Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coping With Fear While Riding - Full Article

by Jane Savoie
Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010

I often hear from horseback riders that they have irrational fears about being out of control or getting hurt when riding. The fear seems irrational because they've never actually had an accident or injury. So they wonder where the fear comes from.

For what it's worth, I used to have "irrational fears" about flying. It was so bad that I would only do clinics within driving distance. It turns out that the fear of flying was just a convenient "hook" to hang stuff on. It allowed me to express fear, anger, or even grief.

Apparently, my mind thought that fear of flying was an acceptable way to express those emotions. After all, no one was going to tell me I was crazy to be afraid to fly. After all, how weird is it to go hurtling through the air in a huge cylinder? What holds that thing up anyhow?

By the same token, no one is going to say you're crazy to be afraid of being out of control on a horse. After all, horses significantly outweigh you. Plus they're reactive creatures of flight. They don't operate "logically".

So hanging other fears, anger, or grief on something like flying in an airplane, heights, or bolting horses is something we can justify to ourselves. No one would ever say we were "crazy" to be afraid of those things.

So here are two quick tips to help you cope with irrational fear while horseback riding:

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