Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: I'm an American girl living in southwest France
You've asked for advice and not admonishments (which I'm sure are very discouraging), so here is mine:
1. Sit down with your parents with a written-out list of things to discuss. I know with my kids, if they act mature, I'm more likely to listen, and planning out your discussion is a maturity thing.
Explain how you've done the work with your horse, done research online about the horse's behavior, asked for expert advice, and how you've come to the conclusion that you should have bought a horse that was older/calmer.
Explain that you made a mistake by purchasing the wrong horse, by not testing the horse properly, and that because you are concerned for your safety, you need to fix the problem.
2. Show them your plan for fixing the problem.
This could be (a) advertising for a trade online. There's probably a kid out there way more advanced than you looking to "trade up" while you're looking to "trade down". This could cost nothing; (b) advertising to sell the horse outright and use the money to buy a more appropriate horse. This could also cost nothing; (c) offer a lease for the horse to a more experienced rider in exchange for riding lessons or training for the horse and you. This could cost nothing as well.
3. Show them how this experience has taught you a lot and that it's all part of the world of equitation, that it does happen even to experienced riders that they just end up with an unsuitable horse. There is no shame in making a mistake, only in not fixing it once you've realized it exists.
4. Emphasize that there are two main issues at stake: (a) Your safety. Explain how you could be hurt by this horse, very seriously; and (b) Fairness to the horse, a living creature you respect and have the responsibility for.
Explain how horses that are with riders who are not enough for them quickly go downhill with their behavior and attitude. Horses aren't happy when they don't have a human who can lead them. It's not fair to either of you that the bad match will create an unhappy environment for both of you.
If my child came to me with a rational, well-reasoned argument for getting a different horse, I would listen. But if I got the impression that my child was just being a whiner, I wouldn't. That's how parents are, and in your case, it's how parents who don't know about horses will be. Owning and riding a horse is a pretty grown up thing, so show them how grown up you can be.
If all the above fails, I would find someone who will trade you lessons and training for your hard work mucking out stalls, grooming, cleaning tack, etc. Or just go to different barns and ask people who know what they're doing for tips and help. You could probably find someone willing to help for free being that you're a kid. I find that horsey people are generally very kind and generous when someone is in need.
“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare