I have wanted a horse all my life, and at age 16, my dream came true. I got a job and earned the money to buy and take care of an amazing OTTB, Light The Dawn, aka Jethro. I took "online riding lessons". I would ride, send in the video, get critiqued, and try again. Not the best method, but my town is 120 miles from anywhere, and the only other horsemen in the area have abusive methods, and don't believe the horse deserves to be comfortable while riding. My horse and I were learning entry level Dressage.
Unfortunately after nine months or so, some of the locals (who mainly race their "money machines" were complaining about how im wasting a good racer. My stuff started getting stolen, locks cut, gate getting opened, etc. Basically I think they were aiming for me to get fed up and sell him so they could make him a racer again.
After they started abusing him, I decided selling him was the best option. He is now safe and happy 200 miles away (take that local jerks!).
He meant so much to me. He brought me out of a dark place when no one else could. He gave me a reason to get up in the morning, and something to look forward to. Maybe someday I'll get him back. He has been through a few homes since leaving me..