ponyboy, I can understand completely where your are coming from. This is not an incident of her already knowing how to ride and wanting lessons. This is someone that rode a couple of times as a child, then her mother wouldn't allow it anymore because her grandfather was killed by a young colt. So no more horse anything for her. She is now the single mother of three young children, and doesn't want to be realistic in her expectations of her ability. She has a goal, which is great, but it is an unrealistic goal considering her limitations. And considering that her children call me Aunt, I really can not live with trying to explain why mom is now in a wheel chair or worse yet in a casket to them.
If she was a stranger and disclosed this particular health problem to me, it would be easier for me to tell her that while she might find someone willing to give her lessons that can live with something happening, it will not however be me. In general, I don't give riding lessons, because I am extremely hard on myself because of how I was taught, and I don't want to continue that nasty tradition. So I refrain from teaching. She has went to the barn with me a few times and I've done some simple ground work with her, and by simple I mean her leading a horse around and expecting her to make it lead correctly and not simply dragging it around. While the horse she is leading around is still young and pretty green, it is also VERY lazy, and she is always confined to the round pen and pasture. The reason I started taking her to the barn is she has some impulse control issues and emotional control issues that I thought being around horses would help her learn to control, which has worked beautifully as long as we are at the barn, but quickly disappears as soon as we get outside the gate. Then she uses the excuse that she can't control her emotions or whatever else, after she has proven that she can in fact control them. She also has issues with accepting accountability for her decisions, and I know that when something happened she would fully blame me because I did not train her well enough, and totally overlook the fact that it was her decision to hop on a horse bareback and go barreling through the pasture. The more I think about it, the more I want to tell her no on the riding lessons, and even taking her to the barn period. Now, I'm more confused than I was when I started this thread. Please no one take that as a mark against what you said, just that as my A.D.H.D. brain mulls this over, multiple times I think of more reasons why I shouldn't do it. Then my heart jumps in and reminds me that we are close friends, and I would be helping her live out a life long dream. So then the debate between the logic and emotional begins, and I end up confused. Ok, my rambling is over for now. Hope I didn't confuse anyone.