Originally Posted by Mary Liz
I feel like I'm getting points on what to do at the lesson but mainly getting freaked out like it's a training ring. Any suggestions on what to do to become more confident in traffic?
The only way to ride safely in a group, is if every single person follows the rules of passing (and can steer). Otherwise, you'll end up abruptly pulling your horse around to avoid getting smashed into, or you have to slam the breaks on several times, or you end up just walking the entire time. The few things that marginally help are to keep your eyes up, and try to see the entire arena all at once. You have to be able to gauge how fast the other horses are going, where your lines of travel will intersect, and be able to stop/turn/go quickly in order to get your horse out of bad situations. It doesn't work on a horse that you're having fear issues on, and doesn't work well with a horse that you don't have full control of at all times.
Just curious, but why are you taking group lessons? I'm not seeing how this situation is benefiting you or your horse.
This to me, this isn't a "how to cope with it" type situation. This is a situation that needs to be changed. I would rather pay for one high priced individual lesson twice a year, than pay less on a weekly basis to get shoddy instruction in a crowded arena where I don't feel safe.