Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Chester county, PA
• Horses: 0
Glad to hear you were able to get back on and work through the kicking issue. This is exactly what your mare needed.
I would agree with the general theme of the discussion here - start with getting confident with your ground work, and when you ride, try to set yourself up for success, meaning do things and ride horses that you know you can handle - this is how to build confidence.
Here is my take on the "bonding" issue that has been tossed around. I believe we can bond with our horses and will have more success in training if we do. I'm not talking about anything "woo-wooy" here, to me a bond means that the horse trusts you because you handle him in a consistent way, and that he can look to you as someone that provides comfort and safety. Example - when one of my horses is alone in a paddock and is running around screaming for her buddies, I can walk into the pasture and she will immediately calm down, walk over to me and start eating grass again.
If a horse feels comfortable and relaxed in your presence while still being respectful this is a great start and from your original post it sounds like you have this. Now even though I believe that horses are more than livestock and are very intelligent and emotional beings that we can bond with this does not mean that an inexperienced rider can just ride a young horse simply because they have "a bond." Horses are prey animals and very reactive, so instincts will take over when they feel afraid, threatened, or confined.
It sounds like you are taking some great steps to work through your horse issues and become a better horse person but do follow the advice already given here - continue working with your trainer and if they ever level and tell you that you are overfaced by a horse, listen and take their advice!
Keep up the good work!