Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Germany- but not German =D
Firstly, what did you know about the horse when you bought it? Secondly, did you vet check it before you bought it? Thirdly, do you have a contract written?
You are NEVER too old to learn, but bumps do hurt more, and no question is too silly, however I would firmly believe you should get a trainer to assist you- help bring the horse on, and your knowledge too.
£1850 is a LOT for a green cob, a lot. The behaviour you have been experiencing is her testing you, hopefully, but get an equine dentist out to check her teeth, a chiro or vet out to check her back, and check her saddle still fits. I'm not a fan of shouting or screaming at my horse, she'd probably walk away from me, but I'm not a fan of whispering to my horse, she probably wouldn't hear me ;D You have to find that happy medium, and being assertive without being aggressive is the way forward, look at some of the threads in horse training to help give you an idea for ground work and lunging your cob.
You can learn by hacking, but I find as a nervous rider myself that gaining control in a school environment easier so then I can teach my horse 'stop' incase we tank on a hack ;D
Honestly review your friendship with this woman, however. Selling a 4.5yo green cob to a novice rider is irresponsible.
I hope you manage to find a solution, that doesn't require you selling this horse and you make it work for the pair of you! Where abouts in UK are you?