+ TVhorsetalk: Seeking a Remedy for Lost Confidence

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Seeking a Remedy for Lost Confidence

 I had a little “lost confidence” issue that grew into a big “lost confidence” issue after being thrown (fell off!) during a lesson last November.  (See previous blog entry.)  I had to do something to get my confidence back.  (This was now probably February.)  And I have to tell you that even though I was fine with riding Max right after my fall, there came a time when I began to UNINTENTIONALLY ALLOW Max to “bully” me a little on the ground, getting too in my space, not wanting to be led, etc.  My confidence regarding control began to erode quickly.   
In the saddle it felt like he was crow-hopping a little and rearing up just a little when I would cue him to a trot and/or canter.  I’m sure I was so nervous I was giving him all kinds of mixed signals and he just didn't know what I wanted.
I became more and more sensitive to every move he made.  I was way over analyzing every move he made.  Every move he made was making me a nervous wreck! 
I had to face it.  The wreck I had experienced in November had caught up with me.  I was miserable, wondering if I would ever be able to ride Max like I had before the incident.  But I kept going out, saddling him up and riding… 

That’s how it all started with me using Clinton Anderson’s dvds.  It seems like it was sometime in the spring when I saw on RFD-TV an episode that was the second part of a two-part dvd he had entitled Regaining Lost Confidence.  He was working with two women who had confidence issues, one with her horse on the ground and one with her horse in the saddle.  Perfect for me since I had lost confidence in BOTH situations.

I had to get the dvd set.  I wanted to see Part I also.  Let me just say right now that I am not blogging in conjunction with any of the horse people I talk about.  I don’t work for them or get paid by anyone.  I’m not a member of anyone’s “club” or whatever else they offer.

Okay. That said, I am a beginner and don’t advise anyone to try any of the activities I do with horses, or any of the activities that are on any trainer’s dvds or tv shows or clinics.  Horses are BIG and potentially very DANGEROUS!
Now, back to my lost confidence…  I found a used dvd set of Regaining Lost Confidence.  Watching the two women he worked with go through the exercises and regain their confidence with each step helped me to know I could get back out there and control Max on the ground, and I could get back in the saddle without being a nervous wreck.  If these two women could do it, I could do it!
I sent Max to the trainer for a tune up.  He probably didn’t need it, but if it helped my confidence I knew I needed to do it.  When he returned the trainer rode him in all the places I planned to ride him so I could see he wasn’t a raging, maniac, devil horse, and I got a lesson on him at home so I could be assured that some ancient curse stating that I would forever evoke rage in all horses I rode was not on my head. 
I don’t know how many times I watched, no studied, those two Regaining Lost Confidence dvds, (There are two in the set.) but every time I did I felt more and more like I could do it, too.  (I know Chris Cox offers a clinic especially for people who have lost their confidence.  I’d like to talk about this one in the future.)
But…since Clinton Anderson is the one I connected with first, that’s the one this blog will focus on first.
I kept riding Max.  I took it slowly and easily.  I was feeling better, but I needed to know more about handling horses.  Period. 
I was regaining my confidence, and I couldn't wait to learn more.  I came to own a set of his dvds called Gaining Respect and Control on the Ground – Series I.  (Recently I acquired GRCG-Series II and III.)  I started watching them.  No, I studied them.    
Now, you should know that Max was well trained.  Whoever trained Max, I have to thank.  Whether or not he was trained with Clinton Anderson’s method, I don’t know.  Although I swear that sometimes I think I hear Max sigh, “Oh, yeah, I remember this one.”

And so, I began my training…

Have a good ride,

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