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Old 30th April 2012
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Default Please could I have my confidence back?

I don't know whats happened to me, I was fine last Sunday, we went over to an indoor dressage comp and got 3rd in the walk/trot, Winnie was good as gold, warming up outdoors and for the test indoors. Last time we went out on a hack with Jake, she was perfectly behaved.
And yet, when one of the ladies said lets hack on on Saturday I turned into a jibbering wreck and refused to go because it was a bit windy and might start to rain.
I've withdrawn our entry for Woodbridge on 7th because the weather has been vile and I haven't ridden since last Sunday.
I even worry putting her out in the field because she gets really strong coming in and has got away from me (even in her bridle)
I feel like I'm losing it and its not fun any more, I cant load her and take her somewhere dry to ride on my own so I can't get away from the yard and the school is flooded. OH is away working and my instructor is on holiday!
Feeling very sorry for myself
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Old 30th April 2012
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First off, calm down, and don't worry, these problems can all be sorted with time.
Lets start with the weather.
There are lots of people that can't or don't ride in wind and/or rain so no need to beat yourself up about that one. I used to ride in all weathers but Max is a lunatic in the wind, he has good reasons, but i don't try fighting him I decide not to bother instead. Even leading him in-hand is not safe so i don't even try.

Leading in and out from the field.
It'll take time and practise but this can be sorted. Use either a dually or a kemp controller, take it in stages and if she pulls, turn her around to face the wrong way and make her stand until calm.
Work up to having several stops to where you are going so she knows that she's not getting there fast.
Plenty of praise when she is behaving is vital and action when she is not must be quick so she knows what she is doing is wrong.Doing groundwork is the way to go, make her obedient to your voice is essential. Your voice is the most important tool you have so use it.

The weather makes everything seem worse and not having support from your oh and ri doesn't help.
In a couple of weeks time you'll wonder what you were panicking about.
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Old 30th April 2012
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I can't add any more than what FF has already said.

Just try to stay calm and relax and things will be okay. Give it a few weeks when the weather clears up and we are all happy and sunny and relaxed again and you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.
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Old 30th April 2012
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I sympathise Madnellie. I get the same at times. New horse, not feeling like myself. I could have hacked in the windy weather on Saturday and Teg would have gone okay, maybe a bit spooky at all the blowing things but I didn't andblamed the weather when I really knew it was an excuse. So, you aren't the only one feeling like this.

I think that if you feel really nervous there is no point forcing yourself because the horse will pick up on it. It is a blip and you will feel more confident eventually and it will right itself. That's how i view it anyway.

Instead I spent time grooming and snuggling with Teg and that isn't wasted time.

Hope you feel better soon. x
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Old 1st May 2012
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Thank you all :-) I do love grooming and massaging Winnie. And, what do you know, seems as though she may have been worked in a Dually before! Don't know why I didn't think of trying it as I've had one since I shared a rather boisterous exracehorse a few years ago, put it on her last night and her head went down and she kinda went 'uh oh I have to behave now' and didn't even try for a mouthful of grass on the way up to the yard! Now we just need this rain to stop.....
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Old 1st May 2012
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Confidence is an annoying thing. Takes so long to build up and it can leg it in one second. The main advice I can give is to take things slowly. Keep reminding yourself that having horses is supposed to be fun. What you think is fun is special to you. Some people find flying around a BE100 course fun, some find riding circles in the school fun, some find hacking fun. Some find grooming and general bonding fun. You just do whatever you find fun and perhaps over time that might change or advance. If it doesn't, so what? She's your horse, you choose what you want to do with her.

The wind and rain always makes situations seem worse. Even Saffy, who rarely spooks at anything in the school, today decided to fly from one end to the other because something rattled behind her in the wind If I wasn't getting ready for our first ODE I definitely wouldn't be riding in this weather!
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Old 1st May 2012
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I love more than anything just spending time with Tigger in the field, walks in hand or playing on the ground in the school, the riding part with him has been s huge accomplishment for me but I enjoy the rest of it more, think that's one of the reasons I'd love another youngster!

Just do what you enjoy, don't put pressure on just because you didn't ride I wouldn't have either! Take it slow and take another step forward if you want to when you feel ready.

I lost my nerve completely a few years back and it took a lot for me to eventually be hacking my mare out again and now I happily backed and hack a green pony so you'll be fine! If there's anything that yup think will help do it for me it was ensuring someone knew when I went out and my route, that I was very hi viz and had a back protector on, it all helped me feel a little bit more safe in going out
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