I'm just scared of riding


New Member
Sep 7, 2019
I have been riding on and off for 4 years and recently I just keep chickening out. I don't like the new rules of actually retrieving the horse because it's massive and might bite me.
I like the riding part even though I'm rubbish at it but the getting on is just scaring me.
Lockdown just made me scared of the whole thing, it's just stressing me. I said I'd quit, but then missed it too much, and now that's it's coming up to my lesson, I want to quit again. It's pissing me off.
I was so happy when I booked it again after quitting, but now I'm not. I feel stupid and I hate myself.
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chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
Have you talked to the people at the riding school and explained your predicament. Perhaps you need to spend some time just being round horses on the ground.
If i was sent into a field to go and get an animal that i didnt know or hadnt seen for sometime then i think i would be scared of it. Or that it might spin round to run off and kick out at me in the process. If that is a rule at your riding school that you must retrieve your horse, then maybe look for another riding school.
I as an owner of two horses would not send a complete stranger to go and get my horses in from the field. My one lad is lovely but the other if approached incorrectly may well spin round and kick out. A riding school should be taking safety precautions for its visitors. Not sending people into a field with strange horses.

Not all horses bite. Sometimes they become like this because they are given treats and tip bits. Perhaps in talking to your riding school they can set you up to just be around a horse that is very gentle in nature and not known for silly antics.


Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2021
Does retrieving your horse mean getting them from their stable or tied up? Rather than a field. I ask this as where I used to work due to covid, riders are now expected to collect their horses from where they are tied up and bring them to the school to allow for social distancing.

We also actively try and get riders involved with handling horses rather than just turn up and get on then hand horse back. An adult who has been riding for 4 years probably would be encouraged to start bring in/turning out etc. Obviously starting very controlled and with a member of staff there to start with.


Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
Surrey Hills
I'm sorry to hear you're having confidence problems. We all feel like this from time to time!

Certainly you should talk to the instructor at your school about it. If you're not confident bringing your horse to the school then they should help you, and certainly not ask you to bring a horse that might bite.

Which aspects of the ride do you feel confident about still?
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AJ Yammie

Aug 24, 2021
I’m sorry about this:( maybe as said above, ask to spend some time with the horses or even just watching them. When I first started riding my first 3 lessons were just groundwork, the next 10 all had groundwork and the start too. Then before or after my rides I’d stay around, help with feeds and brushing horses or even just watch other lessons. Sometimes I’d stand by the gate of Brigs paddock and pat him over the fence while watching lessons. I think this is something you should definitely bring up with your coach.

At the place I’m riding at now the riders just get on and go buy a lot of them never become confident about tacking up or doing anything other than riding. I was absolutely shocked when I saw someone who is getting consistent lessons for 6 years ask me (the new worker) how to pick up the hooves. Since I work there I can go and grab my horse from the paddock, groom, tack up, lead etc… that’s really helped me also develop a relationship with the horse making me feel safer around him and understanding all his movements.

Hang in there! Good luck! 😊


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
I think you need to find a way of getting some handling time, even if it means spending part of your lesson on the ground for a few weeks. Asking you to lead your horse from the stable to the mounting block isn't a big deal.
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Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
Maybe book onto a stable care day at your RS or somewhere else to help get your ground confidence boosted, learning to lead properly can definitely help you prevent a nip even if they try. I’d also like to think that a RS wouldn’t expect you to lead a horse that is known to be problematic, some can be nippers but there are also those who would never dream of it so just chatting to the staff about your horse could allay your fears.
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