I am not against breeding. There are many positive reasons for breeding your own perfect horse. The whole process can be a wonderful experience that leads to a lifetime partnership between you and your horse. However, when dealing with personal fears, it is much easier to overcome them with a horse that can support your journey. The truth is it literally takes thousands of hours to develop a solid, safe, sane horse that can handle a fearful rider. No matter how calm and steady a young horse is, they require consistent guidance and support to become the reliable and safe mount a fearful rider needs. If you have a young horse and are a fearful rider, please have a safety net of professional horsemen to help when your fears interfere with the training and/or handling of your horse. Raising a young horse is not an impossible journey, but it is one that needs a whole team of consultants and reliable professionals to help you and your horse reach a fear free partnership.
If you are an insecure rider looking to purchase a horse, make sure you know your biggest fears and triggers. For instance, if you are afraid of speed then I would not recommend an off the track race horse! Instead, find a calm, slow and patient horse you are not afraid to lope. This horse should not mind doing the same tasks over and over, from loping one stride to loping 10 laps around the arena. If your biggest fear is the horse bolting or spooking find a horse that, when scared, does a nice spook in place. All horses will spook, but some are more reactive than others and you want one able to control a reaction. A spook in place shows a horse able to control their emotions. This can go a long way to helping a fearful rider.
Have a question about fear and riding? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll answer it in a future column.