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RE: skeered to ride

It just takes the right horse - and time.  I always had poorly trained young
horses as a kid and got into all sorts of scrapes.  Nothing really scared or
hurt me, but I never really gained good horsemanship skills or confidence.
When I was an adult, I got a horse after a long hiatus (about 11 years) and
he was absolutely the wrong horse for me.  Fairly calm quarter horse, but no
personality and just didn't respect me.  He'd been used to more cowboy types
that forced him to do things and I didn't even know how to use my legs.  He
was also barn sour and herd bound.

So one day I was getting brave and ventured out in the big pasture and was
actually cantering outside an arena.  The horse decided he'd rather be up
with his girlfriend and took off running and bucking.  I wasn't prepared and
am completely unable to sit a buck and went off into the cactus.  I almost
passed out, didn't move for about 5 minutes while my husband brought the
horse back.  He helped me stand - I kind of thought I'd strained my back.  I
got back on (cuz that's what you're supposed to do) and the owner of the
property came driving down the field to see what happened.  The horse
flipped out and took off running but I stayed on.  Got up to the arena and
longed the horse for a while, all the while feeling stranger and stranger.
Hubby drove us home and I went to bed (in a water bed, after taking pain
killers).  Next morning, got up and passed out on the toilet.  Got to the
doctor and found out I'd broken my back.  Not that bad, only couldn't ride
for 6 weeks.  I did ride, slowly at 6 weeks, but got smart and sold the

Two years later, I found out what I wanted to do with horses - endurance and
trail - and bought an appropriate horse.  She was the oldest horse I'd ever
bought at 7 and fairly well trained.  I bought her because of how well she
took care of herself and me going down hills.  I was terrified of going down
hills.  She had too much energy for me, so we spent a year taking lessons
and figuring out how to communicate.

Yesterday, I rode with a new friend (thanks Kristen!) and enjoyed every
minute of trotting and cantering(!) along a trail.  Over the past 3 weeks I
have been out with others or by myself and haven't been scared or even
worried once.  It's the most amazing, uplifting feeling.  But I owe this
feeling to the right horse and the willingness to take things slow and let
it happen.

Good Luck,

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