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After an accident with a horse how can I get over my fear? How can I make the process easier?

“Hi Stacy, I am in Australia and I have watched your videos and read some of your posts. I have also heard a lot about you from friends. I was wondering if you have any advice for a horse lover who is terrified of horses. When I was 12 I had an accident and fractured my skull and was in a coma. I was not permitted to get back on for a year. My mum was riding with me and broke her leg saving me. She was in hospital longer than me. We never rode for a long time, which is probably part of the problem. Mum rides sometimes now and is more confident than me. I have had some lessons but circumstances create big gaps between lessons. This means I start over all the time. I can’t remember the accident. I can now be near them it shake and feel sick when I lead them or ride them. How can I make this process easier?”-Kate A.

Overcoming fear is often like starting over again. Where would you start with a child and a horse?The first thing that popped into my mind was, “Start small, mini small.”

Then I read your question again and saw that even leading them causes you stress. I was reminded of how my boys, in a matter of days, dramatically increased in confidence after we got our mini’s. The interesting part was that the horses they had always handled were trained better than the minis…but the minis were small, less intimidating and made us laugh.

There are many ways that you could work through this. The biggest red-flag that I see in your question is that you have had circumstances that create big gaps between lessons. It isn’t ‘wrong’ but as you have already identified the lack of consistency will cause you to repeat more than if you were able to be consistent.

I wrote a blog titled, “After an accident I have lost my confidence, what do you suggest?” that discusses a similar topic from a slightly different angle; you are interested in getting confidence around any horse and she was interested in confidence around her specific horse. It is still worth reading as the answer is still what I would recommend to you.

Listen to this advice that was posted as a comment. She sums it up beautifully and offers great advice:

“Your confidence can be and – in my opinion – should be regained! It would be a tragedy if you allowed an adverse incident like this to set a pattern for you of avoiding anything that has scared or hurt you. I know what you’re going through, ’cause after the accident (my bicycle vs. pickup truck – bike loses, bigtime!) There’s nothing like lying in bed with the “tape” of the accident playing over and over in your head to scare the willies out of you….) I did three months in hospital and over a year in a rehab center! I was lucky; I had been a horse person since I was little and KNEW that when you fall off you get right back on before you get scared and lose something you love. Neither you nor I had that option, but I was riding a bike (nervously!) as soon as they put a knee joint in my cast; my horse (with stirrup removed on the cast side) as soon as I could swing my leg over his back.

If you are in an auto accident will you never ride in a car again? If you fall on your kitchen floor will you never enter that kitchen again? Or even never walk on a linoleum floor again?

Stacy is exactly right in saying that more groundwork and more exposure to strange happenings will lessen the chance of this occurring again with your horse – in whom you have a lot invested and I don’t mean money!) You might consider, also, a few sessions with a counselor to help you work on your fear, and a few lessons at the local riding academy on the horses they put the LITTLE kids on. You knew this kind of thing could happen before you started riding in the first place; horses are big, dumb prey animals with a very rapid flight response. You loved them anyway. You still do. Let your love – and your determination to be emotionally healthy! – rule your life.

With sympathy – and tough love, Annie G.”

 
14 Comments

Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Inspiring, Life, Members Question, Thought provoking

 

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Where is your attention? written by Jesse Westfall

Recently, I was out riding with a lady whose horse had its head in the air and was looking off in the distance most of the time. The problem with a horse like that is they don’t see the ground that is right in front of them and they tend to stumble when the ground in front of them drops or they trip over logs, sticks and things like that.Live with hope that your life will be better because of what you learned. Jesse Westfall

This horse made me think about people and where their attention is. I’m the kind of person that likes to live in the moment and that has advantages and disadvantages. I don’t mind if my days are spontaneous and fun but sometimes the future sneaks up on me when I should see it coming. There are other people that live so far in the future that they don’t see what might be going on right in front of them just like that horse.

The person who is worst off would be one that spends most of his time looking back with fear or regret about something that happened. It’s important in life to look back and think about your past, just don’t live there. Make sure you try to learn from your mistakes and take your new found wisdom into the future and live with hope that your life will be better because of what you learned. Written by Jesse Westfall

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in Inspiring, Jesse Westfall, Life, Sunday, Thought provoking

 

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Creating Jac: selecting bloodlines for performance reining horses

2013 NRHA sires Quarter Horse NewsMy husband is one of those guys, you know, the ones who know all the stats from their favorite football team including the past, present and up-and-coming. He doesn’t only do this for his sports team though…he does it with reining horses too.

His knowledge of reining horses-past, present and up-and-coming is quite amazing. He loves analyzing bloodlines and performance records. I give him credit for creating Roxy, Vaquero, Jac and many other great horses because he chose the combination of sire and dam resulting in those horses being foaled.

Today Jesse showed me some interesting statistics from the April 2014 Quarter Horse News. The first thing he showed me was the chart in the photo. These are the top sires in the NRHA in 2013 based on how much their offspring won in 2013.

Jac (Jac’s Electric Whiz) is by Jacs Electric Spark who is number 4 on the list. What Jesse was pointing out though was how high Jacs Electric Spark average was. For example the first sire, Wimpys Little Step, had 359 foals show last year.  They earned $1,429,148 bringing their average to $3,981.00.

Jac’s Electric Spark averaged $6,273.00.

On another page of the News were statistics on Maternal Grandsires, which is the sire of the mother. Jac’s mother was Whizards Baby Doll who was by Whizard Jac.

Whizard Jac was ranked number 16 on this list BUT his average was higher than any of the 15 horses above him on the list.

Keep in mind that Jesse chose to create Jac four years ago. Not bad Jess, not bad at all.

 

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Jesse, Performance horse

 

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