I have experienced, and still am experiencing some of what you are going through. You are not alone in your desire or your frustration.
Two things that I think are worth thinking about.
1- Be a cautious buyer/leaser. Look at hundreds of horses if you have to. Because, ultimately, finding the right one for you is worth the time and effort. Test ride them extensively, have vet checks done before you buy, etc. And try to steer clear of low-priced animals. Those are often the ones with issues that sellers are trying to get rid of, labeled as a "good deal!" when in fact, the horse is a bucker/biter/whathaveyou. Number one rule [for me anyway] when it comes to horses: You get what you pay for. It sounds like you're having a hard time finding a reliable mount, and in that case I'd turn my attention to farms that breed and train their horses. Especially if you're a trail rider. These animals are $3000 and up for a reason - because people take the time and effort to turn them into confidence building, gentle, and reliable animals. If I had the money, that's most certainly where I'd go to find myself a good horse. If you can afford it, I encourage you.
2- Buying books, reading forums, working with a trainer... all wonderful things! I commend on you on your efforts. The best thing you can do as a horseperson, however, is master your leadership skills. Do not be afraid of correcting your horse, of backing him/her or doing circles until they decide to behave, of utilizing a crop or a whip if you have to. Own your space, and then invite them in. OOZE confidence, and they will seek to follow you. I know, maybe easier said than done. Some days, I still struggle. It's easier to become a confident rider/handler on a horse that isn't going to constantly challenge your authority, also. Which brings me back to number one.
I know some days it feels like nothing you do is right. Throwing in the towel is appealing. I've certainly felt that I'm not cut out for this lifestyle. Please, don't let a couple bumps in the road deter you. The mistakes you make now are actually invaluable learning opportunities. It WILL get better. All in good time.
We drink to our youth, to the days come and gone; for the age of oppression is now nearly done.
Last edited by arrowsaway; 05-03-2012 at 10:01 PM.