Dr. Haefner's Corner "Ask the Doc", Question # 7

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I've had so many near-misses when hacking I now fear it more than I do a round of jumps. My horse is as safe as any horse can be on the roads and I know it's good for him to get out of the school but I get to the point of being physically sick at the thought and I'm tense the whole time we're out. Can you give me any advice on getting past this? (Meghann)


Meghann – When we have strong emotional reactions to situations that we know are reasonably safe (or perhaps better stated as situations with acknowledged risks that are well within a range of risk we are willing to accept), problems often arise when we get too far outside of our comfort zone too quickly.  The strategy for tackling fear and anxiety is simple and straightforward.  Find the edge of your comfort zone.  Step slightly out of it.  Stay there until you get more comfortable.  Reward yourself for your courage.  While simple, this strategy is often very difficult to implement.  It is especially difficult in riding because the traditional riding routines, along with other riding culture pressures, do not easily align with the pace, timing and patience needed to transform our experience. (Click on Question Title above to read full answer)

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