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Thread: Performance Anxiety

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Belper, Derbyshire
    Posts
    8

    Default Performance Anxiety

    Hello, Hello!

    OK, so about 2 weeks ago, I started part loaning a horse. He's absolutely lovely, a proper character, and is pretty perfect for me (after a LOOONNNNG break from riding) The thing I've struggled with...Is other people...(It's like typing with someone looking over your shoulder - which I can't do either), I get really anxious and struggle to balance properly. The other problem...He bucks a bit when he's going into canter, I knew this before I started with the loaning, and was a bit reluctant to knock him up a gear.

    The yard was pretty quiet last Saturday, save for a terrifying riding instructor who was screaming orders at a girl in a field, so I gave it a go and he did buck a little bit, and I had a little wobble, and took him back to trot and just stayed like that for the rest of the ride.

    Now, back in the old days, when I was a kid...I cantered everywhere and everything was natural, I never felt scared or anxious...I guess it's partly my age, and partly being a bit rusty...and relatively unfamiliar horse...

    So I had a lesson on Monday, solely to rediscover my canter (only my second lesson in 17 years!) The horse was practically identical to the one I'm loaning, but personality-wise he was totally different, he didn't need any encouragement to trot, and the canter when it came was terrifying, plus having someone watching made the whole ordeal even more hair-raising...

    However...

    IT WAS AWESOME!!!!! lol.

    So, armed with an hours ****-battering at the hands of another sadistic RI, I took advantage of a completely empty yard today and took Charlie into the menage...We walked for ages, trotted a while and then...Filled with a bit of self-belief, I asked him to canter...

    He did it, smooth as you like, WITHOUT BUCKING!! OMG. It was AMAZING. I was sooo happy and I just laid on him and hugged him lol. The second time he did buck, but only once and it was only small...Total balance, total control, totally elated.

    WOW.

    Any tips on how to get over the performance anxiety though? I can't go on falling to pieces every time someone's around...Or will it just get easier?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,833

    Default

    Youve only been back in the loop for 2 weeks. Build up more trust with each from the ground. Do some groundwork exercises. It will improve your ridden relationship no end.

    I started loaning a new horse in Feb. My coblet has been on quiet hacking only for a year. I tell you its nerve racking riding a new horse. But the more you do, the more you smile the more you forget the nerves.


    Quality horses and ponies for sale. http://www.bourtonvaleequestrian.co.uk/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    East Yorkshire
    Posts
    1,706

    Default

    Well done! The more confident you get, the less you will worry about people watching you. I find that when I am riding, I am so busy concentrating on my riding that I don't even think about anyone else. Give yourself something to focus on, and nothing else will matter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Belper, Derbyshire
    Posts
    8

    Default

    I think I find it odd having people around, cos in the past I'd owned my own ponies and we lived on a farm, so the only time anyone watched me ride was during lessons, so I guess I feel kind of intimidated now lol.

    Charlie and I are still working each other out, without a doubt. I do think I'm more inclined to let him take the p*ss if there's someone watching, cos I'm naturally quite shy. I'm sure it will come with time, I guess if we work it out between us when there's no one around then it'll be easier when we are being watched. I do kinda feel like I've gone back to square one with riding though, which feels especially difficult for me. I started when I was 3, so it was as normal as walking and talking to me really, now it's something I really need to concentrate to do and that gets me down a bit

    Still, I know it'll be worth it when all pieces come back together And he is a lovely horse, lazy...But really lovely And to be fair, at 6am when I'm still half asleep and not fit to say a word to anyone, for fear it'll be something offensive, and I see him looking over his stable door with his ears pricked up, looking all excited to see me, I feel really, really happy

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