neck and shoulder. I had a bulging cervical disc that caused a pinched nerve, that resulted in weakness in my left upper arm, plus I have a tear in a cartilage in my left shoulder. I am now on a course of physical therapy and can't ride until at least June. I have no real pain now, but the arm weakness is a concern and needs to be addressed. The experience has certainly given me lots of cause to re-think riding. Much as I love it, I cannot physically or financially afford damaging my body at this age. I admire all the brave souls who casually accept their injuries and get back in the saddle again, but I am risk adverse. So after three falls in 1 1/2 years, two trying to cantor, I just can't decide how I'm going to handle things if I'm even allowed to ride in June. So much for my advise to other nervous riders...will just keep reading this board a few times a week and try to keep inspired. Good luck to all you NR's.
6th Apr 2001, 01:05 PM
I can understand where you are coming from Mare-e. I spent 18 months visiting a chiropractor several years ago, and it's not an experience I want to repeat. Sometimes we just have to accept and work with the hand life deals us. Even if you cannot canter, you could probably still do walking trail rides and leave the "heavy work" to others.
If you really just enjoy being around the great big beasties, try ground work with them, help youth riders or maybe learn to socialize and/or ground school the young horses.
Whatever you decide, it must be what is best for you.
23rd Apr 2001, 09:37 PM
I am far from an expert:-), but the thing which has helped improve my cantoring most has been practising sitting trot <B>without</B> stirups!
I found concentraiting on keeping my legs long and my knees/thighs not tense really helped me.
Good luck, and remember even the best riders fall off sometimes!
25th Apr 2001, 02:03 PM
I've been riding 1 1/2 years and have an identical problem and it's great to hear we're not alone!
For me the partial solution (as I am still worried and panicky in the school) was very much to go hacking. Some places will do private one-to-one hacks where you can really tailor the canter to suit. Leaders can be asked to keep the canter slow & steady, which they should anyway; and they will have sympathy if you explain you are a nervous canterer. You are not a 'rider' here, you are a 'passenger' but as long as you know that, you can enjoy the chance to try out the faster paces without the confusion that comes from circles, aids, steering and slowing down (all at the same time!). It means that now for me I enjoy a canter on a hack, although I almost prefer not to be expecting it so I am less nervous and anticipatory..... The horse will simply fall into canter as it follows the horse in front, you will still be balanced in whatever you were doing beforehand as you are not 'in charge' of the transition and you can sit it simply because you are there. NB - This will not make you a good rider, it may just enable you to get to grips with the pace, whereupon you can then move onto learning to master the horse within the canter.
In the school, however, I have yet to master my fears and conquer my nervousness. I have cantered a couple of times at my new riding school (riding non riding-school horses which may mean there are rather more buttons than I require..) by mistake, and both of those were comfortable and fun. My purposeful attempt was hilarious and was trot, trot, TROT, TROT FASTER & FASTER, gallop... as I was so focused on worrying I didn't apply a single aid and merely tensed up. Impressive effect of tension alone I'd say.
Don't NOT go on your riding hols - ring around and explain you're a nervous canterer and ask THEM what THEY can do for you. We have a place in Cornwall, UK which specialises in weekend training courses for nervous adults with specific worries; they emphasise balance and relaxation above all. There may be something similar out your way.
I wish you the best of luck with it and will keep an eye out for your posts to see how you do. I'll let you know how my next cantering goes - due to Foot & Mouth there's no hacking and I've just changed horses (to an older, calmer variety with less buttons to press) so will see how it goes.
Best wishes. Remember - you can do it. So can I.
26th Apr 2001, 04:07 PM
So nice to hear from you. And yes, it does sound like we're having similar experiences on opposite sides of "the pond" as they say. Glad to hear you are not discouraged and are moving ahead in attempts to cantor, and to do it well. I have not been riding since early March, when I discovered I have muscle weakness in my left arm due to nerve damage that resulted from my fall. I agree on all the good advice that has been given here to overcome nervousness and progress towards cantoring. Until I get the O.K. from my doctors to get back in the saddle (and they are not at all sympathetic to the risks involved in riding), I don't know how I am going to handle this.
As you may have seen from my other posts, I am in probably the most expensive and inconvenient place to ride on earth(Manhattan at $100 per hour) so it takes a lot of passion and determination for someone like me to work it into my life. Right now, it breaks my heart to even read this board every few days because I am so removed from riding. My physical injuries are mild in the scheme of things, but the psychological injury will be what I have to overcome to ride again. I seem to remember a book called "Ride with Your Mind", maybe by Sally Swift. So very apt for nervous riders, especially. Have great sympathy for anyone in our situation and don't wish it on anyone else.
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