Please, please get lessons.
Let me tell you about me. I've been riding for 11 or 12 of my 19 years, riding seriously [meaning competitively, though at a local level and very sporadically due to money constraints] for nearly 5 now. 6 years ago I got my first young horse. He was 5 years old but freshly broke and sans jigging I had all the same problems as you. I ended up terrified of him but was still too stubborn and prideful to get lessons. In the end I refused to ride him for an entire year, during which time my mother put training and miles on him, and then when I started riding him again I fixed my relationship with him... but sadly about 6 months after that he started doing strange things, concerning things, like falling randomly to the ground under saddle. We had him looked at by a vet, the decision was made to retire him, and in the end due to him not being marketable and us not being able to afford to keep a horse we weren't really using for anything [he was by then no good as a pasture puff as he kept beating up our other horses] he was euthed.
Anyway. I was too stubborn and too prideful to learn from THAT experience. Though I did buy an educated horse around when Latte retired, I had... ALL the same problems again, except this horse was faster and I got badly hurt coming off him. And I only got lessons because Mum told me if I didn't I wasn't allowed to ride off the property anymore. Long story short I learned that a lot of the bolting [not all] was my fault, how not to cause it, and how to deal with it when it happened. Those tricks didn't work on my horse at the time, because he had learned he could ignore his bit, so I did have to step it up [but I do NOT recommend this on a young horse - my boy was older and very much set in his ways], but by the time I sent him on lease a few weeks ago he was back in a snaffle for everything, because I had learned to be more effective and he had learned he had to listen. I stopped lessons when I stepped up the metal in his mouth because my trainer, not understanding my nerves or what I was feeling from my horse, was very anti me using more than a snaffle. I've only had a few since.
Using what I learned from my time with Monty, I have since broken my current horse to saddle, a 3yo Thoroughbred filly, with only very minimal help. This is NOT an ideal situation and I guarantee you I have left some big holes in her training [if I only knew what they were so I could fix them!] but after three years of riding a horse that was dead to pretty much every aid I knew what I did NOT want to allow her to develop and so she is light and responsive and has a VERY good stop. I seem to have made her lazy, but that's okay, because she does perk up and go when asked. I just have to work for it, but that's nothing new! I haven't HAD a non-lazy, non-quiet horse. Mostly because I refuse to ride a hot, jiggy, half-feral nutcase. They get trained to stand quietly before they get trained to move!
My beautiful little Thoroughbred is the best horse I've ever had but full credit goes to HER for how good she is, because quite honestly I do not and did not have the experience to deal with training my own horse without qualified and experienced supervision - and I have, as I said, about 6 or 7 years of experience on you.
Last edited by blue eyed pony; 11-11-2013 at 11:25 PM.