I had taken lessons, and owned two horses before I got my 3 year old, but both were pretty well trained horses, and I was under the guidance of a trainer, but I went solo when I got my 3 year old. He was a handful, had been allowed to have horrible manners from the person who abandoned him, and had some conformation issues to boot, but was pretty sweet once the ground rules were laid out. I have no idea how he would have turned out if he had lived, but I got him going pretty nicely, very calm and quiet. I saddle trained the youngsters for a trainer for a couple of years after that, and gained a bit more knowledge, but it was mainly warmbloods and thoroughbreds. I got my 5 year old Arabian a year ago now, and because of lack of/bad handling her first 4 years, I got her as my big project, and again am going solo with her. She's also doing really well, but I have learned even more along the way, and have had to rethink how I'm working with her to get her to progress forwards. I definitely want to continue taking lessons, and learning as much as I can, and I think everyone has something they can teach me, but at the same time, I want to train my mare "my way", without all the confusion of everyone handling her a different way, or telling me that I'm doing it wrong and suggesting 10 different ways to do it "right". When I got my TB mare, everyone in Pony Club decided to tell me that I was crazy, and that she was going to be too much for me, being a TB, but she actually was one of the calmest and easiest horses to ride and work with in Pony Club. I've been riding since I was 9ish, and I'm 26 now. The first several years were basically my friend throwing me up on her barrel racers, telling me how to turn and stop, and then telling me to hang on and not fall off lol. Definitely spent a lot of time picking myself up off the ground, and jumping back on to figure out what I did wrong.