Accidents happen. Those of us that enjoy active hobbies – and especially hobbies such as horse riding, where we have to trust another being and can never be in complete control of the ride – are eventually bound to fall or have another kind of accident.
For the most part, these falls are small, don’t cause injury and we’re ready to jump straight back on. Sometimes, however, a fall is more serious. You might sustain physical injuries that mean that you can’t ride for a while. You might also be shaken and find that your relationship with your horse has changed, and your confidence has deserted you.
The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the end of a cherished hobby and important relationship. Here are some of the things that you can do to restore your confidence, and health, so that you are ready to get back out there.
Accept and Adapt
Fear isn’t logical. You know that while falls and accidents are part of riding, serious incidents are unlikely. You know that if you take care, you are unlikely to get hurt again. But knowing this doesn’t remove those doubts and worries. Don’t try to talk yourself around. Instead, try to accept what has happened and how you are feeling. Acknowledge your fear and try to take steps to conquer it, just like you’d try to help your horse with any fears that they might have, such as loud traffic.
Care for Your Mental Health
It’s probably a given that you’ll need to get treatment and support for any injuries that you’ve sustained. Often after a riding accident, we need to rest, receive physio, and build up fitness and strength slowly.
But you might not be prepared for the toll that an accident and being away from one of your favourite ways to relax can have on your mental health. As well as a loss of confidence, you may also feel stressed out, anxious, and even depressed.
So, it’s important that you give yourself time, and that you find other ways to relax, whether that’s playing online games, reading, writing, or practicing another creative hobby, or finding new ways to exercise. Some people even find trauma counseling useful.
Find New Ways to Stay Fit and Healthy
It’s common to lose fitness while you are out injured, and that’s okay. But, if you find ways to stay fit and healthy, without doing yourself more harm, you can minimise this and ease your recovery. Speak to your doctor about your best options, but walking, swimming and yoga are common choices.
Visit the Stable
You might not be able to ride for a while, but it can still be a good idea to visit the stable, spend time with your horse, and stay part of the community. This eases trauma, helps you to maintain relationships and can make getting back on much less of a big step.
Riding can be a lifelong hobby that keeps you fit, mentally healthy and happy. One bad fall can be a knock, but it certainly doesn’t have to be the end of your journey.