The back pain I have is my own fault. If I don’t watch my posture it hurts, particularly if I’ve been sitting for a while. If I stop for a moment and get myself standing correctly it goes away. It doesn’t bother me when I ride. However, one thing I’m doing a lot of is standing in the stirrups. Not 2-point. You should be maintaining the straight line from your ears down to your ankles.
I started doing it after attending a Julie Goodnight session at Equine Affaire a couple of years ago. “How to ride until you are 90.” A huge audience and I was one of the babies at 69. It’s good for your core and balance, and I think your confidence also. I was consistent with it for a while but then let it drop out of my routine. When I started back up again I was shocked at the difference it had made.
Now I’m very consistent after a clinic and private lesson with Susan Harris. My horse and I have undergone a complete makeover. We are 25 and 71 respectively. The farrier put him in Avanti shoes which ease his breakover and vastly improved his movement. He’s on Previcox and a joint supplement with soft tissue support. I lost a lot of weight due to a sort of medication washout so I’m feeling a lot skinnier and getting back in shape. Standing is helping me adjust my position in the saddle and helps my posting. Susan added a rear riser pad because his back has dropped quite a bit. My saddle went to the fitter for an adjustment. The entire combination is amazing. She had me doing quite a bit of standing and I was able to do it at the trot much better than I anticipated. I have a new horse and he has a much better rider. We are having a fine time and he’s looks a lot happier, I’m told.
Your horse may be picking up your hesitancy. You can’t get fear or hesitancy out of your mind, It’s wired in now. Don’t try to ignore it. Work on developing some thought patterns which you can do before you get on. Figure out what you can do when she gets wonky. I figured out how to readjust myself in mid-air so I landed on my left butt. Can you find someone else to ride her? If yes, then have them do the more advanced work to keep her in shape and work on the fussiness. When you get on her, do easy stuff, walk, trot, easy canter, while your confidence improves. Don’t let anyone bug you! If you can also ride a quieter horse that should help.
There are some books on dealing with fear and other emotions. The one I like is Riding Fear Free by Laura Daley. The introduction is by Jody Lyons, trainer John Lyons’ 2nd wife who was petrified of horses when they met. It’s set up to train you like you would train your horse. It also has information for trainers and instructors so they understand your issues. That can help so you don’t get pushed out of your current comfort level.
You can tackle this. Plan out your goals and don’t let anyone push you too hard. My horse has “grown out” of most of his spookiness and I have a much better seat to stick with him. This morning a rider was working with a trainer and twice she was headed straight for us. The first time she damn near hit us because she was less than a length away. My horse was preparing to run. She doesn’t start the turn when she should. Second time she wasn’t quite as close. She is a good rider but this explains why she seems to get in other people’s way.