In many parts of the country, winter means no riding. Or maybe just inconsistent riding. If you were just getting into the swing of things in the fall, it is possible that some nerves might rear their ugly heads when it’s time to put a leg over your lesson horse.
When Was The Last Time He Was Ridden?
There is nothing wrong with asking when your lesson horse was last worked. Some programs like mine, have working students who do best to keep the horses in work whenever the weather allowed.
Trust Your Trainer
You have a trainer that you trust right? I helped you find them in one of my other posts. You have trust in your trainer and you should know that they would not put you on any horse that could put you in danger.
Tell Your Trainer
The best trainer student relationships come when both parties are communicating with each other. Tell your trainer about your nerves before you get on. Ask her what you can do during your first ride back to help ease your nerves.
Most likely, she will suggest going back to an exercise that you had mastered before your riding break. That should help give you confidence. Even if you don’t get it just right, you know what it should feel like and the correct cues to ask.
If you were just starting to canter or jump before the break, there is no reason you need to do that on your first time back on the horse. You can work back up to it!
Refreshing Muscle Memory And Getting Those Riding Muscles Back
Even if you aren’t nervous about getting back on. It will take time to build up those riding muscles. So don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll get it back, don’t worry!
It Is Normal To Have Nerves
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about being nervous on a horse ever. They are big, strong and can be unpredictable. We should all have a healthy fear of them.
That is why we need good trainers. To teach horsemanship in a way that we learn to safe. As well, as to ride in a progression that allows us to feel comfortable as we learn. A process that recognizes we all progress differently. You can’t teach every single person the same. The exercises we teach and basic riding principles need to be relayed in a way that the rider can best understand. This means as a trainer it is important we know our students and where they stand mentally with their riding.
Yes, I said mentally. If you are afraid and you don’t tell your trainer, they can’t help you. The same thing goes if you are frustrated about something. You need to communicate with your trainer so they can put it to you differently. Hopefully, in a way that clicks with you.
You Can Do It!
You have ridden before and now you are going to start riding again. Keep an open line of communication with your trainer. If you don’t feel like this is possible, it may be time to think about moving on to someone new. That is a whole different blog post for a whole different day though.
You can get over your fears! You really can! Come summer, nobody will ever know you took a break!