In “Setbacks & Comebacks” ( From the Editor, November 2016), Editor Jennifer Paulson detailed her son’s first bucking experience and overcoming his shaken spirit. I found myself in a similar situation with a new horse.
After 4 months of bliss, I noticed some changes. Spooking at nothing, resistance. I couldn’t see any obvious lameness or pain issues, and neither did my trainer. On the day of the fateful ride, he didn’t want to move into a jog; I had to press. Then I asked for a lope and ended up on the ground. It happened so fast, and it was such a fierce buck, that it left me confused—and out of breath. It had been 24 years since I had hit the dirt, and I just felt awful.
It led to many vet visits to diagnose what was wrong. My sweet gelding had Lyme disease, which can cause swollen joints, neurological issues, and hypersensitivity.
My horse has been successfully treated, and I am happy to report is
very healthy. I, on the other hand, have not really recovered mentally. I find it hard to relax on my horses now. I sit too far forward, clench when I ask for the next gait, and overthink every move. It’s very frustrating, because I’ve always been a confident rider, but it’s just not been as easy as telling myself to “get over it.”
But I won’t give up. I keep riding, and keep trying to build my confidence slowly. Before every ride, I promise my horses that if they try to tell me they’re not feeling well, I’ll listen. E-mail your letters to HorseandRider@ aimmedia.com. Or, send them to Horse&Rider, 5720 Flatiron Pkwy., Boulder, CO 80301. To be considered for publication, your submission must include your full name and your state. Published letters are subject to editing for brevity, clarity, and accuracy. know; I was one of them. Unless riding jumpers, I wore a cowboy hat. Then my wife almost died in a riding accident (no helmet), and I figured she used up all her luck and mine, too, surviving a terrible head injury. Now I’m always in a helmet, whether riding or driving my guys.
If you want a kid to wear a helmet, convince his father to. Want to grow old with your husband? Convince him to wear a helmet.
Broken Bones and Confidence
Three years ago I got bucked off by a horse. It broke my knee and my confidence in a big way. A book called Riding Fear Free has helped me get back on the horse. A great horse is also a must to help in the confidence department.