Riding Fear Free Help for Fearful Riders and Their Teachers

The First Step to Riding Fear Free

Fearless: Where You May Have Started

jump out of joy
Were you a fearless rider as a child? Photo by Laura Daley
  • ♦ Are you the type of person who rode hell-bent for leather as a youngster?
  • ♦ Were you the first one to the barn and last to leave at night?
  • ♦ Were you riding a half-wild, rank horses for the fun of it?
  • ♦ Did you feel the need to help the especially difficult horses?

You were fearless. (Not everyone started off fearless, and that’s okay too!) No matter where you start, Riding Fear Free can help!

Fearful: Where You Are Now

What about now? You’re reading an article about Riding Fear Free. Are you exhausted and embarrassed because you are experiencing fears that you never felt when you were younger? Are you having trouble articulating why you are experiencing them now?

If you are experiencing fear and feel ashamed, lost, or alone, Riding Fear Free has your back. It is never easy to feel afraid of the very thing that used to bring you joy and exhilaration…right up until it didn’t. But there is no shame in experiencing fear.

You probably experience fear in other areas of your life, just never around horses. Until now, horses gave you strength, comfort, and joy. So the sudden onset of fear can be overwhelming. It can be extremely difficult for people who were the bravest in the past to overcome their newfound, confusing fears. Because it felt like you were born to ride, you never experienced fear associated with horses. You have never struggled to ride and you may have trouble putting these new feelings into words.

Maybe you tried to share your situation with friends, peers, or coworkers. Your story may have been met with confusion, incredulity, or even a blatant refusal to acknowledge your fears. These responses can drive the fear deeper and can cause, deep-seated depression, shame, and embarrassment. You may even start to avoid riding, or you may do just the opposite and become even more reckless.

Don't hang up your stirrups. You can ride fear free! Photo via One Oak Farm

The First Step to Riding Fear Free

Accept and Welcome Your Fear

You can ride fear free. The first step is to acknowledge your fear. Photo via One Oak Farm

To begin the healing process, you must first acknowledge and accept that fear is normal and even welcome. Fear is the brain’s way of keeping your body safe. Fear can be healthy, even fear of things that used to excite you.

Once you can accept this, you are ready to do the hard work to replace your fear response with techniques and tools for any situation.

Riding Fear Free

For More Information

Learn more about the next steps to building new fear-free memories and processing your emotions in Riding Fear Free.

Laura Daley

Laura has a God-given passion for horses and for helping riders in their horsemanship journeys. She grew up on a large-scale Arabian breeding ranch and has spent her entire life learning about horses. Her first horse-training experiences came as a child, but she never stopped learning. As an adult, she became a Brandi Lyons Certified trainer. Laura firmly believes in continued education and shared experiences, and she often attends clinics with highly respected trainers such as Pat Parelli, Richard Shrake, Ken McNabb, Raye Lochert, and John and Josh Lyons. In addition to her horse training experience, she is knowledgeable about natural hoof care, equine massage, and chiropractic care. She believes in and merges conditioned-response training methods with physical therapies to create a balanced, peaceful, and willing equine partner.