Kevin --- I totally understand where you are coming from. And I know you're probably right.
So I finally squeezed out of the lady that she bought her 3 years ago?? Which wasn't the story I got from her the first time... She said due to a divorce, she had to keep her in a pasture at a facility, where she had free-roam for the last 3 years. A little bit of handling on the ground, and hand-fed... that's about all she's ever had since the owner's had her.
The owner did tell me that she's had a horse since she was 12, and has always ridden, but was one of those "I've been taught by my neighbor who thinks she knows EVERYTHING about horses..." blah blah. So the things she learned were not correct. She did tell me she is not afraid of the mare, and wants to rise to the mare's level, but she needs some help learning the correct way to cue and release of pressure.
I told her I was concerned with her children getting on her at this point, and she said she understood, but continued to reference that her kids will be showing her this fall... (maybe she'll be able to get her up to par... but only with a lot of help if she plans to do it herself...) and I know I have no say in what she does. She told me her 14 yr old sticks to one like glue... but there again, what happens if she gets herself into a goofy situation and doesn't know how to handle it? I don't care how sticky she is, she could still get hurt, right?
But anyway, she did ask me if I was interested in riding with her on the weekends... she's in nursing school, but would like something to do on the weekend that would help her ride. I am confident I can offer her the help she needs to ride her mare, and since she asked me for help, I'm not sure how long I should offer to help before I feel like an "instructor" and it becomes more of a job... I just want to get her to a level she can manage her horse, but I also don't want to end up being the "free instructor" you know? How will I know when to draw the line?