Young girl on a pony at sunset
Confessions of a Timid Rider,  Equestrian Life

Can A Timid Rider Be Converted? 


For me, being a timid rider is a personality trait. I’m careful, I’m overthinking, and prefer to take the slow, steady approach. 

My daughter was different. When she started riding at age 6, she was extremely timid. Unlike other children, she knew she could get hurt and was wary. Her first canter was an accident (like many others) and she panicked, resulting in her first fall. 

For a time, she needed to rebuild her confidence

She spoke up for her needs with her trainer, who agreed to go at her pace. She was supported and never made to feel “less than” because she was worried. 

Over the years, I’ve watched her blossom and grow as a rider. Her trainer and others at the barn would remark how “soft” and “quiet but firm” she was. I couldn’t be more proud. 

She sat me down after her second season of IEA and said she wanted to ride and show more. As a horse girl myself, I was ecstatic. As a parent who has to pay for it- less than ideal. But if my husband and I could give her the opportunity I never had growing up? Priceless. 

Now, she’s riding a pony with a lot of forward momentum and little brakes. She’s laughing and happy when she makes an error, and learns from it. She’s ridden bucks, green ponies, and large horses with canters that bounce her out of the seat. 

And while larger horses may intimidate her temporarily, she always swings a leg over. She’s no longer timid or unsure. 

So yes, a timid rider can be converted if they are set up for success. If the trainer lets them work through things without being made to feel as if they were lacking in skill, and if given the opportunity to blossom. Still, some of us may always be timid, and that’s okay.  Everyone has their own journey- the most important thing is that we have fun.

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