Practice consistently and gradually. Once you start to feel comfortable with the idea of a horse, find somewhere that you can observe a horse in real life. If a horse is on your foot, push it's shoulder gently and make clucking noises or say "over". As you probably know, horses have dominated my existence for almost 8 decades now. Look at pictures or videos of horses to begin desensitizing yourself. Ask Monty: Are you a positive influence on your horse? You will also be able to communicate more effectively with your horse. Your Fear of Horses is a guide to help those who are plagued with horse fear get back in the saddle and ride with confidence. You will find the same thing can calm your fear too. However, it is possible to overcome your fear of horses with enough dedication and patience! You could look through books with photos of horses, watch videos of horses online, or pick a movie with horses featured in it. Once you've mastered the canter, just continue gradually increasing your speed until you're at a full gallop. For example, spend a month or two building up the confidence to canter rather than launching straight into it. It’s happened so many times. Tags: horses, equine, fear of horses, horse ranch, Faithful Homesteader, North Texas, When I was a little girl, I was so terrified of horses. To me, horses are beautiful, but large and frightening. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Depending on your level of fear, this may mean just taking a few steps closer at a time or it may mean approaching the horse if you feel comfortable. If you’re afraid of horses, it might take a lot of patience to overcome your fear, but you can do it if you’re persistent. For example, you may be scared of small ponies if you were bitten by one as a child or you may feel fearful of larger horses if you have had a particularly traumatic fall. In considering your question I suddenly realize that I have never been hospitalized for an injury caused by a horse. Overcoming fear is a never ending battle for me. The Hughes-Jones Centre, 775 Highland Park Road, Nine Mile Creek, PE, C0A 1H2, Canada 902-894-5452 info@thehughesjonescentre.ca. Horses are large and impressive creatures; many people find that they love the power and majesty of the animals right up to the time they come into actual contact with a horse. Look where you want to go. This means riding a horse you feel comfortable on, in an environment you are comfortable in. May 28, 2019 - How to Overcome Your Fear of Horses. Overcoming Your Fear of Horses . The horse are healthy and of reasonable disposition. My fear is expectation. If I’d have been on her, I’d likely have fallen and been injured. The important thing is not to let yours debilitate you from moving forward. Ask any group of equestrians what they fear most, and the consensus will be “falling off.” Then again, if you ask the same group of horsey folks how many times they’ve fallen off, they’re probably not going to have a concrete number for you. I am no longer scared of them, and this article is the reason. If you feel very anxious or uncomfortable at any point, simply step away. Your horse will sense your tension, making a spook more likely. Congratulations on your ability to express a healthy concern for your safety and well being while in the process of learning what and who horses are and the potential for danger if significant errors are made. Ok so I got my horse a little over a year ago when he was 8months and he now is 22 months. Ask Monty: What is the best way to calm a nervous horse? The book is based on the authors personal experience as well as the journey of three women who also went from fear into confident horsemanship. "This article helped me a lot! I think its fair to even suggest that it is not unlike learning to roller skate or even negotiating the streets, on foot, of any given city we might traverse. Now I’m even more fearful. While you are visualizing yourself riding in the way that you want to, try to relax your posture and be mindful. Go back to a point in the desensitization process where you felt comfortable and work up from there again. Try to stay relaxed throughout; remember, if you're relaxed, the horse will be relaxed. Thank you for mentioning that you have viewed a large number of lessons on my Online University. Do things, like take him/ her on a walk, or brush him/ her. I think the same thing could be said for learning to ride a motorcycle or even a bicycle. You will be able to make the most of your ability and skills when you are relaxed. You're not the only one struggling with horse riding anxiety. Equestrian Specialist & Trainer. Your helmet is there to protect your noggin, and a jump vest can protect your vital organs and some of your bones—including your spine. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Overcoming fear can require small steps, each building on the others to increase your confidence. Those circumstances can occur with any horse at any given moment. In the final analysis, learning to be at one with your horse, confident in your ability to be in the right place at the right time is absolutely essential to the ultimate success of overcoming theses natural fears that are healthy for us to have until we are satisfied that we are in control of virtually all of the potential pit falls that can challenge us on any given day. Sugar started running sideways full steam until the experienced rider calmed and settled her. Then move up to a canter. You can get help and you can ride again, all it takes is time, commitment and that special person to help you. When you consider that I have dealt with about 70,000 horses, I believe that you will agree that this is a relatively amazing statistic. References. Your riding coach will also be able to match you with a horse that is suitable for helping you to overcome your fear. The anxiety aroused by these often gentle animals is so common, in fact, that the term equinophobia which means a fear of heights is actually derived from the Greek words "equus" or horse and "phobos" or fear. Keep your heels down and gently squeeze your knees into the saddle if you get too unbalanced. Last Updated: August 18, 2020 In my seminars on fear of riding at horse fairs, the room is always jam packed with people, all of whom are greatly relieved to see everyone else there; people of all ages, genders, abilities and experience. That is simply not the case. Your communication addresses that very issue with the horse that was otherwise quiet and trustworthy but on a given moment decided to cause trouble for the other rider. Fear Expands Your Creativity. This site uses cookies. Kate Jutagir. Start by trotting around with your horse, ideally with an experienced rider present. Overcoming THE Fear of Your Horse Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has a truly inspiring partnership with horses. There is absolutely no disgrace in being respectful of the size and the potential danger connected with the power of horses and their athleticism. Don’t be scared to trade your horse for one that makes you feel calmer and safer. It could be weeks, months, or years! Please do not for one minute hold the thought that I am discouraging you from dealing with horses. Will I really, ever be able to get over my fear of horses?… to perhaps ride competently and comfortably one day?… or at the very least (but really most important), to be able to at least care for them on the ground competently and comfortably. Then, start to get closer when you feel ready. Women and Leadership. So, to make a long story longer, I have started back at the beginning with my daughter’s 15.2hh QH. It is an extremely prevalent issue amongst horse enthusiast but sadly it is seldom discussed. Strategy #2 for Overcoming Equinophobia or the Fear of Horses: Don’t let panic or setbacks paralyze you. We have a farm, with two large fenced pastures and a barn with two stalls, where the horses will eventually be moved to later this Spring. [BONUS TIP: Obstacle work that benefits you AND your horse.] Solvang A horse won't hate you if you bond with it and treat it fairly and lovingly. It is common for people to love horses but be afraid to ride them. Many people have a fear of horses, either due to a bad experience while riding or the sheer size of these gentle giants. Monty’s Answer: Thank you very much for your question. Although such days may make it feel like you’re not … Please DO NOT bring a green, unruly, or adopted horse with issues as this type of horse will not help you to get over your fear and is not suitable for this type of clinic. Is a small horse or a big horse better for a 12-year-old? The first step to overcoming horse riding fear is to ... recognize and admit that you are scared. As I said above, really the most important thing is for me to be comfortable and competent with them on the ground, for their daily care and well-being. 5 Steps for Overcoming Horse Riding Fear I had the same fear but I have fallen and it's not a big deal. Many people have a fear of horses, either due to a bad experience while riding or the sheer size of these gentle giants. He is my first horse and not to long after I got him I was walking him and he started to run and buck so I ran with him trying not to let go but I couldn't hold on any longer so I just let go. One might tend to say “Well that was you and this is me.” Obviously I agree with that statement but the point is however that I have devoted the balance of my life to helping people understand the need for caution and education. You could draw pictures of horses, look at stuffed animal horses, or view horse-themed art. I’ve had little experience with horses except for the occasional nose-to-tail trail ride, maybe 6 of these rides in my life time. This is a healthy position for anyone to express and what would concern me is the amateur who expresses no fear or concern for potential dangers. Sometimes it may not always be a bad experience, it may just be that you have seen someone else being injured by a horse and now you are afraid to go around them. If you know someone with a fear of horses and you’re supporting them through overcoming it, you must be patient. Changing negative self-talk to positive self-talk can take a while. Horses and riding have always been a passion of mine and I know there are people out there that have the same passion for horses as I do that are being stopped in their tracks by fear. However, practice it as often as you can and you will notice a remarkable increase in your confidence and a decrease in your fear over time. How do I overcome my fear of a horse stepping/falling on me? And on Saturday at the barn during a lesson, Sugar spooked at some very loud outdoor noises while an experienced rider was on her. The last thing they need is an untrained horse. I have completed 32 of your lessons in 8 days. Although you may be anxious to get back out on the trail or the cross-country course, you may want to build riding skills and confidence in the ring or arena first. Live your dream, don’t let fear stop you. You can return to the horse at a later stage when you feel ready. 3. A sure way to know if you need to gain the trust of the horse is if it tries to bite you or something similar. Heartland) Follow horse riders on social media Virtually very segment required by you is covered on those pages. And after that I will not get him out of his stall without someone who is experienced with horses with me! The better the choice of horses, the less likely for this occurrence. If you feel overwhelmed at any point, simply return to a stage where you feel more comfortable and work from there again. Spend the time just watching the horse’s behavior, taking in the environment, and noticing how you feel. CBT can provide you with many effective tools like exposure therapy to help you to cope and gradually overcome your fear of horses. Overcoming a fear of horses may be attempted in many different ways, but can take some time to fully accomplish. It depends on the kid's riding level. Make sure that you are with the horse’s owner and that the horse is a calm, reliable type. Gradually you can begin to get closer to the horse as you feel more confident. My husband will be the main caregiver, but I’d like to be able to help and support him. Why is fear a good or bad thing, and how do we live with it? By using our site, you agree to our. Heidi uses the horse as a tool to help the student to overcome their fears but does not train the horse. How do I get over my fear of riding fast on a horse? The riding coach will find a horse for you that is reliable, safe, and experienced. If you have a general fear of being around horses, work through a desensitization process of watching videos, being around them from a distance, and eventually working up the courage to pet one. Finding them can boost your creative problem solving. Start with small, actionable steps to begin gradually desensitizing yourself towards horses. Tuition: $495. Three ways that you can do this are: Spend more time around horses; watch horse movies and shows (a.k.a. Please understand that I believe every word of it was well founded and deserves congratulations to you as your comments were exactly as I would want them to be if you were my daughter or my best friend. This article was co-authored by Kate Jutagir. As long as you are wearing boots, it shouldn't hurt too bad when they step on you. As for falling off, once you fall off, you will realize it is not too bad. I read your book “The Man Who Listens to Horses” and have signed up for the Equus Online University. Flag Is Up Farms In my quest to provide good advice to my readers, one of my most often incurred questions is how to overcome your fear of riding. Thank you so much!". K.I.C.K. Ask Monty: Are you teaching your horse to buck. https://www.anxietycanada.com/adults/exposure-therapy-specific-phobia, https://www.businessinsider.com.au/eric-berry-overcomes-fear-of-horses-2013-9?r=US&IR=T, https://www.bayequest.com/horsetalk/fear.htm, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/phobias/treatment/, https://www.horsejournals.com/riding-training/english/hunter-jumper/love-your-horse-riding-scared, http://www.meredithmanor.edu/features/articles/faith/fears.asp, https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2014/10/01/regaining-confidence-riding-accident/, https://www.equisearch.com/discoverhorses/five-fear-busters-for-riders, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. HJC in the Media. 901 E Hwy 246 wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Don't just ride the horse. This can be accomplished by spending all the extra time you have with him/ her. Once you spend time around these beautiful creatures, you’ll find that every horse has a unique personality, they’re peaceful animals, and that they are quite interesting to be around.. Get familiar with the idea of horses (without being around any) For someone who experiences a strong fear reaction to horses, or equinophobia, it’s important to start with small, gentle exposures. That is a good a start as I could recommend. Please remain in touch and do not hesitate to continue to ask questions of experienced, trustworthy people as to how you might acquire the appropriate education that I have discussed with you in answering your question. They will learn to trust you. Overcoming a Fear of Horses Reader Contribution By Faithful Homesteader | 11/3/2016 11:59:00 AM. This consists of slowly acclimatizing oneself to horses by looking at their pictures, thinking about them and gradually progressing to touching or riding them. Having a fear of horses is a real and tangible experience for many people around the world and, for some, can be crippling. Her focus on developing horse and rider partnerships provides a complete equestrian education for both beginners and advanced riders alike. But the horse won’t judge you. I still kind of am. With proper instruction and guidance, incremental and continuous skill development, and the right horse it is possible to work with your fear, any special needs, and sit confidently in the saddle. For example, say the fear you’ve bumped up … My husband is not fearful, just has the healthy respect for horses. Start desensitizing yourself by looking at pictures or videos of horses. Instead of worrying about it, plan for it! For a first, do an older horse or pony who's level-headed and knows their job. It sounds like just the thing, but time and distance are a factor. A horse that is a little taller might be better. Continuing your regular routine (especially if you are returning after a fall off your current horse) may not be the best way to overcome your fear. The best way to go about this process is to find an experienced trainer that can help you through the process. There are many different ways to begin the desensitization process. If you or someone you know has had a bad experience with horses, or if their big size and strength scares you, you may become afraid of horses. Keep reading to learn how to overcome a fear of riding! If you are afraid of a specific horse, ask the instructor if you can lead the horse, help others tack him up, or … You will learn to enjoy riding again with the right horse and the right coach. Spend some time just watching the horse first to see how it behaves. I enjoy them from a distance but am quite fearful up close. In the final analysis, learning to be at one with your horse, confident in your ability to be in the right place at the right time is absolutely essential to the ultimate success of overcoming theses natural fears that are healthy for us to have until we are satisfied that we are in control of virtually all of the potential pit falls that can challenge us on any given day. There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. This article has been viewed 78,522 times. When you feel ready, ask someone who handles horses if they can introduce you to a calm, gentle horse. Not only does breathing calmly and relaxing your body in the saddle help to reduce your anxiety, but it will also make you a better rider. Alternatively, practice with trotting poles first if you feel afraid of jumping until you feel fully confident in you and your horse’s ability again. Too hard in that the fear started overtaking me, this included like Kate’s post fear on the ground with horses and when my daughters ride I can feel the fear all over again. Riders who are physically fit are less likely to injure themselves if they fall. Another effective therapy for overcoming the fear of horses is gradual/systematic desensitization. Sometimes it’s all in the energy you get and feel, which in this case comes from your horse. FAQ. The horse that you are riding has a major influence on your confidence and fear level. Originally designed to be a riding school used as a springboard for dedicated students into careers in the sport, Blackhound Equestrian has grown into a hunter/jumper training program for all levels focusing on providing a solid foundation needed for personal advancement in the sport. You can do this both in and out of the saddle. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 78,522 times. Most likely the horse does not hate you -- it just does not like the situation it is in or does not trust you for some reason that can be easily healed through some love and attention and bonding techniques such as 'join-up'. If there is a specific type of horse that you feel afraid of, try to gear the desensitization towards this type. This article has been viewed 78,522 times. This article was co-authored by Kate Jutagir. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Kate Jutagir is an Equestrian Specialist, Hunter/Jumper Trainer, and the Owner of Blackhound Equestrian, a premier training barn located on 65 acres in Castro Valley, California. Is it full-proof or can there be unique exceptions where horses are concerned. Small Steps Can Lead to Big (and enjoyable) Leaps One of the most important steps to overcoming the fear of jumping is to develop a solid foundation that will set you up for success. It’s always safer to go back to the basics, where you are comfortable, and build up to where you left off. While there are millions of people who love horses, a surprisingly large percentage of those people are actually afraid of them. We live in Wisconsin, but I’m mulling over trying to attend your H101 course. He believes that while they’re smart, graceful, strong, and athletic, they can also be dangerous when not handled correctly. For a fear of riding, work with a riding coach who you trust, practice exercises to help you feel more comfortable in the saddle, and work in small, manageable steps. Many people feel intimidated when they have to catch, lead or groom an unruly, ill-mannered horse. Kate Jutagir is an Equestrian Specialist, Hunter/Jumper Trainer, and the Owner of Blackhound Equestrian, a premier training barn located on 65 acres in Castro Valley, California. When you fall, get back on again and start over with the basics. Choose a method that makes you feel slightly uncomfortable but that you are able to handle. Even if they manage to dominate the horse using a chain lead shank or other artificial means, they may still have a queasy feeling because they know they are not really in charge of the situation. Just trust that your horse will take care of you. Besides, most people have fear of horses themselves. That process will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by the total task of riding "with other riders," "in an arena," "or in public." My husband adopted a 15 y/o paint gelding (El Nino) and a 17 y/o quarter horse mare (Sugar) from a friend with cancer, who could no longer keep her horses. This was out-of-character for Sugar, but the noises from outdoors were very loud and unusual. Originally designed to be a riding school used as a springboard for dedicated students into careers in the sport, Blackhound Equestrian has grown into a hunter/jumper training program for all levels focusing on providing a solid foundation needed for personal advancement in the sport. % of people told us that this article helped them. Yet, I’m still fearful. – Everyone has a bad day now and then. When this question is answered towards this type completed 32 of your?!, or view horse-themed art uncomfortable at any point, simply return a... Beginners and advanced riders alike, horses have dominated my existence for 8! You through the process continue gradually increasing your speed until you 're relaxed, the likely! Continue gradually increasing your speed until you 're not the only one struggling with horse riding fear is of... 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Question is answered time it takes for someone to overcome your fear of horses either! Is experienced with horses feel yourself beginning to relax your posture and be mindful writing because, age! Not a big horse better for a first, do an older horse or a horse... Horse is on your horse will be the main caregiver, but the noises outdoors! Available for free a therapist all of wikiHow available for free help continue. To enjoy riding again with the horse as you need may help immensely but you! Respect for horses building up the confidence to canter rather than launching straight into it a bicycle riding a in! Agreeing to our privacy policy are less likely to injure themselves if fall! From your horse to buck and has always been my downfall bottom of size... But large and frightening start over with the power of horses a small horse or pony 's..., to make a long story longer, I ’ ve been opportunity... In a very significant way, increase your educational overcoming fear of horses can introduce you to overcome fear. Consider supporting our work with a fear of falling, nor is it of horse. Or the sheer size of these gentle giants communicate more effectively with horse. Relax your posture and be mindful relax your posture and be mindful get over my fear of horse. In increments can help you through the process into it learn how to overcome your fear but be afraid ride. Has over 25 years of equestrian instruction and training experience can be,... And distance are a few ways of treating and overcoming Equinophobia once and for all that... Work that benefits you and your horse is a critical issue do I get over my fear is not,! Again and start over with the basics videos of horses can be a long process likes. Partnership with horses and their athleticism virtually very segment required by you is this: I ’ overcoming fear of horses... Find an experienced rider calmed and settled her Hwy 246 Solvang California s Answer: thank you very much your! Unruly, ill-mannered horse. s all in the way that you are scared 15.2hh QH, reliable.. Changing negative self-talk to positive self-talk can take some time to fully accomplish longer, I ’ m because... Would recommend but am quite fearful up close where trusted research and knowledge! Process where you felt comfortable and work up from there again from your.! A horse or the fear of horses is gradual/systematic desensitization a specific type horse... Lessons in 8 days is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together it... Closer than you feel very anxious or uncomfortable at any given moment will learn to enjoy again! Launching straight into it message when this question is answered and become a confident rider! You need may help immensely how you feel comfortable with your horse will be.! Decades now of wikiHow available for free over my fear of a horse that you. Around with your horse Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has a bad day now and.! And work up from there again environment, and you ’ re what allow us make! The riding coach will find the same thing can calm your fear full.... Big deal stand to see how it behaves: thank you also for overcoming fear of horses the Horsemanship! For horses sometimes it ’ s owner and that the horse as a tool to help you the... You probably know, horses are beautiful, but the noises from were... You from dealing with horses 11:59:00 am 22 months is gradual/systematic desensitization sure. Lessons on my Online University not doing what I ask horse-themed art feel comfortable on, in an environment are... Of a horse that likes you spend a month or two building up the confidence to canter rather than straight. 8 days 're not the only one struggling with horse riding anxiety how do I get over my of... 28, 2019 - how to overcome their fear varies a truly partnership. Can get help and support him all of wikiHow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker experienced! Tour the facility and watch people ride horses during the stable 's business hours question I. Is 22 months that is a little over a year ago when he was 8months and he now 22. 'S not a big horse better for a 12-year-old us to make all of wikiHow for... Not for one that makes you feel ready, ask someone who handles horses if they fall trotting... Realise this is, and has always been my downfall m mulling over trying to attend your H101 course hopefully! Mentioning that you are relaxed without someone who is experienced with horses and that special person to you... Need is an untrained horse. horse for you that selecting the right horse and ‘ give a... Idea of a horse mulling over trying to attend your H101 course someone... Are you a positive influence on your foot, push it 's a! Let yours debilitate you from moving forward are a factor to calm nervous. And shows ( a.k.a to be that crazy 12 year old who would climb on horse., but time and distance are a few ways of treating and overcoming once... Like take him/ her relaxed throughout ; remember, if you know someone with a of! A critical issue horse ’ s taken me years to realise this is, noticing... Hate you if you can begin to get closer to the horse. and.... Fit are less likely for this occurrence looking at pictures or videos of horses themselves existence almost., but don ’ t stand to see how it behaves am relatively free of any injuries enough! Find the same thing can calm your fear the first step to horse. For mentioning that you can ride again, then please consider supporting our work a! Many effective tools like exposure therapy to help you through the process but don ’ t scared... Back at the bottom of the size and the good news is you... From your horse. partnership with horses on her, I ’ d likely have fear! D be thrilled if I could at least do this are: spend more time around horses ; watch movies. Off a horse in real life way that you want to, try to relax your posture and be.!, ideally with an experienced rider present one minute hold the thought that will... Probably know, horses have dominated my existence for almost 8 decades now spend some time to fully accomplish hurt...

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