View Full Version : Nervous rider upsets horse?

11-04-00, 12:53 PM
Looking for advice please...am experienced rider (15 yrs riding) but recently had a nervous breakdown. I went to ride my horse yesterday for the first time in months (although I check him everday etc) and he jumped all over the place, even when we walked, so eventually I got off. Its not his teeth, or saddle either, as my friend rode him and he was fine. Will he always be this way with me (the doctor said I will be nervous and anxious for at least 6 months more) and should I think about getting a horse to suit a nervous rider. Or will all horses react this way to a jittery rider? I wouldnt sell my current horse, hes my baby and I love him dearly. I just need to ride!!Thanks in advance.

Black Beauty
11-04-00, 01:16 PM
Hi, I would recommend if you can to try and borrow a "bombproof" horse until you feel strong enough to cope with a hot horse, as it could take up to 6mnths for your current horse to get used to your nervousness and will most likely cause you a longer recovery period.
For the time being all you need is old or young trusty, I gather you are mainly riding for therapy at the moment??.
Just take it slowly and have fun! :-)


Jan Heine
11-04-00, 01:24 PM
Jitery - what was the horse like before? Was it hot and flighty or is this just something which happened for the first time? Also did you ride by yourself or with someone either on the ground or on horseback as well? Sounds like you have had a rough time and you need to be a little kind to yourself and take things slowly. Maybe spend a little time on the lunge to get your confidence back again - spend time on the ground with your horse (I think you said you have been doing that and that is great - keep the confidence of the horse) and don't ride on your own for a while. It is obviously important to you to get back on board but don't push yourself and lose confidence in the process. The other thought is to perhaps go to a local riding school and have a few lessons on a bomb proof schoolie - get your sea legs back (so to speak)- hope this helps a little and take care of yourself - remember to let us all know of each milestone you make on horseback! We will cheer you on.

11-04-00, 01:29 PM
Thanks for the advice BB. I only ever rode for pleasure and ARC. so my horse was fairly calm, only ever jumpy on windy days and when he felt good. It never bothered me before, but yesterday I jumped straight off and then felt like such a coward! Perhaps I could get some lessons on a really trustworthy horse to get back some confidence, as my friends horse is just like mine is with me (jumpy). Yes, the riding is for therapy as well as I just love it. For the time being I will lunge him only, (as well as taking my usual'' best of care '' with him daily) Thanks.

11-04-00, 01:52 PM
Perhaps you should stop being a victim, and just get back on! Have some backbone and get on again and whats the worst he could do? If you trusted hime before, do so again and just ride him.
Sorry to be harsh, but perhaps its all in your head?

11-04-00, 02:04 PM
Perhaps you could have some lessons on your horse. Do you use him for showing/eventing/PC etc? If so, perhaps your friend could ride him for you, until you feel confident again, and you could borrow (as BB suggested) a quiet old horse, or even go and have some lessons at a reputable riding establishment and get your confidence back.
Good Luck, and hope this helps.

Black Beauty
11-04-00, 02:11 PM
Sorry to call you a "nasty bitch" carla but thats adzactly what you are!!, I suggest you go and take your heart of stone somewhere else as it is most certainly not wanted here!!, and perhaps educate yourself on such matters before opening your big trap :-(


11-04-00, 02:15 PM
Please, how do you know this person has a 'hot horse' anyway? Perhaps they should just bite the bullet and get back on, instead of jumping off because their horse was 'jumpy'. I say lunge horse first, and then get your friend to lead you around first to see if horse is still jumpy. Maybe he needs more work first, as Jittery said it was months since they had last ridden him.

11-04-00, 02:17 PM
If you haven't ridden the horse for a few months, what about lunging it a couple of days first and let it get rid of some energy first? If it hasn't been ridden for awhile I am not suprised!

11-04-00, 02:45 PM
Could you get your friend to work your horse for you? Perhaps its because hes been for months without being ridden that he was jumpy!

11-04-00, 03:02 PM
Geez, besides Jan and Black Beauty, some of the other messages are quite hurtful. Im sure Jittery needs encouragement, not putting down Carla! Hey Jittery, think positive and remember that your horse was OK with you before, and probably will be again, even if it takes a little time..maybe you could lunge him every few days if you can, and just try and get his confidence back in you too. Jans & BB's suggestions of borrowing or riding a 'schoolie' horse were great too.
Good luck, and take one day at a time. :)

11-04-00, 03:10 PM
I havent ridden my horse for months because i have not been able to. I have checked him daily (If not my friend does) and she has ridden him weekly for me, so its only me that hasnt been on his back for months.
For Jan, Black Beauty, and the other (nice) people who replied, thank you for your advice and I will let you know how I get on.

11-04-00, 11:18 PM
It's all very well for some of the above to tell you to climb back on and
throw caution to the winds - they haven't yet had to face up to a part of life that beats them.The thing is that until osmething does you go through life thinking you can't be beaten - you are Superman!
But comes the day that you find out you are not - and you look at life very differently. I understand how you feel, and think that Black Beauty's idea of getting a bomb proof mate for a while will do wonders for you -you don't have to give up the current horse, enjoy it from the ground or get a mate to ride it for a while, but get a lovely, solid, lazy old mate, climb on, go for a ride and smell the gum leaves.
all our love and please keep in touch.

12-04-00, 12:38 AM
If you have ever had a relative or a friend with a mental disease - which is what a nervous breakdown is - you would not be so extremely insensitive. One of my parents has a disease of this sort and it has been a two year ongoing battle, and it is most definitely NOT in their head. Would you tell a cancer patient that they are bunging their illness on and not to be such a wet sock and get out there and go back to work?

To the person who has the horse (sorry - can't see your name) - give yourself time. Perhaps get your instructor out and give you some lunging lessons on the horse until you feel safe enough. You're not going to feel too crash hot until, as the doctor says, you stop being nervous and jittery. Take things very slowly, perhaps try and borrow someone's bombproof horse for a little while, and then get back onto your horse. Even if you can borrow a fenced arena and just walk around and around on a loose rein - it's better than nothing. Ease yourself in slowly!

12-04-00, 12:47 AM
Jittery, I don't have any tips or suggestions, only an expression of support for you in your recovery from illness and looking forward to hearing of your improvement with your horse riding from time to time. All the best. Jumbuck.

12-04-00, 02:57 AM
First of all, you aren't a coward. You are very brave for putting your "jitters" on this forum and asking for advice. As was mentioned, until someone has had such an experience as yourself, they couldn'treally understand. (although I don't think that gives them free rein to be insensitive). I went through a similar experience.Went from leaping tall buildings ina single bound to jumping off if the horse shook his head too much. I too thought I should give it away at the time - DON'T - There is absolutely no shame in getting your confidence back on a "bombproof" horse. Think of the alternatives: Perservere with your horse in your current state of lack of confidence and risk probably never enjoying your riding again, or take it easy for a while, on old faithful, who you know you can trust, and you won't believe it, I bet your confidence will come back quicker than you even believed yourself. More people have lost their nerve than would dare to admit it - I bet you. I'm willing to bet, that in a few months time, you will write a post on the forum that you're back riding confidently again, and that these times felt like an eon ago!!! I certainly hope so. And you can then look back on this time, and feel very proud of yourself that you persevered and came through. Our fingers are crossed for you - Now go and have an enjoyable, relaxed hack out on old faithful - it will feel good - I promise! Good luck, and let us know how you go.

12-04-00, 03:30 AM
I am sincerely grateful for (most of) your advice.
Only people who have had a 'mental illness' or knows of someone with one will understand completely how devastating it is. But my horse (and riding) is good therapy, and I will take it one day at a time. lWill keep you posted to let you know how im going. Will ring the local riding centre to organise a lesson for next week, so that should help me enormously. Thanks again kind people.
Jittery (on the road to recovery)

Jan Heine
12-04-00, 03:38 AM
Jitery I have spent a life time working with people with mental illness and have had some major set backs in my own life as well - the best advice I can give you is the advice I have often given and also the advice I was given - be kind to yourself - you are NOT a nutter - you have just had a set back from which you WILL recover - it sounds to me like you have a good attitude and your love of horses will help you through it! So, relax, enjoy your recuperation and be kind to yourself - acknowledge your own courage because indeed that is what you are - courageous - you have proved that by posting here and asking for help - remember to keep telling us about your milestones - big or small - we really DO care!

12-04-00, 06:18 AM
Can i suggest something for you & not the horse( well actually i suggested the Rescue remedy.
After having my first baby, i was quite "depressed", but i took up Tae BO(exercise, form of Karate, come kick boxing, come areobics). Great stuff. I bought the videos so do it in my own home and man, nobody would mess with me again (*lol*). I lost heaps of weight, and my confidence has come back bigger and better than ever before. I couldn't recommend it high enough. AND you get to have a good perv at Billy Blanks:9
Good luck with your riding, and believe in yourself. You Will over come it. :-)

Aunty Ma
12-04-00, 12:19 PM
Jittery- I nearly know how you feel, I havn't had a nervous breakdown but I am very cautious of fresh horses, freshly broken-in or green horses.

I have my young riders(with no fear) ride my horses until I feel they are in "Mother Mode"-ever since having children I have lost a lot of confidence(I use to break horses-in & they actually turned into useful riding horses)

Instead of your friend riding your horse once a week,see if they can ride for a full week and definitely where you will ride. Apart from a quiet schoolmaster, do try your own as you were previously confident.

I have a stockhorse called "Moby", that I lend out to my young riders to campdraft-if he has a bad run they say he is still in "Mother Mode"-thinks he has to block a cow at a slow canter!!!

"Mother Mode", I feel is a REAL term, that will catch on. Jan's Irish Drafts look to be a good breed for us not so confident riders. I feel you have to be a Heath Ryan or equal to ride these talented young warmbloods.