I am so completely frustrated with myself. I have been riding for about 20 years now, I used to event, foxhunt, game, trail ride everywhere, pony club, everything. I'd have no problem getting on ANY horse broke or not, hang off the side of a galloping horse for mounted gaming, or maybe jump a 3" fence bareback. Now I am terrified just getting on my horse and walking him aroud the yard. My fiance gave him to me in November. I've ridden him maybe 5 times, which is horrible seeing I used to ride daily. I just "rode" him today.. lasted about 10 minutes. Its like I have an anxiety attack just thinking about getting on, the whole time I am tacking up my chest is so tight. I force myself to get on, walk around a bit in the yard. Five minutes in my horse bolts, takes me about 20 feet to turn him and about 10 circles to even stop him. Then of course we are just both on edge after that. I just walked him in a few more loops until he stops trying to bolt, then get off because I am trembling so bad. Its so competely ridiculous. Then I untack and con't help crying for 20 minutes because I feel so mad at myself.
I should have gotten an OLD as dirt school horse that wouldn't even think of taking off. But no.... I have a 6yro OTTB, huge mistake. He's not the only horse I've been terrified of. I sold my QH over the summer, he was the spookiest thing. Seems like I have only felt this way for a year or so. I had a bad fall off of colt I was breaking 2 summers ago and ever since I haven't gotten my nerve back.
I've been just riding in "safe" areas, and have been just keeping it at a walk (well except the bolting). I wish I had an old guy to just hop on until i'm comfortable, but I don't. I don't want to give up riding, but I don't want to have an anxiety attack everytime I pull my saddle out! Not to mention its terribly embarrassing to even admit to being so frightened!
Being scared is completely normal! They are 10 times your size, the injuries they can cause can be fatal AND you've already had a few bad falls. IN all fairness, I can see why the poor guy bolted-if you were scared it would have translated in your riding which would have scared him. One of those things where you are going to be feeding each other.
Would you be able to send him for training? Maybe put up an add for a free lease, or free rides and have someone else put some miles on him. Would you have access to some lessons, in a controlled setting on a horse who is experienced with more nervous riders?
You know, I know it was a gift, but sitting down with your honey and explaining the situation to him shouldn't hurt his feelings. When it comes down to it, it's a safety issue for both you and the horse, and if it's more stress than fun-then you shouldn't be putting yourself through it.
Start off slow and take baby steps. It sounds like you're a true horse person at heart so horses are for you, you just got to take it at the right pace.