Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
He doesn't sound like a bad horse, and if your instructor has experience training and will help you train the horse I guess its not as bad as it could be. He seems pretty nice, and you really like him.
As far as Hollybee says, I agree to an extent. My first horse was an ex polocrosse pony, he was in his teens but he basically no flatwork/dressage/jumping experience and he was a bit of a nutter. He was way beyond my experience level - which had just been two lessons a week at a riding school. He would spook and shy and everything at first, and I would fall of. He would refuse basically every jump that we went near and at first I fell of. I got thrown into barrels and stuff, which hurt. My shoulder is actually still buggered from one of those barrel hitting episodes - there was a very impressive dent though.
The point is eventually I stopped falling of. I stuck on, I learnt when to pull the head up, I learnt how to move with this, and I learnt to keep my heels down. He injured himself, and while he was out I rode peoples horses who needed exercise, a crazy TB who was impossible and others. I learnt to actually ride a horse, to stay on and you know, not to die. I'm a much better rider for that today.
Still, there were so many times when I was at a show and my horse was spooking at the showjumps (we didn't have real jumps were we kept him) or at the white tape of the dressage arena, or just when he wouldn't flex, or wouldn't pay attention. And I looked at pretty all the other kids with their expensive, shiny, trained horses who were so easy to ride. They just got on and their horse did everything they asked. I knew these kids, I knew that was how they bought their horses, I knew they had new leather saddles while I had a synthetic, and they had floated out where I had ridden. I wanted so much to just be able to ride my horse, and compete without having to fight, or train, or say just say it was better than last time.
Yes, after experience and riding and training we got better, we won things and stuff, but by then I was ready to move onto my next horse. He was an "official" showjumper but was terrified of cattle. Although I loved at the end of a gymkana with PC or something we'd get to the sporting and all these kids would ride out on their 15hand QH or stockies in there sporting tack and i'd always beat them at barrel racing on my 16.1hand TB with a dressage saddle. I think they hated me. That horse could really turn.
Sorry i'm a terrible rambler - what I am getting is that its about what you want. Do you want to get somewhere or do you want to work on something? Do you want to learn about and get better at competing in bending and such, or do you want to learn about training?
I think with your instructors guidance and him being an alright horse you'll be okay, but I think you'll have a lot of work ahead of you.