Have you tried a lunge lesson? I sometimes ask my trainer if I can do a lunge lesson because it gives youtime to think about what YOU NEED to do.. instead of having to worry about the horse so much. I've found out that the "Climbing Rope" exercise helps TREMEMDOUSLY with balance(if you don't know what that is, ask your trainer). And don't give up! You'll never get anywhere if you do. Becoming a good rider doesn't happen overnight, and most of the top riders in the world are 2x's older than you are! It just takes time, practice and consistancy. I can't really relate about your injuries, the most I've had to deal with is a mild concussion, a broken pinky-toe and an ingrown toenail surgery(like 4...on each toe) xD My biggest setback is my weight. It effects my back to the point of not being able to sit down for a month sometimes... But as soon as I was OK to ride, I started right up again! Don't get discouraged, riding horses is a very demanding sport, not just physically but mental too. You can't expect to come back to riding after 7 years and be perfect, it takes time for your body to adjust and your mind to remember all that you've forgotten. Take it slow and relax. You're having fun, remember?
I've had several lunge lessons. The problem is that my balance is so inconsistent. One day I can post and trot with no reins, and the next day I can hardly trot with the reins. My d*** brain is just too screwed up. I'm not expecting to be perfect by any means, but some consistency in my balance would be nice.
Your balance issues are just another challenge along the great road of life. Don't let them dictate what you can and cannot do. It is just something that you have to deal with and fight through. Just relax, take a breath, and take your time and you will get better at finding your balance. Try not to feel your balance through your head but through your thighs and your seat. Something you may consider trying further down the line that I really like to do is riding with my eyes closed. That takes away all the distractions of sight and makes it easier to focus on the horse and his movement and my connection to him. Make sure that you are on a broke horse and your trainer is present though and I would suggest just doing it only in a walk. It may help, I don't know.
Well, I have decided to stick it out for a little longer to see how it goes. I rode last night, and actually was able to trot in my 2-point with no stirrups, while still having my cast on my stinkin' arm. There is a schooling show coming up on April 11th, and I think I'm going to give it a shot. I've never been in a show, and I haven't ridden outside in over 7 years. I'm VERY nervous, and not ashamed to admit I'm a lot scared. Does anyone have any advice to help me get in the right mindset to do this, or am I trying to accomplish too much, too soon? I am only going to be doing adult beginner walk/trot. Any advice would be helpful!
All of us (esp those of us who are adults!) have our "off days" or even off "weeks"! You can't give up if this is something you love in your heart...and you wouldn't be on here posting this thread if you didn't! Don't give up Wendy, you can do this!
I agree with Spastic Dove that a gaited horse might be a great option for you. They are incredibly smooth rides for anyone, but I can't imagine what wonders it would do for someone with balance problems. I think it would really build your confidence - I mean, they really build anyone's confidence.
Best of luck! Just remember, nothing is a losing battle that makes you feel whole - you said that you feel empty without horses. Maybe look into another type of goal you could work toward that involves horses, but not shows. That way, you could ride simply for the pleasure of feeling free; no more worrying about posting and the like. Take an equine massage class, maybe, or something along those lines. That might take the pressure off riding, and allow you to enjoy it, while still giving you a goal to work toward.