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So I really feel like I'm a horrible rider. I'm afraid of people thinking "Wow she really sucks!" I feel like giving up riding sometimes because of this. I have terrible self esteem issues and now its devoloping in my riding. Like today I guess I was riding a little to hard and my horse took the jump then tripped and galloped off. I felt really stupid and I felt like I can't and shouldn't ride, People also told me they heard other people saying I shouldn't even own my horse and I'm a horrible rider. I'm nearly in tears because of this. I love my horse dearly and I seriously try my all in riding, Does anyone know how to become a confident rider. Also any excercises to improve anything? Thanks.
I used to care a lot about what people thought of me (i still do) but I taught myself to not care as much. It made me really unhappy, like you, and I was living in this constant fear of doing something people would not like and judge me for. It's like torture, I know. :(
You love your horse and for NO reason should you stop riding because others say you should. Yes you made a mistake, but everyone is allowed to make mistakes when they ride, especially when your self esteem is fragile; the lack of confidence affects your riding. I know it's hard to just ignore what others say and think, and it takes time to get over it. For me, my confidence grew by going to an all girl's high school. Now I hardly have any confidence problems...theater also helped me. Going out there on stage and acting greatly improved my self esteem.
I think everyone needs something different to help with confidence and self esteem issues. For you, maybe taking a notch down from riding will help. Like going on trail rides, spending more time leading your horse around and just relaxing, doing simple flat-work until you feel like you're a master lol. :) Or maybe actually doing challenging, complicated things (like jump courses and fancy flat-work) and ending up feeling like you've accomplished a lot, will do the trick. What do you think will help you?
For ordinary exercises, try implicating yourself in activities that will force you to have more confidence (but that you will enjoy too of course :) like theatre, or some sort of social group (these are not necessary but just suggestions, they helped me but won't necessary be the thing for you)... Maybe talk to your parents about it?
Don't worry your confidence will grow, it will take some time but things will get better. :)
Also, you have one gorgeous horse, and I wouldn't be surprised if people were being as hard and as nasty as they are because they are jealous of that pretty beasty of yours there. ;)
Aww, that's sad. If you are trying hard and trying to correct what you are doing wrong then you ARE a good rider. To me a good rider is someone who knows that they are not the best and need to improve and try their hardest to be the best rider they can be.
I know how you feel about the inner thoughts. I just started English lessons and I already know I can't post, and I've never learned two-point correctly. So I feel really inexperienced when I go to the barn.
I've heard for jumping, that you should do gymnastic jumps (A series of crossrails and ground poles I believe...not 100%) and when your confident at that to do bounces because you HAVE to have good balance to ride those. Mainly I would say learn the basics and do lessons whenever you can. I got a book from the library called "101 Jumping Exercises for Horse and Rider" and to begin with it just has ground work and ground poles. It's like $30 USD retail, Amazon you can usually find it a little bit cheaper.
Don't listen to anybody's negative opinions! A good rider; is a rider who seeks to improve, and truly loves their horse, which you sound like. Confidence takes time, it felt like it took me forever to become comfortable riding again after my injury. I would suggest trotting over poles at a rising trot; it's excellent for helping with core muscles, and balance. I hope my comment helps you in some way.
Unless someone is a natural at riding, they all started out the same way. All of those that criticize you were in the same position you are in now. The only way to get better and more confident is to keep practicing. I know it can be difficult to ignore what they are saying, but that's what you have to do.
That sort of happened to me, except my coach was favoring this other girl in my lesson. It made me get frustrated with my horse very quickly and in a way hate riding. We got her out of my lesson since she was the only student that took lessons twice a week and I started to enjoy riding more again, when my brother switched from hunter/jumper to reining my lessons were even more enjoyable, so I now have private lessons.
I take lessons once a week, used to take lessons 3 times a week (one hunter/jumper, on dressage and one with pony club). In between lessons, I ride but I've started to do stuff to relax when riding, like trail riding and go around the four mile loop. I've started doing more ground work with my horse to get her to respond to me quicker. I find it's good for both horse and rider to relax and just 'forget' about what the horse is supposed to look like and what the rider is supposed to be doing. I find a good bond is more important than how well you ride.
It might just be something that could possibly help.
Another thing I can think of is a lot of no stirrup work at walk, trot (posting, sitting and two point) and canter. My coach dedicates the whole month of November to no stirrups (she actually takes them and keeps them in her car for the month). I've found since riding with my coach for the past 3 years that it really has helped me. In lessons we jump a lot of grids with no stirrups up to 2'6" (but this year for me not so much since I am training a couple) and sometimes we do go bareback in lessons.
Christine, i stink too. dont worry about it! the only thing that matters in this world is that u have fun! i know it sounds corny, but its true. listening to other peoples critizism can be good if ur looking to improve, but sometimes u just gotta shut them all out and say "i know i can" and u will.
(PS the key to being overly optomistic is thinking that u have super awesome ninja skills. :)) good luck girl i know u will pull thru :)
You know, we all make mistakes, and we all feel like you do at some point. Before I got my horse I was to the point of quitting because of how I was treated at my other barn. It's taken a good two years to get myself back where I was when I knew I was doing fairly well. It's hard, and it's mentally exhausting when you have all these inner thoughts and then people pushing you around in the barn and saying things they just shouldn't. Keep your chin up, and look back at what you've done with your horse. I've had to. I dont know how many times I've said to myseflf. "I suck, I really shouldn't be doing this at all anymore" But it passes. I've done stupid crap like you have with my horse and thought. "Oh Gawd, I hope nobody saw that, they're going to think I'm an idiot" And they might, but I have to make myself believe that they've done the same thing and just won't admit it. Our mistakes make us better riders, especially if we know why it happened and how to correct it. Don't get discouraged, all of us on here are behind you.
When I was your age I worried a LOT about what people thought of me. When I was in middle school I wasn't too popular and I was the only person I knew who loved horses. People would say to me, "Oh, you're that girl that is crazy about horses" and that made me feel really different and WEIRD. Finally I stopped talking about horses and pretty much shut them out of my life because I thought liking horses made me weird.
It was almost 20 years later I rediscovered my love of horses, and I WISH I could go back and tell my younger self: "Being a kid is hard! But it gets better. Don't worry about those other people, none of them are important when you're older." (All those mean kids? i've found them on fb and they are not living lives I envy)
I work with kids now, and I see when they get upset because they think someone else is judging them. Most of the time no one's paying them any attention. And anyone who is judging you in a cruel manner doesn't deserve your energy.
It's really hard to not care what other people think, it is! But please know that you DESERVE to do what you fell happy doing. If riding makes you happy, it doesn't matter if you're not an ace rider. It just matters that you try your best and are making the effort to learn and do right by your horse. Anyone who makes you feel bad for making mistakes is not a kind or thoughtful person. Mistakes are essential to living! So try not to let those mean souls guide your life!
Good luck!! Remember, good friends make you feel good, not yucky:(
On November 19, 2010, 11:26 am
just don't let people bring you down the worst thing is when someones thoughts to bring you down and make you stop what you love if you love to ride then just do it because you like to and don't let people bring you down you love your horse you love to ride thats all that matters. like i always say keep riding!
Have you tried to back up some in your riding? Start out with something simple, anything that you feel confident with and very slowly increase the difficulty. That way you can build your confidence and improve your riding. I think this is a never-ending process for anyone who rides. If you try too much at one time, it will hold you back in the long run in my opinion.
I agree with everyone here. Don't listen to others who try to bring you down. No one starts out just knowing everything about riding. You NEVER know everything about horses and riding no matter how long you've been riding.
well the first thing i would do is live for riding if you dont try to have a better bond with your horse. dont listen to any body listen to your horse. believe in your self the number reason people give up riding is because they dont believe in your self i really hope you read this i was in this stage once
You just take a few deep breaths when you feel discouraged. You can do anything when you have confidence and faith in yourself. Your horse will feel discouraged if you do so try to keep a positive attitude. Everything takes practice and if anything you are lucky that you have the advantage of owning your own horse and get to practice all the time. Forget what other people say, they are probably just jealous that you own your own horse. Everything just takes time.. just relax and stay focused! :)
I used to have anxiety attacks when something didn't go right while I was riding. What helped me was to breathe through it and just remind myself that EVERYBODY was a beginner at some point. There's no getting to the top without hitting the ground, and despite how cruel some people can be, just remember that there was a time when they were learning too.