How Do I Get Over Riding Fear?

How to get over horse riding fear depends on what type of fear you are feeling.  When I first heard this, it made so much sense to really delve into what type of fear I was feeling and base the answer on the type of fear.


The first type is real fear.  This is the fear I feel when my horse starts bucking or rearing.  This is the type of fear when I am riding along and see a poisonous snake.  This is the type of fear when I am riding along, and a mountain lion drops onto the tail of my horse.  All of these fears I have experienced first-hand.  The answer to getting over this type of fear is to take action.  In these moments, I have to "DO" something. If my horse is bucking, I have to get her to stop.  A snake, I need to go around it.  The mountain lion, I had to hang on for dear life until I got home.  Action is required.


The second type of fear is perceived fear.  This is when riding along and seeing what looks like a poisonous snake ahead and it is a tree limb.  This is saddling up and having the wind pick up and blowing the trees around.  This is having the horse slip and thinking they are bucking.  This type of fear requires thinking, evaluation, determination if the fear is real and necessary.  If the snake turns out to be a tree branch, no action necessary.  With the wind blowing, adjust the ride to stay out from under trees that might have branches falling.  Feel the horse and realize that it wasn't a buck but just the horse slipping.  In all of these, action may or may not need to be taken but it isn't immediate.


The third type of fear and the one we practice the most, is imaginary fear.  This is the "What if's".  This is the imagination running wild with all the things that might happen.  This robs us of our joy.  This robs our horses of knowing that we are present.  This is the one that we can overcome!  If you are going to use your imagination, pick the "What If's" that you actually want!  It takes practice but why not?  What if my ride is glorious?  What if my horse and I really connect on the ride and have a ton of fun?  We get to pick and choose our what if's so why not pick the ones that we want to have happen?


If you have enjoyed hearing my thoughts on fear, you might enjoy my free guide: 3 Ways to Stop Panic


Leave a Comment