I've been riding for over ten years now and used to ride every day. I had a horse I would ride ALL over..for awhile he was staying at a sort of mountainous property and our "arena" was a hilly little gravel path around her property and we'd gallop down that path and jump over logs, I'd ride him all over the trails behind her house and he'd happily go wherever I told him, but even when he was afraid I never was. From time to time we'd trailer the horses down to the beach or out to some public trails and he'd be a little nervous at first but I could handle it well.
Then I moved him over here to my current stable and I'd be out every day riding him, working on anything and everything I could think of from reining stops to collection to bareback and brideless..I was truly loving riding and I like to think I was as good as I could have been at it. I'd even sit his very rare bucking sessions and random decisions to take off running like a maniac without a bridle on..haha
I felt like nothing could possibly phase me.
Towards the end I got a pretty bad non-horse related injury that kept me out of the saddle for about six months, and maybe it made me a little bit more aware of the chances that injuries could happen, but after it I went back to riding the same as always so I figured I was mentally unharmed by it.
I eventually decided to pursue an actual discipline and I chose jumping (though now since all of this and general change of interests I've switched my sights to dressage), but with that decision I decided that it was time for me to finally make a late graduation from large pony to horse, so I made the tough decision to sell the little guy back to my friend (who now lives much further away) and purchase a horse that could help me learn to jump.
So I found a horse that seemed suitable. Kainne is a 13 year old 16hh TB gelding who is really very sane for a TB..but he still is a TB if that makes sense. He's in no way bombproof, but he's mellow and does clearly have experience. He was ridden and jumped by a timid kind-of-beginner rider and carried her well. He does carry me well, too, I have to say..BUT.
When I brought him home I was fine. His trot is a lot bouncier than I'm used to so I didn't ride it much and saved that mostly for my first lesson. So I took my first lesson and my trainer had us trot along on a lunge line while I worked on getting in better tune with his trot. It was going well, I believed, but as she told him to pick up the pace (he was being lazy) he thought he was supposed to pick up a canter so he did, and I tensed up because I wasn't paying attention, then we both asked him to stop and he sort of slammed on the breaks..he has some pretty good breaks on him. I flew, I guess. I got hurt pretty bad, it was my sacrum..couldn't "get back on the horse" that day for sure. Or for quite awhile. So guess what happens when I do get back on? Of course, I'm nervous as hell. But I push myself to keep getting on..and I do, until eventually I can ride him around okay, a little nervously at first but I settle down and we do fine. But I just can't get to that trot. I just can't get myself to do it. I've switched totally back to the western saddle for now until I can calm back down, but it's still not quite enough to get trotting. Well, not on him. I've ridden my former horse a few times and it was like old times, as though nothing had happened. I've even ridden my mom's horse (a rescue who was severely abused before and doesn't trust a human on earth except for my mom so he's really nervous if I ride him) So it really is just this horse. This one horse, who is actually really sane and well-behaved. He really is actually safer than the other two, which is the funny thing.
Anyway, I've been avoiding my trainer because of the sheer fact that people watching me riding makes me nervous now. I feel like I have to be doing everything perfect. I used to ride all over the place and had no issues no matter who was there, but I used to be able to RIDE. But I know this is a stupid issue I need to get over because she's a really great trainer..she's very patient and kind with just enough "push" at exactly the right times, never before you're ready. And I'm pretty sure she understands very well just what I'm going through right now, so it's really dumb of me not to have already just talked to her about it..I'm sure she would be more than willing to let us amble around in the western saddle and get me back in the right frame of mind so that I can ride like normal. I've decided that for sure I'm going to contact her ASAP and schedule a lesson.
But at the same time I'm just SO annoyed with myself. I haven't taken a single lesson since I was about 10, I've never relied on a trainer. Any obstacle I reached I would cross on my own. I just think at 17 I'm too young to have so much unrealistic fear of a horse. I've never been afraid of a horse before in my life. I was always the one who would get on all of the crazies. Awhile back I came about an inch away from buying a bit of a wild mare who was horribly mismatched with her owner at the time and because of that had a really bad bucking habit that I was going to work with her on, and I could have because the same thing happened to a slightly lesser extent with my former horse and the only reason I didn't buy that mare was financial.
So just looking back at everything, I just get SO frustrated. Sometimes when I'm sitting here thinking I wonder if Kainne and I are just mismatched, but at the same time..when I'm with him I don't think that for a second. We get along great and I've really fallen in love with him. On the ground not a thing he can do phases me, just once I'm on his back I'm a different person and he knows it and is less sure of himself, too. It's become this huge disaster and I just need to work with my trainer ASAP.
It's just awful though. I've come to treat him like an entirely different species than other horses. Other horses I'm never afraid of, just him. Just because of a stupid accident that wasn't even his fault. I get so upset thinking about it. I just wonder how I became the horsewoman I am right now, after everything I've been through. I swear it's driving me crazy..
But I guess I'm not really looking for any advice, only support. I know just what I have to do and that is to buck up and get back to work with my trainer, so I will be doing that.
But anyway, I'm sorry for ranting on like this, I just have a lot pent up I guess on top of my usual tendancies to go on way too much.. if anyone actually reads through this they are an absolute saint and I thank them a million times over.