It's also unfortunate I think, with horses and any other thing a person can pursue in life, when you're seeking instruction or advice from a professional only to find they may not be right for you, may in fact be very bad for what you're trying to improve at. But it's hard to admit that when you've invested a lot of time and money and... after all, they're supposed to be the professional right? It's easy to doubt your own judgment in the face of a professional instructor.
There was a short time frame in which my mare decided she was fearful of one of the barn owners (a husband and wife pair, she got iffy about the husband.) I couldn't figure it out, I had seen him work with horses, he seemed firm but fair, maybe a bit boisterous at times but joyful in his work, and all their horses seemed well-adjusted, happy with their jobs, and would follow him anywhere. He did a lot of work with her because I'm a novice, and she came from a situation where she apparently had previous training but hadn't been really asked to do anything in probably 2 years. It was a mystery journey of, what was her training before? What does she respond to? And dealing with some on the ground behavioral issues because she had learned she could throw her weight around and ignore a human on a lead line, and also didn't want her feet picked up. But he always seemed thrilled with her, commenting about how pretty she was, how smart she was, how we were making progress, how good she was at her new job as a "trail horse." I've never heard less than a positive word from him about that horse... Still, she went through a phase where she'd get wide eyes if she was tied and he walked into the barn, swing her butt away from him FAST if he walked around her or at her hip. She'd get hyped up and nervous if he was getting ready to ride her, etc.
I started paying attention to what was going on while I was at the barn. I am the kind of person who is generally concerned if one of my animals takes a disliking to someone and I was really hoping nothing was amiss because I really loved this barn and wanted things to go right. But I never saw anything that led me to believe she'd have a reason to mistrust him. Then it just slowly went away... she's still her sassy self, but she's relaxed around him again and, like every other horse on the property, would follow him anywhere. They take confidence from his confidence.
I think it took her a while to figure out that just because he had to correct her A LOT in the beginning, that didn't mean that he had any ill intent for her or that he was going to hurt her, and that she was being rewarded for her tries and for doing the things she was being asked to do. I think it was also an adjustment for her to realize that we weren't necessarily asking her to ride the same way owners in the past might have.
"I am the one thing in life I can control. I am inimitable I am an original. Iím not falling behind or running late. Iím not standing still I am lying in wait." - Wait For It