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How to overcome the fear of horses during the first encounter or after a fall?

Published: 2021-10-06 11:04:19 Categories: Guides Rss feed , Horse health Rss feed


Horses can be intimidating due to their size and unpredictable behavior. Some people dream of riding a horse, but the fear keeps them from trying. Riders also tend to have troubles going back to riding subsequent to a fall or another dangerous situation. So what to do?

Horse riding is considered an extreme sport and there are times when every rider experiences fear. Some, despite regular riding, are afraid of some activities - staying with the horse in the stall or jumping obstacles. Horses are large, strong animals, which is why feeling respect towards them is important and simply reasonable. But what to do when the fear paralyzes us to such an extent that it makes riding difficult or becomes the reason why we consider giving up horse riding?

1. When do you most often experience the fear of horses?

The fear occurs usually at the very beginning, when the very presence of horses is something new for us. Loud snorting, stomping the foot, and even the sheer size of the animal cause fear and bring nothing but black scenarios to the mind. Under such stress and tension we often exaggerate even the most trivial situations, making our own fears worse.

A slightly different situation is the fear of riding following a fall from a horse. Sometimes, after a particularly dangerous situation, and often a painful injury, the rider is afraid that such an event will happen again. Although he cannot imagine life without horseback riding, he is scared of getting back in the saddle.


Each of these situations is slightly different, but we can deal with them in a similar way. It's important to label the feeling: yes, I am scared of horses in some situations (which ones specifically?). Fear does not mean that you are a worse rider. Everyone can and should combat it.

2. What to do to stop being afraid of horses or horseback riding?

Overcoming anxiety is a journey, so you need to be patient. The first, very important step is learning. Learn as much as you can about horses, and then watch them to verify this knowledge in practice. The ability to recognize the horse's moods, as well as the fact that it is an animal that would rather choose to flight than fight, will help you feel safer in its presence. If you feel anxious while being around horses, talk to them - tell them how your day went, or even sing! A calm voice will calm both the horse and you, and at the same time allow you to develop a bond with the horse.


Horseback riding is yet another milestone for some people. Make sure you feel safe during the training - always wear a riding helmet. Additionally, consider buying a protective vest. Such equipment not only protects us in case of a fall, but also brings mental comfort, thanks to which we can relax - and this is a must for a good ride.

You can also ask for a horse which makes you feel safe and take a step back - do simpler exercises (e.g. on a lunge). In this way, you give yourself time and convenient settings, and you can convince yourself that riding a horse is not as terrifying as in the dark scenario that you had in your mind.


Sometimes a good solution is to force yourself to do more than you have the courage to do. Overcoming such a hurdle gives a lot of self-confidence. That's why you should get on a horse after a fall, and if you are afraid of staying with a horse in a stall - systematically repeat this activity, until you get bored.

3. The support of other people is priceless!

Being afraid of horses or horse riding is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, you should tell your trainer about your fears and discuss easier exercises, as well as ways to deal with those situations where you feel particularly uncomfortable. A good trainer will take your feelings seriously and will know when to ease off and when to encourage you to do something despite your fear.

Getting rid of anxiety is often a long process. It is very important for you to be forgiving of yourself and to remember all the beautiful moments you've had with horses. Instead of being afraid, it's better to sit in the saddle and make even more beautiful memories, isn't it?

If you're thinking of taking your first horseback riding lesson or looking for riding accessories, make sure to check Equishop's vast offer: jodhpur boots, saddle pads, breeches.

If you have any questions, call or text us.

Equishop equestrian store: +48 784 039 784


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