I'd like to add to these stories.
I rode for 7 years and only had about 1 fall. I volunteered at a trail riding barn and I would take the horses out and just gallop down the trails. I was absolutely fearless. When I turned 18, I went to college for equine business classes. A girl in my class, I had known from a previous summer camp when we were 12, was in the same program. She since got a farm with a good dozen horses and invited me out to see them. Only one of her horses was trained to be ridden. A standardbred. I jumped on that horse and took off running down the trails like I always had before. When her and another girl she made friends with asked me to help train the other horses, I couldnt say no.
I ended up riding an adorable pony for her first time being saddled. She was a doll. But the other girls were very competitive and wanted these green horses to show that following summer, and jump. All I knew was western, so it was my comfort. But they wouldnt let me ride western mostly. When we took the horses on their first trail ride, the other girls started galloping.. and my pony took off after them, and then jerked to one side, and I fell off the other. After that day I fell another 8 times off that pony. I bailed a few times because the girls pressured me into riding right after my falls when I was nervous and sore. They didnt care at all. All they ever wanted to do was run run run. And on an untrained horse, that wont stop, isnt very smart! Anyways a few times I fell off that pony was because the stirrups on my english saddle came off at a gallop. So ....4 years later after riding my friends appy here and there, and going on a trail ride or 2.. I've decided to take up riding again. I'm trying to put that awful past behind me of 2 arrogant girls pushing me and acting stupid around horses, and im not letting them win against me. I've known horses too long, and the desire to be with them will never leave me.
I bought that foal you see in my picture, to take the time to bond with him, train him my way from the start, and hopefully I wont be so nervous on his back.