A bad riding fall can shake your nerve, but these tips can help you to regain your confidence and get back in the saddle again.
Every horseback rider falls off at some point, and it's been said that you're not a true rider until you've fallen off seven times.
However, a bad riding fall can instantly shake your confidence, leaving you hesitant to ride again and dreading the activity that you once enjoyed. These tips can help you to regain your confidence and start enjoying riding again.
Get Right Back On
If you're not seriously injured in your riding fall, then the best thing to do is to get right back on the horse (assuming the horse isn't injured, either). Even if you have to get on a different horse, the act of just getting into the saddle and walking around the ring can help to build your confidence again.
If you don't get right back on, you have time to think about the fall and your mind can build up an incredible (and sometimes irrational) fear.
Work with a Trainer
Having another person in the ring with you when you ride can help to keep you calm and reassured. If you find that you're dealing with serious fear, then ask a trainer to help you regain your confidence again.
A good trainer can provide you with guidance to help keep you safe as you build your nerve. It may be helpful to have the trainer control your horse on a lunge line initially so that he or she is readily able to help control the horse.
Ride a Trusted Horse
It can be helpful to borrow a trusted, calm horse as you're getting back in the saddle. Riding a calm horse allows you to focus on just getting comfortable again, rather than trying to manage your horse who is normally spooky or challenging. Calm horses are excellent confidence boosters.
Take Some Steps Back
If you fell off while you were jumping three-foot fences, you don't have to go right back to jumping three feet. It's perfectly fine (and advisable) to start working over lower fences again.
Confronting yourself with too much too soon will only further shake your confidence, so be patient with yourself and take a few steps back as you're regaining your confidence. With a little time, you'll get back to the level that you were at previously.
Consult a Sports Psychologist
Still dealing with confidence issues? Consider consulting a sports psychologist. A sports psychologist can help you to get to the root of your fear, and can provide you with tailored exercises to help you build up your confidence again.
Everyone suffers some scary riding falls at some point, and we all deal with fear at some point. With hard work and determination, you can enjoy riding again.