So you might have read the last post I wrote about the necessary skills for learning how to canter but still feel unsure. Here are some other things to try to help you prepare!
Talk To Your Trainer
Let your trainer know how you are feeling. If there is something specific you are concerned about, bring it up. Ask if you can work on whatever it is for a few weeks. That way, you can solidify it before you move on to try cantering.
Another good option, if you are apprehensive about starting to learn to canter, would be to see if you can schedule some private lessons. I know a lot of times we can overcome our fears (or just things something you are stuck on) faster if we are one on one with our instructor.
It is not like it has to be a forever thing. You can join your friends back in the group lesson once you get a little more
It’s Okay If You Aren’t Mentally Ready Yet!
You may feel like you checked all those boxes of necessary skills but still just don’t feel ready to try it. We all get little butterflies in our stomachs sometimes. When we are nervous about trying something new, this is normal. If you are having more than little butterflies, you aren’t ready. You need to do trot exercises for a while longer to build your confidence.
If your trainer knows that you are not confident to try cantering, they can help you by working on specific things. So, really make sure that you are clearly communicating that to your trainer. You should talk to him or her when the lesson is done. It is easier to focus on each other and talk when you aren’t on the horse. You will both be able to communicate better after the lesson.
There Is No Shame In Being Nervous And Not Ready To Try It Yet!
Trust me, I know from experience. Riding did not come to me easily or naturally, especially in the beginning. As a child, I literally had moments that I begged my parents not to make me go to the lesson. The thing is though, once I got there and got it over with, it was all I talked about all week! Until it got closer to the next lesson and I started getting nervous again.
My friend and
It’s True! I Hid In A Closet!
It’s a true story I swear! I laugh now. At the time we did not find it funny at all. Despite our best efforts, we always got dragged out of the closet. I’m glad that we went to the lesson though. We needed a push to overcome our fears. Our moms knew how much we loved the horses, it was all we ever talked about or played. We ate slept, breathed horses. We were just unfortunately naturally timid riders.
Luckily, with time, we both became confident riders and the days of hiding in the closet are long gone.
I just tell you this story so that you see that it is fine to be scared or apprehensive, it happens to the best of us at some point in time. I was lucky that I had good trainers and parents that knew just how much to push me when I needed it.
If You Fall In The Category Of A Little Too Scared To Try
So this is me reassuring you that it is okay if you just don’t feel ready to try it yet. As long as you are openly communicating with your trainer about how you feel, it’s all good. If they know you just aren’t quite confident enough yet, then they know to work on confidence building with you. Remember, they can’t help you if you don’t tell them!
It is totally normal and acceptable for riders to have fear or apprehension about learning new skills with horses. They are big animals. We have to learn their language in order to get them to do what we want. It is not easy! We all are on this journey at our own pace. You will canter when the time is right and you feel ready to. Maybe you need some private lesson. Perhaps you want to switch back to a horse you know better. I assure you that if you try your hardest and communicate with your trainer, you will canter before you know it!
There is no rush, don’t let anyone tell you that there is. If you tell your instructor you are nervous they may push you a little. You know, sometimes we need a little push.
If you tell your trainer that you don’t feel ready and you should not feel
You Are Doing Awesome
Look how far you have already come! Anyone who is dedicated to learning to ride impresses me every time they put their leg over a horse. Whether it be to do a walking lesson or learning to canter and jump. Horsemanship is a journey and we are all on it and learning together.
If I have a student tell me they are too scared to canter I’m okay with it. That is a good thing for me, it pushes me as a trainer. I have to come up with what exercises I can do with the student. Things to help the rider get the skills they need to feel confident.
All of my students teach me how to be a better teacher! I’d venture to say they teach me just as much as I teach them.
Keep On Keepin On!
Don’t get discouraged with your riding just because you have to deal with some fear or anxiety. Learning to work through that is part of learning good horsemanship skills. It is our jobs as trainers and instructors to help you through that.
I have faith in you, and soon enough I bet you will have gained confidence in yourself as well!