If you were in Australia I'd let you ride my coming-four-year-old.
I've put my favourite cousin [who is six and hasn't ridden much] on her. She is extraordinarily quiet. Under me, she's fearless. She's never been quite as relaxed with other riders but I think we can safely assume that's because I started her [STUPID STUPID IDEA I DID NOT HAVE NEARLY ENOUGH KNOWLEDGE OR EXPERIENCE] and other than maybe seven rides all her riding has been done by me. All her training is definitely mine. She's been trained to respond to the way I ride and being a horse that lives to please and is afraid of making a mistake, she's most comfortable when she knows exactly what she's being asked. Any uncertainty [even minor physical differences between myself and, say, a slightly shorter or taller rider] puts her on edge. But her behaviour is always impeccable.
She is my fifth and current horse and if I had a choice in the matter she would be staying with me for another 20 years but unfortunately finances have tightened and I can't justify the expense of a horse I can't ride for more than 15 minutes every two weeks. I won't be able to for quite a long time at the rate my darned knee is(n't) healing. Maybe even years.
Anyway... yes it can be done.
Looking back I acknowledge that it was utterly STUPID of me to take Magic on. I did NOT have the knowledge and what's worse, I was ARROGANT and thought I didn't need help. I have no idea how I survived, short of the fact that my horse, despite all her issues and fears (long story, very very long story, do you have all year?), always had a basically amazing temperament. She had dangerous explosive freakouts out of nowhere but never ONCE did she cause me pain. And I copped more than a few front hooves to the ribs! She could have KILLED me. Would have had she wanted to, or had I pushed her just that little bit harder. But she didn't want to be that terrified, dangerous horse. She wanted to be the horse she is now. I think that's why I never gave up.
I still don't know how I've made it to two years with this horse [less three days] without once being injured because of her. And I won't be. She's not that dangerous creature anymore.
I will repeat it was UTTERLY STUPID OF ME to take her on with the knowledge I had. Would I do it again? Probably not. Not for a long while, at least. And I would DEFINITELY make sure I had one thing I was stupid enough to think I didn't need the first time around - QUALIFIED HELP.
Would I be the person doing the actual starting to saddle again? Yeah, if I knew I could trust my knee. Before I injured it I had two horses lined up as my very first client horses. I've done, to quote my occasional coach, "a darn fine job" with two of them now, two completely different personality types. I like taking a blank canvas and turning it into something beautiful. I am a creator by nature. I've never liked fixing other people's mistakes in my horses and if not for my knee I would never buy a broke horse again because I personally prefer the ups and downs of babies to plugging other people's training holes.
But would I KNOWINGLY work with a troubled horse? Probably not. Been there, done that, I kind of value my life and being out of action due to injury just completely sucks. MY troubled horse wasn't so far gone that she ever hurt anyone. Someone else's might be.
AND NO MATTER WHAT, if I ever train a horse again, I will be working with a darn good coach.
If I get back in the saddle with my knee reliable enough to have one horse in eventing work I will look at taking on another baby Thoroughbred. If I don't, it's steady plodders and trail rides once or twice a week for me.
A CLEAN SLATE FOR THE FUTURE