Oh lord, my first horse was a mess.
Age: 24 when I got her, 28 when she died.
Breed: Grade, mostly quarter horse.
Whoever decided that a 16+ hand barrel racer was a good idea for a first horse for a 7 year old may have had their head screwed on wrong. That mare was a -wreck-. She was terrified of men, she would completely lose it if she saw one. Extremely head shy (her previous owner liked to beat her in the face with the reins). She wouldn't cross bridges (which was a problem since on the road on either side of my house were big stone bridges), she had a near crippling fear of white bags. (You could shoot off of her and she was fine but a bag?! OH NOOO) For the first few months I would literally just sit on her while she grazed for a few hours and then put her back out in the pasture. Eventually I got around to actually asking her to do things. She was the sort of horse that understood when a kid was on her back and usually erred on the cautious side with them. However I swear every once in a while that mare would decide that I didn't need to get too full of myself and she'd think of something awful to do to keep me in check.
In the four years I had her I got dragged through fences, gates, rubbed into trees, thrown, stepped on. She had a big ugly head and she wouldn't hesitate to clock me with it once in a while as well. For the most part though we had some sort of understanding I think, I was the only one that could even get near her without her taking off. That mare gave me concussions, broken toes, she's the horse that permanently messed up my neck during one incident.
As much of a witch as she was though I still loved her, and even at the age of 27 she was running and winning at barrels. She definitely taught me a lot. She was big, sway backed and foul tempered. Everyone else that knew her referred to her as 'the nag'. Despite all the aforementioned things she taught me so much, she taught me to ride (I'd never been given any lessons or anything, I'd just been told 'kick to go, woah to stop' and sent off on my way. I don't think I've ever owned another horse that taught me as much as that sway backed old nag did.