Has anyone got all their confidence back as a adult?

tikkitti

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As I said in a earlier post I seem to of been battling with confidence issues the last few years, anyway yesterday ended up in tears to my ri. She was fantastic and said I'm being really hard on myself and need to think positively, for every one lesson that's not great focus on the 4 previous good ones. I know what she's saying but I need to get a grip! I feel totally frustrated at myself just as I feel I'm getting somewhere, horrible thoughts knock me back again. Yesterday whilst trotting round I thought about my cousin we lost in a xc accident in 1985, why is my mind doing this to me, its affecting me doing something I love and it feels its 2 steps forward and 2 back constantly. Am I alone or does anyone else have this problem. x
 

domane

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I don't think any adult is 100% confident (even the top eventers will admit to nerves when they walk the course at Badders!!) I think as you get older you are just more aware of dangers and the fact that a horse has a mind of its own. However, you CAN get to the point where you are happier to ride than not ride. Won't bore the board as all the "oldies" here know my story but I had a nasty accident nearly three years ago which meant my confidence was totally shattered. Thankfully, my wonderful husband was my rock and helped me through. I re-commenced riding being led by him and proceeded to being unclipped for a couple of minutes at a time, to him walking miles beside me as foot soldier and then setting me exercises in the school so that I "forgot" I was riding and had to concentrate and think about the task instead.

Above all else, I truly believe you need to find the right horse. Find that and you will FLY!!!! :D
 

Kite_Rider

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I don't think any adult is 100% confident (even the top eventers will admit to nerves when they walk the course at Badders!!) I think as you get older you are just more aware of dangers and the fact that a horse has a mind of its own. However, you CAN get to the point where you are happier to ride than not ride. Won't bore the board as all the "oldies" here know my story but I had a nasty accident nearly three years ago which meant my confidence was totally shattered. Thankfully, my wonderful husband was my rock and helped me through. I re-commenced riding being led by him and proceeded to being unclipped for a couple of minutes at a time, to him walking miles beside me as foot soldier and then setting me exercises in the school so that I "forgot" I was riding and had to concentrate and think about the task instead.

Above all else, I truly believe you need to find the right horse. Find that and you will FLY!!!! :D

This^^
I too had a bad fall, will be about five years ago now, not as serious as Domane's but still bad enough to leave my confidence in tatters, I never got my confidence back until I found a horse who was better suited to me at that time and then with tiny steps as Domane has done and slowly, slowly I got back to where I was, it took the right horse for me to do it though. :)
 

tikkitti

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Hi, I truly think my issues are from a shattered arm that Ive now had plated twice with bone graft off my hip. At the time (i was 15) it didnt affect me but I feel its now come back to knock my confidence, then horrible thoughts/ fears juat knock it more.I sold my warmblood due to her needing to compete more than I have time to anymore, and bought myself a youngster who is a good 14.2hh to work on at home alongside my gorgeous middleweight cob who has changed my opinion on cobs and made me realise what fantastic little horses they are. Infact Ive decided to have another lesson on Monday evening on my cob although he's short coupled and a rather bouncy to ride( a nice comfy saddle helps:) Im truly starting to feel he's my long term horse now. His natures just gorgeous and with a lot of faith I hope he gets me through my confidence issues.Confidence itself when riding is a funny thing, I can hide my fears from my daughters as don't want to knock their confidence but when there are moments like yesterday when it bites me on the bottom.
 

Skib

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I started to ride as an o.a.p. and I dont have my own horse - I think having your own horse makes it harder so one solution might be to put yourself into the situation of someone like myself who is able to seek out a bit of tlc from an instructor to help with trauma.
Doing that separates what is going on in ones own head from the training of the horse. Lessons are always stressful for adults and you are submitting yourself to judgement. Not just for your horse but, as an accomplished rider, you too are set high standards, whereas I never was. In fact my recent experience of riding fairly well in the school undermined my confidence riding out in the open.I think it may be because riding a dressage test one is really bossing the horse every step whereas out hacking one is far more dependent on the co-operation and judgement of the particular horse one is riding.

By going back to a lunge lesson or simply being led round and starting from scratch on a horse for which someone else is entirely responsible, you may gradually feel happy on a horse again without having to disguise anything. But the knowledge and experience we have which is one of the causes of anxiety, is not wholly negative. We benefit from it because it helps us to take decisions to keep us safe - our communication with the horse is infinitely better than when we rode blithely out as beginners and / or children, trusting the horse and teacher.

I dont believe in faith - I do believe in the technicality of communicating with the horse I am riding - setting up a ride so I get what I ask for - no more and no less. But that again is due to learning to ride late in life - and suggesting that going back, first to a childish dependency and then to re establishing the basics of control might possibly be a remedy for riders more experienced than myself.
 
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tikkitti

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Tbh on the scale my accident wasnt my any means life threatening although was on concrete so now consider myself rather lucky however my arms a mess with 4x apx 6 inch scars along my forearm. I suppose it acts as a confidence knocker for me now:( Do you think having a couple of lessons a week for a couple of months would help me. I now have a different ri than I used to have, due to my old ri being so frustrated by my nerves. My new ri is new to the area and as she doesn't know me has no expectations/ frustrations and that's helped me relax more, I now only feel I'm letting myself down:( I am however still friends with my old ri but he found me exasperating!!
 

tikkitti

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Your right!! Never thought about it that way, so when I had my accident maybes my confidence wall was fractured and even though there was a long delay without affect its recently has fallen down. That's a fabulous way of describing it and like you said the process is now brick by brick and hopefully to a decent confidence wall being the end result. x
 

allym

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I lost my confidence about 6 years ago now, due to a bad fall and totally understand the brick wall comment. You need to build that wall back up piece by piece. The things that helped me were finding a sympathetic RI and taking things at the pace you feel comfortable with, but also slightly pushing your self out of your comfort zone. I also think one of the most important things is finding a horse you trust. Over the years I've built up the bond with my horse and really do trust him. I still have wobbles with my confidence, nowadays it's normally over jumping or riding a horse I don't know, but I can certainly say I'm in a different mind set with my confidence issues than I was say six months ago.
 
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tikkitti

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I'm hoping my move to a new ri with the blessing of my old ri who's taught me since my PC days was a good move. The new ri is new to the area and doesn't know me so has never seen me ride before my confidence issues so doesn't have unfair expectations, I feel under less pressure now and really feel she's there to give me a gentle push when needed. After yesterdays tears I asked if we could do another lesson and booked one in for Monday, I love riding, jumping, competing and I will be heartbroken if I don't turn a corner soon. Its funny cause I don't have confidence issues with our fell its just14.2hh and above which is the size I had my accident on:(
 

eml

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Over too many years I have been through the brave confident stage, competent but not so brave, competent as long as I have trainer /helper to unconfident stage. I think ironically the longer you have ridden the more you get frustrated with yourself., I now describe myself as knowledgable but body often won't obey.!

As an older experienced rider I feel you need an instructor and a horse you trust, understanding of any physical issues you may have and someone who will not get annoyed as they feel you should be able to do things you look as if you should. I think a new instructor not knowing your past may help you.

As far as tears don't be embarrassed.. I once sobbed noisily the day before a riding exam and refused to jump a 80cm jump on a horse that had 'helicoptered' the first one of the course...I was in my 40s at the time. In my teens I jumped JA on a 14hh pony at 1.2m. I am now in my 60's and consider a small log to be a big achievement!
 

hepsibah

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Mar 4, 2008
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I fell off my horse about four years ago and was trampled. No bones were broken thankfully but my right leg suffered some permenant nerve damage. I desperately wanted to ride afterwards but every time I hopped on board it felt dangerous, as though I was mounting a monstrous spider. :(
The right horse can make the biggest difference to building confidence; Bess, the Fell pony in my avatar has arthritis caused by a driving accident and I had bought her ostensibly as a companion but I also bred a foal from her. I didn't feel she would be suitable as a riding pony because of this accident and subsequent arthritis but she was a lovely pony with a fantastic temperament so was a good candidate to be the mum of my only home-bred youngster. When her baby was weaned though, the vet gave the all clear for her to be ridden so I gave her a try. She has been the making of me. She never gave me more than I asked for, never tried trotting when I wanted to walk, always slowed down when I asked her to and didn't muck about when I was worried. These days she and I are a team. I am confident that whatever we come across we can deal with. I feel absolutely at home with her, no more worried than when I drive my car. It's a far cry from when I couldn't stay on for more than five minutes without panicking. :)
 

tikkitti

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Over too many years I have been through the brave confident stage, competent but not so brave, competent as long as I have trainer /helper to unconfident stage. I think ironically the longer you have ridden the more you get frustrated with yourself., I now describe myself as knowledgable but body often won't obey.!

As an older experienced rider I feel you need an instructor and a horse you trust, understanding of any physical issues you may have and someone who will not get annoyed as they feel you should be able to do things you look as if you should. I think a new instructor not knowing your past may help you.

As far as tears don't be embarrassed.. I once sobbed noisily the day before a riding exam and refused to jump a 80cm jump on a horse that had 'helicoptered' the first one of the course...I was in my 40s at the time. In my teens I jumped JA on a 14hh pony at 1.2m. I am now in my 60's and consider a small log to be a big achievement!
The tears were sheer frustration at myself. I like yourself have done Bsja in my younger days have done my bhs 1,2 and 3 but never completed my hours to complete my ptt and at the time wanted a mortgage and got offered a good job so that was the end of that. I find the hardest thing is although I have my fair share of faults, I know my body's capable but my mind isnt, its a constant fight and when your mother has pictures of you jumping Christy tracks and 3ft is now a problem it hurts like hell.In fact I asked my mum to take the pics of me competing down as it almost rubbing my nose in it.
 

tikkitti

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Oh and to top yesterday off after asking my mum to take the photos of me down yesterday and offering to get her some of my daughters riding instead, she said I was being ridiculous, maybes I am. Maybes if Id done what my mum had wanted and had gone into riding as a career choice I would of been more interested in looking after others and less likely to of felt the way I do.x
 

Jessey

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Habe you considered NLP, I havent tried it but a friend did. She used to compete at high levels and go all over but would be in floods of tears merely at the thought of hacking out about 18 months ago, she has worked very hard with her horse and NLP trainer and this winter was able to take her horse into London and take part in the Queens parade on new years day and hacks out alone and in company, sponsored rides, the works. Not without wobbles but she has learnt how to cope with them now.
 
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tikkitti

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[QUIsey, post: 2969302, member: 8733"]Habe you considered NLP, I havent tried it but a friend did. She used to compete at high levels and go all over but would be in floods of tears merely at the thought of hacking out about 18 months ago, she has worked very hard with her horse and NLP trainer and this winter was able to take her horse into London and take part in the Queens parade on new years day and hacks out alone and in company, sponsored rides, the works. Not without wobbles but she has learnt how to cope with them now.[/QUOTE]
No I havent but I going to do so reading into it so thank you, anythings worth a try, I don't want to compete like I used to but I want to be able to choose what I want to do without the constant battle. Would love to be able to go to a local show with my daughter, let her do the showing classes, I may choose to do the novice or open course but without the mind games I'm currently having. I wasn't as bad a fortnight ago so hoping I'm now at rock bottom so things slowly start to improve.xx
 
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tikkitti

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I'm sat her totally determined that on Monday I will be back to my normal self and the ri will be amazed how much more confident I am. Unfortunately, I know come Monday my confidence is highly unlikely to climb aboard with me and will be back to square one. I do however feel better knowing I'm not alone though so thanks everyone.x The thing is none of my horses are mad, they are forward, ones green and my cobs really joggy but there's nothing they have done wrong to make me feel this way, bless them:)
 

Flipo's Mum

Heavy owner of a Heavy
Aug 17, 2009
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My horse destroyed my confidence when I first got him. It took four years to rebuild it. I tried heaps of different tactics, including emdr therapy, riding lessons on different horses, my horse was retrained, all of it contributed and now Id say I'm as confident as I'll ever be with this horse.
I have a very healthy respect for how fragile confidence is, and I am careful to protect it while not allowing nerves to stop me from going out and doing stuff.
You HAVE to be determined though. You can't give up, and slowly you find it gets easier the more you do.
 

Skib

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As an older experienced rider I feel you need an instructor and a horse you trust, understanding of any physical issues you may have and someone who will not get annoyed as they feel you should be able to do things you look as if you should. I think a new instructor not knowing your past may help you.

So right and that goes for any older rider.
But I had another thought that just sitting on a horse, communicating privately with the horse and not worrying about how one seems to other humans and RIs is also a great thing. It could well be that confidence or lost confidence is not something fixed but relates to riding on particular horses. I wrote that I lost my confidence hacking thinking it due to the up turn in school lessons - but what really may have happened was that I "lost" my trusty horse and had a number of startling or uncomfortable hacks trying out replacements. Three months and I thought my hacking days were over. Yet as soon as I had ridden half a mile on the new pony that was the right size and responded to my way of riding, the confidence problem vanished.
 

tikkitti

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Your so right, I'm so bothered about what everyone else thinks and I shouldn't be, its just putting more pressure on me. My ideal size horse is 15hh after years of having different sized horses even a 16.3hh ror, I now know 14.2hh to 15.2hh is where I want to be, I'm only 5.3" so why I ever bought a 16.3hh is beyond me. I really hope my new ri is my saviour, and skib your right maybe just plodding about in the paddock without any pressure may help, I will try that this afternoon:) I really want the horses I have now to be my forever horses so I going to give Mondays lesson my all.x Was even thinking last night about loaning one out for a year/18 months to give me time to work on myself but they are both gorgeous and well it wouldn't be a easy decision. Going to see how this week goes.x​
 
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