I have ridden since I was 10 years old. I was never afraid when I began. By the time I was 14 people were having me train their horses for them in low level jumping, cross country and dressage. I continued to ride through my early 20's.
I ended up giving my tried and true best four legged friend away as he was very old and needed a retirement home and my husband and I were moving and had no place to keep him.
By the time I was 28 I knew I had to have a horse again. I purchased my then 6 month old Haflinger filly. I had a blast doing all the ground work with her, then sent her to a trainer for riding and driving training. She came back a very good little mare.
Then I decided my daughters needed a pony, so I did some looking, found a pony and sent it to a trainer for a month. The pony came home and was great. We used her for lead lining and driving.
One day while leading my daughter on the pony all around the park we had taken a short break and my daughter dis-mounted. After a bit she re-mounted and we began to walk home. Out of no where the pony exploded. Rodeo bucking as hard as she could. Even though I had the lead rope, I could not get close enough to grab my daughter off of the pony. My daughter ended up on the ground and the pony spun around and appeared to purposfully stomp on my daughters chest. There were marks on my daughters helmet too, from the pony's hoof. I decided we had a real problem, and that I would work with the pony on driving, not having my children on her. After a few good drives, the pony took off with me on the cart. Nothing I did could get her stopped and I had to bail out. Finally after about 1/2 an hour we were able to catch her.
The fear that was instilled in me, by seeing my daughters' life dependent on what this pony was going to do is terrifying. (my daughter, amazingly was not seriously physically injured).
My daughter now rides the now 7 year old Haflinger mare and does ok. I am more scared than she and it has transfered over to my own riding. I am now trying to find a trainer who can help me to be able to have less fear and trust in my horses.