Horseback riding falls are scary, and they happen to everyone. Some falls are worse than others, and may leave you with little confidence when it comes time to climb back into the saddle. Here are five ways that you can regain your confidence after a falling off a horse.
1. Identify the Cause of the Fall
Before you mount up again, think about why your fall occurred. Were you jumping a fence and missed the timing? Did your horse rear or buck? Did you lose your balance? Identifying what caused you to fall can help you to take measures to prevent a similar fall in the future. If you fell because you lost your balance, there are many exercises that you can perform to improve your balance in the saddle. If you fell because your horse bucked or reared, then it might be time to have a trainer work with your horse to correct this behavior.
2. Ride a Trusted Horse
When you first mount up after a fall, ride a horse that you trust. Now isn’t the time to tackle the issues that you’ve been having with a high-strung horse; instead, seek out a trustworthy school horse that you can relax on. Spend some time riding a trusted horse until you’re comfortable in the saddle again.
3. Work with a Trainer
After a fall, it’s a good idea to work with a trainer whom you trust. A good trainer can build your confidence back up by gradually pushing you outside of your comfort level. A trainer can also spot weaknesses in your riding and work with you to improve them, leaving you feeling stronger and more confident in the saddle.
4. Take Things Slow
If you find that you have little confidence after a fall, then take things slow with your riding. You don’t have to go out and jump four-foot fences or gallop your horse around the field. If you just want to get on your horse and walk, then just walk. Let yourself just walk for your next twenty to thirty rides or more. Eventually, you’ll find that you’re bored with this slower pace, and are ready to do a little more with your riding. Give yourself permission to take things slow and you will find that your confidence gradually returns to you.
5. Remind Yourself That You Survived
It happens; we fall off. You fell off and you lived to tell the tale. Remind yourself that falls happen to everyone, and that they’re a part of riding. And most of the time, riders escape from falls relatively unscathed. At the same time, remind yourself that you are a skilled and capable rider, and that you can handle a fall if it does happen again.