Might I just say, regarding getting rid of your 'soul mate' - the BEST thing that EVER happened for my riding was losing my bolter. He was a bolter because I made him that way through my own lack of experience. I got over my head, gave him to Mum (who fixed him) and when he was ready for me and I was ready for him we started to work together again. But I was struggling with a green horse that I didn't know how to train, that just wasn't going to be ready to show any time soon, and I wanted to show (still do, but I'm not going to until my coach says I'm ready).
Now, I have a horse that HAS the training. He's a challenging sort (being an anglo arab with a history of abuse and neglect - I got him from the lady who rescued him) but he knows what he's doing and so I can learn and start showing as soon as I have the confidence again, instead of having to train/re-train my horse to do it. My anglo is also making me a much better rider than I ever was before, because if you ask wrong, he doesn't respond.
Yes, Monty's the best thing that EVER happened for my riding. Monty's also the catalyst that made me pull my socks up and get a new coach, so although we've had our difficulties, we'll get there. And had I not lost my bolting idiot, I wouldn't have got my gorgeous anglo arab, and I wouldn't be anywhere near ready for a foal. Without my amazing support network, I still wouldn't be anywhere near ready, but I have multiple extremely experienced horse people RIGHT behind me supporting my decision, and will be organising weekly lessons with a groundwork coach who can guide me with my girl's training right from the day she gets here. Groundwork lessons which my extremely experienced mother (who has worked at multiple thoroughbred studs doing yearling prep) will be watching, and which she will be reminding me of if I do something not-quite-right. My mother will be watching me every time I handle my girl, so I definitely have a coach hanging over my shoulder every step of the way (she used to run riding lessons for kids on the 12.1hh welshie we had, but when I outgrew him, and we sold him, we decided not to get a bigger pony. Ponies are a pain to manage!)