confidence crisis

Is there an access group that needs your help or a bridleway that needs attention? Maybe you just need help getting your horse past post boxes...
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:40 pm

confidence crisis

Postby princesslucy » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:57 pm

When I go out on hacks I always fear the worse, however this means that sometimes I get tense and I know this is giving off awful signals to my pony. I tell myself that I need to relax and I do but in my mind I still think that my pony is going to spook at anything he wants to. My pony is not naughty and if he doesn't like something he may look at it and slowly move to the other side of the lane and when this happens it does not scare me.
I think that in my mind I forget that my pony is not the previous horses I rode that would gallop off when they wanted to and when they spooked (for no reason) they would bomb off and I would end on the ground or they would shy very suddenly and then for the rest of the ride they would be spooky.
I don't know how to get it in to my head that not all horses are like that and become more confident when I do ride.

Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:40 pm

Re: confidence crisis

Postby hessy » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:46 pm

You sounds just like me. Its a mental block and i have got one, although its getting better. I think you should hack out in company with some people with reliable horses to get your confidence up. I had really quiet ponies and yet sometimes i got scared out hacking on them and it only was when i joined a new RS after selling my last pony that ive become much more relaxed cantering on hacks and in the XC field and all! I dont know why.

Its very frustrating i know, you just keep hitting a brick wall and nothing anyone seems to say to reassure you helps.

I dont really have any answers for you, except maybe just take the pressure off yourself to go hacking - you dont have to - when i get scared, its when i dont have to do something that i end up doing it! and i think thats how i have progressed.

Posts: 412
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:25 am

Re: confidence crisis

Postby Snipper » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:18 pm

I have had a confidence crisis recently too! And you're right it doesn't matter what anyone says, it doesn't make a difference! However I think I'm coming out the other side though. How long have you had your pony? My horse is very good to ride. I have him quite a while now and he has built my confidence slowly but surely. Last week I got on a horse that I never thought I could ride for the first time and hacked out on my own. I didn't get out of walk and my legs were like jelly, but I did it! I'm sure you'll get there too if you stick with your sensible pony. You really can't rush confidence building, so just take it a small step at a time and don't put yourself under too much pressure.

Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:58 pm

Re: confidence crisis

Postby jinglejoys » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:06 pm

Join the Club :D I'm a terrible "What iffer!" I can think up problems months ahead :D :lol:
You could have a chat with Cathy Sirret she is very helpful with my problems
(Be careful though when I put a problem to her I ended up with yet another mule!)
(She was right though! :D )

Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:09 am

Re: confidence crisis

Postby ponyprincess » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:08 pm

I lost my confidence out hacking when I went for a summer ride as a child and they led the ponies to gallop, and about five people fell off. Since then I have to take very deep breathes, put trust in the horse I am riding and then I tend to be ok.

I'm pretty much over the fear now but I still don't like riding in really open spaces. I think that maybe it is just a case of doing things over and over until they become habit. Making new memories for ourselves.

User avatar
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:50 pm

Re: confidence crisis

Postby Soraya_H&R_AssistEd » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:19 pm

Martin Murphy has good advice regarding building your confidence back up. In our September issue he talks through his S.A.F.E. concept – State, Affirmation, Focus and Exhale.

I hope you make progress with your confidence issue soon. My horse once decided to do a stallion rear out on the moors when he saw a herd of wild ponies. It took me quite a while to get over that and trust him completely again.
Follow [url][/url] for the latest news, gossip and diary dates from the UK's No.1 best-selling equestrian monthly magazine

Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:40 pm

Re: confidence crisis

Postby hessy » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:44 pm

Hi, i found this the other day and thought it quite helpful. brainstorm your long term goals and dreams and pick out a couple of them and write down what you would need to achieve them and then make a table of short to mid term goals in order to achieve it. theres more info on here:

You mightnt feel ready to take on your goals just yet but dont worry about it. Work on something else until you feel ready. For example, it has taken me to get a bit more confident in order to go for my goals. And i got more confident by stopping. I dont have to do it. Maybe if you realise you don have to do it you will want to. But perhaps inside you feel like you have to do it because you feel like you are letting other people or the horse down?

What i realised was that if you really dont want to do something - dont do it. By pushing myself and doing things that i couldnt cope with mentally just didnt help. I quit horses for a few months and then got back into it just taking it one day at a time - i found myself back into it somewhat reluctantly - i was afraid i was rushing back into it.

Anyway, will shut up now, i hope that link is helpful - theres a good page with an affirmation on it which i think is great.

Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:22 am

Re: confidence crisis

Postby redkitten » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:49 pm

my sympathies with everyone. i used to find every ride terrifying. i love it but the gut wrenching fear tarnished my experiences. after a decades break i have returned to riding and thought i'd left the nerves far behind me. i now hack out on a lovely little mare, she is a nice sensible grown up and has helped me improve in so many ways. last week i had 10 min of intense anxiety, i don't know what about but i'm blaming spring grass and a winter off. but i know i can do this, this old habit of fear is not going to stop me doing what i love, i'll get over it as will you, our horses and friends will show us how.

Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 7:00 pm

Re: confidence crisis

Postby LovingHoneyLots » Tue May 03, 2011 4:47 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your lack of confidence, and hope it is getting better.

I took a big knock to my confidence when, out at a completely new riding school, we went on a hack and i came off twice, and my friend came off the same horse as well, after we had swapped over. Trying to be brave, i got back on a different horse to finish the hack, but my tension transfered and it just ended in disaster. Unbeknown to me at the time, I had suffered massive injury; 5 broken ribs, a cracked sternum, sprained intercostal muscles and i had pulled the cartilage of the front of my ribs too. Afterwards, i found it okay to get back on knowing i was going into a school, but hacking terrified me.

I'm sharing a gorgeous pony now, and i find it helped me to build up my confidence in the areas where i wasnt as worried, for me i wasn't that bothered by road work, it was just fields. Make hacks short, but regular, and if possible, always finish them on a good note. With Honey, if i am feeling nervous again, I push on for a little while, maybe only 200 yards, just to know that each time im getting a bit further.

Return to “Hacking happiness”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests