I'm sure that Zeke is very capable but I would have nothing to do with a trainer who had such little empathy and understanding of people who take up riding in adult life - though I've had many nervous young riders too on the whole when you are young you just dont see the dangers the way you do as you get older - which is why I did so many dumb and stupid things with ponies as a child.
I have been with horses all my life and now as an older rider - do I want a seriously challenging horse? No I dont. I want to enjoy myself. Let the youngsters have the risky stuff, I've been there and done all of that Thank you. No shame in staying within what you feel to be right for you
Horse smell fear!!!
I have empathy that this is a difficult thing to take up as an older rider, I understand that falling and getting hurt in general is something avoided more as we age. Dealing with horses as a whole is dangerous, I understand that very well. I stand in the camp however that letting yourself walk away from something you truly want to do because of fear is not a very rewarding way to live. This does not mean I expect people to take unnecessary risks, but I do want them to push through the potentially scary situations with help of an instructor.
Catching a lesson horse should not be considered risky, to me if the horse is known to kick out and be rude in the cross ties etc this is a horse who the trainers should be watching and assisting students more with or reconsidering it's suitability to be in the program. However, Nordic himself said he was urged by another younger rider to take on the "more advanced, spirited" horse. Knowing the young girls in my school who I continually remind to stop pushing other students past comfort levels or spreading rumors about a horse's behavior I question if the spirit Nordic has heard about is painting this horse in a bad light and making this situation worse.
Great. So he is supposed to know how to communicate with a horse because...what? He watched a western once?
There is nothing 'natural' about communicating with a horse unless you grew up with them.
A student doesn't pay you to tell them to "Feel the Force". If you aren't willing to TEACH them how to communicate with the horse, you are not a good instructor. Something as small as how you walk up to a horse, put a halter on and lead it away will tell the horse if he should consider trusting you or not. But how is a beginner supposed to learn that, if no one teaches him?
I don't pay my instructors for zen. I pay them to teach me. "Oh great, I get to look like the insensitive young trainer!" If I had hired you to teach me, you'd look like the former young trainer, because I'd drop you in a heartbeat.
OP stated that part of his lesson is to groom, tack up his lesson horse etc before and after riding. To me this means he should have been taught how to properly approach a horse previous to writing this thread.
I'm not a Jedi, I do not preach tapping into an unseen force to magically be able to deal with horses. I am advising Nordic to feel confident in himself and hopefully approach this horse, and all that he meets in the future, without too much fear since it is not beneficial to the situation.
If Nordic was my student and came to me saying the horse he was trying to catch tried to kick him, I would go help him. I cannot give step by step instructions as to how to deal with the horse over the internet however because I cannot see what the horse is doing. I can give advice as to Nordic's attitude when approaching a situation in general, which is what I did. I also advised him to ask for help from the trainer or assistant, not watch a western...he's there to learn but if he cannot ask questions of his teachers, he cannot learn.