My mom used to have a boarding barn with plenty of her own horses before I was born. When we lived on enough land to have them again, she surprised me with a horse to help me get over a dog bite on my hand. I was supposed to be using it some to keep it from turning into an unusable claw after it healed. We brought home Romeo, a 16.1, 16 year old TB with the habit of rearing while he was being saddled, formerly a lesson horse and before that, a hunter/jumper champ. I had to use my hand, despite the pain, to brush him, scoop his feed, do basic things like that as I learned to care for him. Together, my mom and I broke him of rearing and we were buds, we would do trails once my hand healed, and hop over small jumps in my western gear. Sometimes a friend would take his standardbred mare and we would go to the training racetrack next door and race. Great times!
After that, I got/trained a barrel horse, then got 2 yearling paints and trained them to halter shows, and after they were 2, I started saddling and riding them. This was all from about 12 - 14 years old. I'd dealt with one dangerous horse, and my yearling mare kicked a few times, but nothing worse than a bruise.
Well, it ended up that someone else's horse kicked my mom right in front of me, double barrels to the ribs. Crushed her ribs, collapsed her lung, I watched her go into shock and get loaded into the ambulance. My mom and I lived alone on a big piece of land in the middle of nowhere. All the animals became solely my responsibility and so was cooking, cleaning, and even had to sleep in her room with her so I could help her go to the bathroom if she needed to. I noticed the fear right away. Every time I saw horse bum I dodged out of the way, even though they were relaxed/had never tried or even thought of kicking.
So the babies were the first to go, first the filly, then the colt. I'm an adult now, and while I will still climb on that unknown horses back, it is with a huge amount of anxiety. Even now when I ride my mares, I will push them and make them do what I need, they don't get away with anything, I know we are butting heads and the anxiety skyrockets again. I have no intentions of sticking to the 18 year old schoolmasters although for my first rideable horse in 2 years I did get a 15 year old, reliable but rusty trail horse, this is something I need to overcome and I think I've spent enough time being a sissy. I trust most of my horses now and have no problem being behind them, but I make sure I carry something with me when I have to feed, because I know they kick at each other and they can't act like fools close to me or around me.
So, that's where I'm at. I would really like to ride my mare around the neighborhood but I'm afraid if she spooked (she is the type to freeze) that anxiety comes right back and I while I push her, I feel like I'm not giving off big, reliable leader vibes.
Sorry for the novel. Tl;dr- Mom nearly got killed by a horse in front of me as a kid and I get easily spooked by them, despite knowing the right thing to do and have trained/worked a dozen horses.
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