I just wanted to share this, as there have been a few threads about nervous riding lately...
I took a long break from riding, from 17 to almost 30, which unfortunately brought me from a confident rider with little fear to someone who wanted off if a horse even picked his head up to look at something.
My first attempt to start riding was at a small backyard barn. Unfortunately, they just didn't have a good horse for me. The older, been there done that horse was really not capable of being ridden for more than a few minutes at a time, and the other "rideable" horse was an OTTB with serious issues from prior abuse. My confidence was getting worse instead of better, I moved on.
The next barn was a great little English show barn. I hadn't ridden English in years but I gave it a try. The horses were excellent, but the trainer just wasn't a good fit for me. While I was making progress with my riding, my nerves weren't improving. I honestly didn't appreciate being yelled at by a trainer after tough days at a stressful job. They also kept moving my lesson time earlier and earlier, which gave me 10 minutes to catch, groom and tack my horse after rushing there after work. It was a blessing in disguise when I lost my job and we decided to move.
I now live in a very rural area, and have found a barn where I am as comfortable with the trainer as I could possibly be. She understands that on a good day I'll feel comfortable loping around the arena, and on a bad day I may just feel comfortable walking. They leased me a wonderful, 16yr old QH mare that is as calm as can be and takes excellent care of me. I love my Snazzy .
They understand that I need to ride alone (there's always someone at the barn) in order to build the confidence I need. I have come a long way in a very short time, and now know that I'll accomplish my dream of having my own horses on my own property.
I'm sorry this is so long, but I thought it would be good to share. Sometimes the situation you're in (barn, trainer, horse) just isn't the right one for YOU, even though it may work perfectly fine for someone else. Take the time and energy needed to find the right situation for yourself, and everything else will happen much more naturally.