We've been taking riding lessons for a couple of years at a local ranch. We started off on dead broke horses, not seeing as much progress as we would have liked to. I'm convinced that we get "moved up" as our abilities improve, but they won't come right out & admit to it. I "moved up" a lot faster than my wife did, and it was a little discouraging for her. We "finally" got moved up to "more interesting" horses. My wife was paired with a horse that had some issues, which she worked on admirably and made a LOT of progress with. She was *really* getting into that horse and enjoyed riding/teaching/learning with her. The lease on that horse expired and unexpectedly, was taken back by it's owner. It was just *gone* one day when we went to ride. She was put off badly, didn't even get to say goodbye :( She started on another "horse with some issues" and has been making progress but the "connection" just wasn't there with this animal. She sucked it up & took it in stride, expressing that she'd rather be "working on something" than just riding a pack mule around.
We went up to the ranch last night and they had another new horse (who they got because it's owner said it was crazy). They knew the horse wasn't "crazy", just mismatched- or they wouldn't have taken it. The horse was kinda nervous, hasn't settled into it's new home yet but my wife was asked if she'd like to try him. She didn't hesitate. She saddled him up and went for a solo in the arena. Once she was mounted, we backed waaay off & let her have her space. She rode for about 1/2 hour, until it was getting dark.
Now let me tell you, this woman, who didn't think she had a lot of confidence, got on that horse and PUT. HIM. THROUGH. HIS. PACES.! He tried a few "little tricks", she corrected him & just kept right on going like nothing happened. From a distance of about 100 feet, she looked like a very confident, knowledgeable trainer. She moved him all over the place on leg pressure alone, side passed him, half passed him, backed him, disengaged his for end & hindquarters, changed gaits using *only* her seat and no telling what else that was indiscernible at distance.
While we were sitting back in the shade watching, I couldn't count the number of times our teacher said "O.M.G., I didn't know that he/she knew how to do that". After she put him up & came back to the peanut gallery our teacher's only comment was "Looks like you just stole another horse from me" (with a big grin on her face).
Things are looking a lot brighter on the horizon