Trail Terror

I go through these phases in my riding where I am absolutely terrified about going out on the trails.  I've just been a big wimp in general lately and have avoided almost all of the areas that might lead to a spook or a bolt, but it's definitely been more noticeable that the woods eek me out.

He's so happy.
In an inverse proportional relationship to my desire to go into the woods is Archie's desire to go exploring.  I often give him his head when we're walking to warm or to cool and he's been lately leading me into his old lane pasture and then looking imploringly at the locked gate.  I opened it one day this week and then opened the other gate to another old pasture.  As soon as I gave him his head, we meandered our way through those pastures, staring off into the woods.

You can see the loose hotwire on the fence.

So I know that my horse wants to go gallivanting back there.  I've spent the past year or so living at a higher anxiety level (because the hits keep coming, let's brace for the next one), which easily translates into my riding and then into my spooky old man's brain.  After he snorted at a completely random construction machine hidden in the woods (wtf, people?) and continued wide-eyed looking around for more monsters, I realized that I might need a little pharmaceutical help (better living through chemistry, to quote Lindsey) to taper down this growing anxiety.  You know, before it becomes a thing.


When the pendulum swings, I love it so much as to have it tattooed on my body.

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13 comments

  1. Beat that anxious beast into oblivion! (Not Archibald)

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  2. The random things that can be found in the woods. One of the strangest things I've come across has to be people dressed up to rpg with plastic swords & elf ears...real random in Lux. You've been in our woods...you can imagine how odd it would be to come across that. Dog walkers & cyclist are usually the height of our encounters

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  3. Ugh anxiety is the worst!! Even on my super-sensible pony I still get random bouts of stupid, stupid anxiety about stuff that has literally NEVER RESULTED IN ANYTHING SCARY, EVER. But my brain thinks maybe, THIS TIME WE MIGHT DIE. Blehhhh. I commiserate!

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  4. I love your trails! They look so fun on a safe trail horse, haha.

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  5. I wish we lived closer so I could explore your trails with you. My Ashke can be snorty and startles when we are alone, but in company he is the best senior trail horse you could ask for. He knows his job is to provide safety and security for his trail buddy and he's really good at it. One of the things that helped me is to realize that even when he is spooky or snorty, he isn't trying to get rid of me, he's just letting me know how he feels.

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  6. Backhoes are not usually fund in woods so I don't blame him for spooking. So random.

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  7. i hate that swinging anxiety pendulum - except the upswings. those are pretty great :D

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  8. you can work through it. I'm sure!

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  9. I have weird "trail anxiety" that has cropped up a few times. I think just the fact that there are so many unknowns on the trail. I say keep going out on the trails - a lot! :)

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  10. I used to get super anxious out of the ring... It's gotten better but not knowing Annie has me still a little anxious. Explore explore and explore some more 😊

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  11. I too have fought the anxiety demons. Even little things like hacking between the paddocks has made me "goochy" in the past. My trainer and the other people I have ridden with never think, "but what would happen if I fall and hit my head on that fence post?". And then there was the time I went galloping down a trail I didn't know because I was told that was how I would get past my cross country issues, lol. Yeah, ok.

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  12. I've always been a bit anxious on the trails (not on xc though). Rico gave me a LOT of confidence out there, and TC is generally pretty good, but every now and then I really feel it on him and it can be pretty crippling. No fun!

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  13. Trail anxiety- I has it too. I look forward to hearing if it gets better!

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