Hi - It's me again.
I have another request for feedback and advice. About a month ago, at the encouraging of one of the younger riders at my barn, I asked about trying a "more advanced" horse. I guess i wasn't ready mentally for a horse with more "attitude" than I was used to.
As part of my lessons, I'm expected to groom, tack-up, un tack, and regroom the horse I use for my lesson. This particular horse was recommended by one of the other riders for me to try, because of his size and more animated spirit. Trouble is, I hadn't dealt with a horse who was "stall possessive" and a bully before. He made me nervous when I first went into his stall, as I am 100% positive he was aiming to kick me. He was mad at a previous rider.
During my untacking, he was relentless in trying to crowd me while I had him on the cross ties. I shouldn't have been left alone with him.
When I mentioned to the head trainer that I was thinking I needed more help/supervision in dealing with him, I think it was interpreted that I was afraid and didn't want to try challenges. Since then, they've kept me with a great, albeit very gentle horse. The younger riders in the barn hint a lot that its interpreted that I'm afraid to challenge myself with "hard" horses. The trainers insisit that's not the case - that its best I get 100% comfortable with techniques and care before I deal with more challenges. One of them hinted that they thought the "spirited" horse really wasn't suitable for me, but I feel like a failure and wimp. BUT, I felt I had to ask for help and not keep quiet.
I guess I'm worried now that I'm being "babied." Only been riding for 4 1/2 months. I'm a 45 year old male. Should I ask them to push me more, or be more patient with myself? Earlier they told me they wanted me riding different horses all the time. Confussed.
Also - while they are very nice and helpful, the younger assistants I don't think appreciate that new, older students might need more supervision and guidance in dealing with ornery horses that need control and discipline. I think they take what they do for granted. Confidence of an older newbie doens't come as fast. It's also harder for us as 40 year olds to ask 17 year olds for help