Helping Another Rider with Confidence?
I have been riding for about ten or eleven years now. I started out taking lessons for several years, got my own horse when I was twelve, and I owned her for two years. I only trail ride on my own property, no competing or anything like that. In January, my horse passed away at the age of 30 (though I have ridden other horses, and my family has owned other horses, she was truly "mine" and my companion.) In April, I bought Rebel, who is turning five on the 30th (So excited for his birthday!) We've had a lot of fun together, and our fair share of difficulties, but I'm enjoying putting miles on a new horse. My parents made a good decision getting me a very well-broke, seen it all type horse for my first mount. She taught me a lot, gave me just as much trouble as I could handle, and built my confidence. But now it's been fun to learn with a horse that is a bit more of a challenge.
Now here is the dilemma: I have never ever had riding buddies- I want them desperately. I have no trailer to join in the large group trail rides. So I have ridden alone all these years. Imagine my excitement when some of our relatives drop off a pony at our pasture for my cousin to take care of! I thought I was finally getting a trail buddy- my cousin is a young teenager, but very mature for her age. She's been very horse-enthused for a while, has taken lessons with a very reputable local trainer, and spent hours with my old mare. So I thought that she would hop right on this horse of her very own once it was deemed that the mare was safe.
That was a year ago. My cousin got on the mare once- I think it was in March, and I was leading her around. I rode the mare quite a bit and she isn't dangerous at all- lazy and a little spooky, but one of the safer horses I've been on. She's only about 14 hands and around 15-16 years old.
No matter what I try, I cannot get my cousin on her horse. She'll groom it, bathe it, hold it to be shoed, lunge it, pretty much anything else, but I cannot get her in the saddle. I've invited her to ride with me multiple times, and there is always some excuse. I know that my cousin has never ridden with a bit before (her trainer only taught natural horsemanship) and the mare is used to a bit, but I have ridden the mare in a halter and clip on reins before, and she was fine. I have told my cousin as such.
I'm worried I will have to start riding both horses myself. I haven't had many chances to ride lately, and I really hate for my time to be split between two horses when I still haven't really built my bond up with Rebel.
I have no idea how to help her not be so scared of her own horse. She's had lessons, she's worked with her, and as far as I know, she's never been hurt by an equine. What's going on? Does she like the idea of riding more than she actually likes riding?