I understand, too...boy do I.
I've had Journey for 2 years. Since then I've had a torn maniscus in my knee (right after I learned to lope her!), a broken ankle, and a really wonky neck from being rearended in my car. Every time I tell people I was hurt, they say, "Did you get hurt horseback riding?" All these naysayers. Sheesh! No! None of these accidents were caused by my horse! I did twist the knee while leading Journey, but thank God she was there. Boy did I lean hard on her trying to make it back to the office!
To say I've been opposed since I got her is putting it mildly. Every time I've been injured I've lost a lot of my nerve. The worst has been actually this neck injury, because it's a reaggravating of spurring/stenosis issues I've had since I was a young chick. *sigh*
Still, I press on. I ride her in the arena, around the meadows, up and down the road a little. I do lots of ground stuff with her, learning as I go kind of stuff. She's 16, but she's still new to me, and is smart enough to have tried to get away with minor stuff with this novice rider. She's very gentle and safe, it's me that's got the anxiety.
I have a few other great ladies at my barn--sweet and good friends--who are in their 40's and 50's, but none who are a right fit for me to trail ride with right now, which is disappointing. They all are a lot more experienced than me and want to go tearing through the woods and bounding over every log and gully. They sorta pressure me to be at their level and make me feel bad for my carefulness.
I try not to let them get to me, but just enjoy the process of healing up and slowly coming back to riding more. I'm feeling pretty much healed up this winter. I plan, after having another MRI of my lovely neck, taking a few private lessons this spring.
I'll tell you what I tell myself--I'm allowed to go at the speed I'm comfortable with. I will keep spending time with my horse and bonding with her and establishing myself as her leader. I won't let anyone else's pressure or expectations keep me from the joy I find in being Journey's person. Some day, maybe, I'll lope and gallop...I'll just take it one step at a time.
Oh, my. I do go on. I love this forum. I'll be pulling for you. You're fortunate to have a hubby who rides and encourages you.