I've been riding for about two and a half months, but lately I realized how scared I was of horses because of what happened at my last lesson:
As I was going to bridle my horse, she started to walk out the door into the stable. This horse is 16 hands and the lead mare! Having nothing but the reins around her neck and being a tiny 14 year old, I was freaking out because I knew if she wanted to gallop back to the pasture, there would be nothing I could do about it. I'd never forgive myself if she ran off and broke her legs because the bridle tangled her up...
Luckily, my instructor and another girl who had been riding for years were just around the corner and helped me out of the situation.
After that, I was really shaken. For the first ten minutes after, I just wanted to leave horses and never look back. Once we started with our lesson, I began to feel good again. But I'm still REALLY nervous my lesson horse is going to walk off again, and this time, my instructor might not be there to stop her. (However, I think I'll put her in the middle cross-ties, facing away from the doors, so she doesn't get any ideas.)
How do I build my confidence? The horse I ride, Goose, really matches my riding style, we even came in sixth at my first show! I just get really, really nervous handling her. She's never bitten or kicked me, (she has threatened to kick while picking her hooves, another confidence-crusher.) but at my last stable, the horse I rode wasn't allowed to be tacked up by riders because he kicked, bit, and was girthy. I rubbed his neck and he tried to bite me, which I why, (I'm guessing) is why I'm terrified around a horse's head! Goose is one of the three beginner's horses. She is very calm, and is better to tack and groom (in my opinion) that the other two beginner horses. One I cannot stand riding (She fights my hands and doesn't match my rythm), and the other has tried to nip me several times.
So, what do you do think I should do to build my confidence? Ask if I could ride a super-compliant horse? Get the instructor to stand by while I tack and groom?
Thanks for all your help, horse forum-ers!