Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Illinois www.saddleonline.com
If a different saddle is what it will take to make you feel confident, then by all means, ignore your friends and get what you are comfortable in. I think one thing you need to keep in mind, is that if you are terrified and nervous before you even get on, she is going to be tense and nervous as well, which will make her more inclined to spook and dash.
If you think calm, happy thoughts, she will realize its all ok. If you are perched up there picturing the last time she spooked and you fell off, she is going to feel that and be thinking "good god, if she is terrified, I should be too! are there alligators over there or something?"
Picture how you want your ride to go in your head. Picture a calm, relaxing ride with no barrels/ alligators :p and keep your head up, shoulders back and BREATHE. It sounds like she is feeding off of your nerves, so even if you truly are nervous, fake it! plaster a smile on your face, tell silly jokes to your instructor, sing a song, just do something to get your body to relax.
I was giving a lesson to a give on this huge spazzy warmblood- he was all but running away with her, spooking, etc. She was getting more and more stressed and worked up, so he was too. I put her on a 20M circle and made her sing to me- (twinkle twinkle little star lol) she focused on singing, her body relaxed, horse heaved a huge sigh of relief and worked like a dream.
Best of luck!
"Riding: the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground."