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How to Overcome Your Fear of Horse Riding: 10 Tips

Johnny Howard

Horse riding can be a thrilling and fulfilling activity, but it can also be quite intimidating, especially if you have a fear of horses or riding. However, with the right mindset and approach, it is possible to overcome your fear and enjoy the experience of horse riding. Here are 10 tips to help you overcome your fear of horse riding:

How to Overcome Your Fear of Horse Riding: 10 Tips
Scared bride

1. Identify the Root Cause of Your Fear

The first step in overcoming your fear of horse riding is to identify what’s causing it. Are you afraid of falling off the horse, getting hurt, or losing control? Once you know the root cause of your fear, you can start working on overcoming it. [4]

2. Take Small Steps

One of the best ways to overcome your fear of horse riding is to take small steps. Start by getting comfortable around horses by spending time with them, feeding them, or brushing them. Then, gradually work your way up to riding a horse, starting with short rides and gradually increasing the duration and intensity. [1]

3. Wear Protective Gear

Wearing protective gear can give you a sense of security and help alleviate some of your fears. Make sure to wear a riding helmet and a body protector, which can protect your vital organs and some of your bones in case of a fall. [2]

4. Practice Deep Breathing

Practicing deep, steady breathing that follows the rhythm of your horse’s stride can help you relax and reduce anxiety. Try to relax any areas of your body that feel tense. Not only does breathing calmly and relaxing your body in the saddle help to reduce your anxiety, but it will also make you a better rider. [3]

5. Reframe Your Fear

Rather than thinking of your fear as something that’s holding you back and embarrassing you, regard it as a tool that enables you to identify the limits of your comfort zone and helps you stay safe as you work to expand that zone. [5]

6. Wear Protective Clothing

Wearing protective clothing such as a riding helmet, body protector, sensible boots, and even riding gloves can help reduce your chance of injury should you fall. [6]

7. Groom a Horse

One of the most therapeutic activities that anyone can do with a horse is grooming. Brushing a horse’s neck and back over and over can be soothing to both horse and human. If you are ready to have a hands-on experience that helps facilitate overcoming your fear of horses, ask about grooming a horse. [8]

8. Communicate Clearly with Your Horse

Practice communicating clearly and effectively with your horse, making sure he listens to and respects your commands. Groundwork lets you see the world from your horse’s point of view. Learning to communicate nonverbally will strengthen your bond and give you that extra boost you need for show days. [10]

9. Ask for Help from Horse Riding Professionals

Horse riding professionals are often very open to sharing their stories with you and sharing tips on how they overcame their fear, what worked, and what didn’t. Don’t hesitate to ask them for advice and guidance, as they can offer valuable insights and help you build your confidence. [9]

10. Slow Down if You Need to

Sometimes, the trick to dealing with anxiety is to charge on ahead and confront it directly, doing something that scares you. But that isn’t always the best course of action. If you need to slow down and take a break, do it. Don’t force yourself to do something that makes you uncomfortable or unsafe. [7]

By following these tips, you can overcome your fear of horse riding and enjoy this exhilarating activity. Remember, it’s okay to take small steps and ask for help along the way. Horse riding can be a rewarding experience, and with the right mindset and approach, you can conquer your fear and enjoy all that it has to offer.


Overcoming your fear of horse riding takes time and patience, but it’s possible. Identifying the root cause of your fear, taking small steps, wearing protective gear, practicing deep breathing, reframing your fear, wearing protective clothing, grooming a horse, communicating clearly with your horse, asking for help from horse riding professionals, and slowing down if you need to are all effective strategies to help you overcome your fear of horse riding. With perseverance and determination, you can conquer your fear and enjoy this amazing experience.