Love and Fear of Horses

Postby Tuija » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:51 pm

I love horses, and to learn riding them would be so wonderful, but I also fear horses. Whenever I go near one the sheer size of him or her starts to scare me more and more, until in end I must get away fast.

Is there way to make that stupid fear go away so I could start taking riding lessons?
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:21 pm

Yes. The solution is pretty straight forward, but dependent on your resources, there is a possible barrier.

Step -1- Get as close to a horse as you can where there is just a bit of apprehension, but not fear. Stay there. Stay there until you are comfortable, then step a bit closer. The horse being in a stall or contained area will help.

Step -2- Once you can get to where you can stand within arms reach, you begin learning to touch and/or pet the horse, working up to petting the horse.

Step -3- Care for the horse. After petting and/or feeding, then it becomes getting comfortable being around the horse in general, helping to groom, maintain, and otherwise be close to the horse other than riding. Putting a saddle on the horse would be included in step 3.

Step -4- Get on the horse.

Step -5-, -6-, and -7-, spend longer amounts of time on the horse, first in confined areas, then eventually out for a ride.

In education, this stepped or phased process is called "scaffolding" where you gradually build the skills, knowledge, and your case fear is an attitude, possibly based on some erroneous beliefs.

In psychology, this type of stepped process is followed in cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT.

The big barrier, is whether or not you have access to horses on a regular enough basis to spend the time required to scaffold your learning. If you are scared of the sea, but you only have access to the sea once a year, then scaffolding or CBT will be pretty darn difficult if not impossible. Likewise, to overcome a fear of horses to the extent you can ride a horse can require spending a significant amount of time around a horse. You might not have that luxury.
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Postby Tuija » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:49 am

Thank you for answer. I am not sure if I can do that so easily, but I am going to ask at stables if I can spend time there.
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Postby laureat » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:01 am

The proposition made how to overcome fear (Richards) has nothing to do with hard or easy

I myself fear horses because i never got close to them before: but those who grow up on a horse farm do not fear horses because they know everything about them : THEY KNOW IT

EXAMPLE: if someone wants to shoot guns: sure will fear about because doesnt know what to expect and if possible accidents : but with the proposition to make gradual progress you start to learn it : and when you know it you dont fear it
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Postby Tuija » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:18 am

ok, thank you
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Postby ChristianKl » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:37 pm

The solution proposed by Richard works but it takes time to work. There's a good chance that a phobia like the one that you describe can also cleared in 20 minutes with the Fast Phobia Cure from NLP and other similar formats.
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