Thanks everyone for some really good suggestions and Rob, it's nice to know that there are honest people out there in the equine world. I know there is..they're just hard to come by.
Living in an area where there in a trainer on every corner, PP right down the street and just about every discipline known makes it more of a challenge. The first horse I had since moving here was the qh and I found him from taking reining lessons at a barn not far from home. I had a blast!! This was a seasoned wp horse that for me, was big...15.3 (I'm a shortie..5' nothing) but we clicked. I took lessons twice a week for about six months before this horse came into the barn. I rode him in a few lessons, asked why he felt like he was "pitching" more in one direction than the other and was told he was a little stiff. When purchase time came, I wanted a vet I'd met and liked that wasn't familiar to him..I wanted xrays and bloodwork, the horse was a lot of money. Being naive and trusting, I allowed his vet, but insisted I be there. Got a call the vet check was done, horse passed with flying colors. Got him home 2mnths later and big surprise, severe lipping in the right hock. They'd buted and given injections and it finally wore off after about a week of having him home. From there it was down hill.
I found another wp trainer to come to the house for lessons with this horse..she taught an equestrian program at a college near by. She found the lameness in this horse. When I couldn't get this horse to side pass..he was ready to blow up after 30 min. Of her yanking on his bridle, getting angrier by the minute with the both of us, jabbing him in the ribs, yelling at me, (I kind of freaked when she wanted us to sidepass into a giant banana spider) she told me I shouldn't have a horse but to get myself an f'ing goldfish instead. I didn't schedule another lesson, but she came back the following week and was po'd when I asked her to leave.
That was the beginning of it all. It got worse from there. As for just getting a horse and riding, the problem is, I don't have direct access to trails. After work, if I wanted to just ride, it means taking a ride along the swale in the neighborhood..dodging cars, motorcycles, dogs charging the fences, you name it.
I own a business so there's no time to hook up and haul out except for on Sundays and Mondays, my days off, which doesn't always jive well with others schedules. The biggest problem is my total lack of confidence. My thought is to find an instructor and see how it goes.
I did have a wonderful dressage instructor, who taught me a lot! She doesn't have lesson horses available to her anymore. We became, I thought, really good friends. Oddly, as soon as I sold my horse, she no longer returned my calls. So, I think I was more of a paycheck, than a friend.
The average lesson around here ranges from $35 an hour, which is cheap, and I've paid as high as $110. Did that ONCE..didn't ask the price before the lesson never dreaming it'd be that amount
I'm sorry if I'm wining...I'd like to put my toe in the water again as I'm literally, surrounded by horses and I miss them. Nothing is as relaxing as grooming, fussing, spending time and even shoveling poo, at least to me.
Oh, as for finding somebody with a show record..those trainers are looking for somebody that wants to show seriously, not a middle aged woman who isn't going to bring them lot's of ribbons and other clients into their barn. Those trainers and only nice to checkbooks..at least from what I've seen.
This might sound like an odd question...bear with me...but do you all take off your jewlery before you go looking at a horse or to meet with a trainer/instructor? The reason I ask is, most of the time they'll ask what I do for work..I tell them I own a jewelry store and I see some raised eyebrows. Don't know if they're seeing dollar signs or not..don't I wish there was some validity to the thought we're well off!!