a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Monday, September 26, 2011

Why I Am Afraid To Ride...

I think! 

My experiences with horses as a young person were few and far between.  We never had horses, unlike other branches of the family, because "tractors don't eat when they're not working" as my Dad loved to say.

Two of my best friend had horses, I know, now, that they had problems (not my friends, the horses).  My friends had no trouble.  I was not so brave.  I have been raked off by a tree limb at a dead run.  I have been dumped in a briar patch.  I have been riding while running into a barn.  I have ridden a horse with the saddle slipping at a dead run and held on until it stopped...by this time I was hanging under the horses's neck.   I have ridden a horse that rolled in a pond. The only time I had any luck with horses was riding double during the horse events in the county.

My uncle decided since I looked like my cousin we would show matched horses and dress alike for the horse shows.  I knew nothing about horses, Kathy had been riding since birth.  I was yelled at, told sit up, don't do this, don't do that...the horse and I were doing fine but I was not show quality.  Dad said if I wasn't having fun, maybe I shouldn't do it...so I stopped.

As an adult, my best ride was on a cutting horse, while I was pregnant, herding cattle.  It was a good cutting horse and basically all I had to do was hang on.  Now, that was a ride!!!  I loved it.

Two years ago, I rode with a friend.  She rode her mule, I rode her spare horse.  Gentle as a lamb but did not want to cross the creek.  I felt incompetent and, I think, I relayed that to the horse.  My friend finally rode back across and led my horse through the creek.  I just don't understand the language between a horse and a rider.

I have ridden Charme and she wanted to return to the herd.  I have ridden Magic.  Both did well, I am the one with the lack of training. 

I have a round pen and do not even ride there.  I will brush and lead and lunge and love but the riding scares me!  I am a control freak and I just know when I'm on top of a horse I'm not in control!!!

I probably shouldn't even own horses but the love of them has been with me for a life time.

I am at a loss at what to do.  Just keep loving them, I guess.

31 comments:

Buttons said...

I understand all my experiences with horses have not be fun ones. I have been on the ground more than on the their backs.. Just love them. B

Pattie @ On Hollyhock Farm said...

I have ridden all my life, and had my share of hitting the ground, MANY TIMES. I have a scar on the back of my head where it hit the road one day! And I still will get up on a horse. The past 10 years I had a rescued race horse whom I never climbed up on. VERY tall. But my hubby wouldn't let me, he was the one that was scared. He came along after my riding days so he didn't know that I could ride. But you can own a horse and not ride, I love seeing them in the pasture just being content. Nothing wrong with that, it's like therapy!

LindaG said...

I've never had a horse. Road a couple.
I am afraid of not having control, too.
Nothing wrong with loving horses, I don't believe. :)

Cheryl Ann said...

I haven't been on a horse since my accident 3 years ago. Now I'm content just to watch them.

Journaling Woman said...

Of course you should own horses because you love them. I understand your hestitation on riding, it could be dangerous. Plus, I understand fear.

But (and you knew it was coming right?)I can tell there is some regret. I promise (and this will take a lot of work since you have to get the horse saddled), but 10 minutes riding nearly every day will build on your skill and confidence. I promise.

Amy said...

I say own them and love them if you can afford to do so. I for one do not suggest just getting up on your horses and start riding. To me it is just asking for yet another bad experience to happen. Horses are unpredictable and dangerous at best and for horses that have sat in a field too long with no work and a person who never really learned how to ride to get together, can you see why this might not be a good combination? If you want to do more than just look at them in the pasture(and to me it sounds like you do) then find a trainer and start taking lessons. And make it a good trainer. You can take a lesson for about $30. I suggest take two a month and start there. If you have a trailer then take one of your own horses. If you don't most riding facilities have horses you can ride. or some trainers even will be willing to come to your place. If $60 a month seems too much just keep in mind that it is for your safety, wellbeing and also the horses. That is my suggestion :)

Country Gal said...

Maybe you could take lessons that may help get your nerve back ! I to have been through alot riding, I have been rolled on in midst ride, kicked, Hung on the side of our barn, I was jumping and he we both were in form then he descided to dart off to the side and I landed on the jump on my ribs and cracked a few, you name it but I still got back on just something you have to do show the horse you are the boss and you wont let them get away with it they will eventually calm down and get to no whats what and for me I have to know my horses character as well so we can be at one with eachother when we ride. I had been riding since I was 6 and I never have forgotten how even though I dont have horses now its like riding a bike ya never forget how !I also trained with a family friend that was a horse trainer and learnt how to break horses. Hope one day you will get back in the saddle and enjoy it ! Have a wonderful day !

Allison said...

Not having control is very scary! I completely understand that!
I love being on the ground with my horse. We have developed a close bond by doing ground work and just hanging out. There is nothing wrong with that!

Ms. ~K said...

I'm not sure the horses would love you any more if you rode them...they all look perfectly happy to me!!! :)

Far Side of Fifty said...

Find a trainer..or a friend with a horse to help you along...perhaps one could be trained to drive..wouldn't that be great!

Or just keep them and love them..whatever makes you happy Gail! :)

Rudee said...

Interesting, but if it's something you want to do, perhaps you should keep trying.

Farm Girl said...

When I first started riding, I was scared out of my mind. I fell off so many times but I knew I had to conquer my fear and it was so hard maybe harder than anything I ever did. I know what you mean though, you have to be able to talk to horses. I don't know how to describe it but you hit the nail on the head when you said,"You don't know the language between horse and rider."
There is this oneness that you have to have and connection. Have you ever read the book called the Horse Whisperer? He describes it the best. I think if you read it and tried it you would be able to understand that language.
I think though, so what if you don't ever ride, just enjoy them and they will enjoy you.

ellen abbott said...

either get up and ride til you feel comfortable and in control or give up the notion. either way you will feel better.

Jeannelle said...

I'm glad you have lived to blog about your love of horses! I rode only a few times and was basically scared to death the whole time.

Sue said...

Hey, why can't a horse be a friend instead of a mode f transportation? They have a lot of smarts, right? And they are gorgeous, too.

=)

allhorsestuff said...

I liked what Amy, Far side of Fifty and Ms K said.
What about driving?? Is live to see you in a wagon !
KK

Judy said...

Nothing the matter with having horses and not riding them...They probably like it better that way...just love 'em and enjoy 'em and let them enjoy you...

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

"I just don't understand the language between a horse and a rider."

I have struggled with this over the past 4 years of my horse ownership, too.

And like you, I am always very aware of the control that we humans give up once we are perched up on top of a horse's back.
It can be very scary.

(((((hugs)))))
~Lisa

Pat said...

"I just don't understand the language between a horse and a rider." THAT may be true, but you sure do have a language of love between you and the horses. And you've certainly TRIED to ride horses. So you don't ride them. Is there still a want to do this? If not, then no biggie. Just be friends. They are beautiful animals and a wonderful addition to your menagerie of pets.

Eva Ason said...

I was never riding as a child, however as an adult I at least tried it. My former employer had a horse, and she brought us all once a week to the local riding school to take riding lessons...gosh..I as around 30 at the time. When you got real close to a horse they're huge.
I like horses but think I prefer to watch them and take care of them, but not so keen on riding. Lack of practice I suppose.

Have a great Day!

TechnoBabe said...

What a truly honest admission. I admire the courage to continue to own horses and maybe just loving them and providing a safe and healthy place to live while other people ride your horses is your place in the horse world.

A Quiet Corner said...

Good gravy, stories of my experiences would keep you away for good!...I love them as well...my husband, not so much! He'd rather have the tractor too!...:)JP

24 Paws of Love said...

Wow! What an experience you've had. I couldn't tell you anything. I've been on a couple when I was a kid, but I know nothing about horses. Now as an adult for some reason they look gigantic to me and I am scare just to next to one. So you've got me beat on that! :)

I would do what you are comfortable with, whatever that is for you. Try again, get a trainer, or just enjoy your feet on the ground. I would be scared after what you have shared has happened, but that's just me.

What makes you the happiest?

Michaele said...

I've got no problem with that! I have had 3 horses in the last 15 years and never got on once. You love them and evidently can feed then. Nobody says you have to ride.

Nora said...

You love those horses and they love you in return and you enjoy each other's company. What more could you ask for? It's okay not to want to sit on top of them. There's no rule that says that you have to. Just go on loving them the way you are. Those animals have a good life with you. That's the main thing and what counts. And don't ever think of getting rid of them!

Nezzy said...

Oh girl...I feel a song comin' on here!

Maybe ya should just get, "Back in the Saddle Again." Heeehehehehe!!!

Ride 'em or not ya can tell that love ya'll have for each other in your pics!

God bless and have a marvelous week sweetie!!! :o)

carolina nana said...

Riding a horse is great but you have to let the horse know who is boss.
My dad always told me they can tell by the way you sit in the saddle if you are relaxed or scared.
I used to ride bareback all the time but now I would have to think real hard about getting way up there on a horse's back even in a saddle. Like you I have been raked off and bucked off and jumped on but that was when I was much younger than I am now. I heal slower now and break easier so I can't blame you for just loving them from the ground.Sigh !! I hate this getting older crap !!!
Blessings
Marilyn

Lisa RedWillow said...

Riding is very dangerous and I have had many family members hurt.
I havent riden in years and I am scared also did have a bad throw of one or two.

Vickie said...

Gail - I rode all the time when I was younger. I haven't been on a horse in probably 25 years. My husband is going to let me get a couple shortly, but I'm going to take my time. I have a good friend who trains and she is going to help me make a good selection. And hubby said that I don't have to ride if I choose not to. I just want horses - I love everything about them. I love to just "hang out", brush em, and smell of em. I don't think the Lord ever made a more beautiful creature. Call me crazy... ;)

Lori Skoog said...

Gail...It sounds like you have a lot of friends who support you. My 2 cents worth...You sound like you want to ride, but don't feel comfortable doing it. If you really want to, I'd start with some lessons to build up your confidence. It is not something I would do alone at the beginning. And if you don't want to ride, keep going the way you are...love them and don't feel guilty about it.

Lisa RedWillow said...

Hi Gail.
Your not alone at all.
Hope your day is wonderful
xo

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