Sometimes after a bad fall, your confidence needs some rehabilitation.

By Steph Lintner

ECOGOLD Flip Pad Contest: Entry 17

I have been riding every summer since I was 5 years old. Horses were always a passion of mine, so I tried to spend as much time around them as possible.

I started western and liked it but when I was around 12 years old, I took an English lesson and figured out what I REALLY liked doing… jumping! I took as many lessons as I could that summer and the next two summers after that. All this was taking place at a family member’s house where I stayed for my summer vacations.  After I came home from the third summer riding English, I decided I really wanted to do more. Since my parents couldn’t afford riding lessons for me, I started working for lessons. Unfortunately for me, that turned out to be a big mistake – one thing lead to another and I suffered my worst riding accident ever. I was thrown from the horse and then stepped on. It caused me to become fearful when riding, even though I did get right back on after the accident.

For the first year after the accident, I knew I still loved horses and wanted to ride, but the fear in the back of mind stopped me from progressing and I spent every ride on the lunge line or the small ring. I also did not jump that year because I was too nervous and it took me that whole year to gain some confidence back. Thankfully though, year two was progressive as I started getting my confidence back and started jumping again. I have only done a few shows and won in every class I entered which made me feel like I was a good rider and my accident was just that – an accident. It seemed like I would finally be able to move on, and really progress in my riding.

It has now been 13 years since my accident and I still love horse, riding and jumping. I now rescue and re-home horses and train using natural horsemanship and do lots of at-liberty work.

You don’t get where you’re going without a few bumps in the road. Hopefully this encourages someone not to give up just because of rough patch, because you can make it through.