Bsms, why freaked your horse out that badly?
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Long story. I had bought her as a horse "perfect for a beginner". Some months after that incident, the trainer I hired concluded she had never been broken to ride. So it was a double-whammy: like any new rider, I was inconsistent with my cues, while she didn't understand what any of the cues meant. She had tried her best, but that day a series of little things - cars backfiring, kids yelling, two-stroke engines, etc - all just completely overwhelmed her. I could get her stopped, but the moment she felt my right leg move to dismount, she'd bolt in terror.
Once I was on the ground, she came to me and just shivered. She ended up going without riding for 8 months while I worked on MY riding, and then I hired a trainer to spend months working with her on HOW to be ridden.
She still has some fears, but 18 months after her formal training started, I'm riding her sometimes off property in an English saddle. I don't remember her last bolt anymore, and we're slowly working out her fears. We've now had 5 years together, and I think I will eventually have an uncommonly good, willing and spirited horse.
From last night's ride in an Aussie saddle...still heavy on the front end, but calming and SLOWLY getting better balance. That applies to both of us!