Have you ever lost your confidence in riding? If yes, how did you get it back? In the last few months, my confidence has taken a hit on three separate fronts. Although I've been riding for nine months without major incident (fell off once at fairly low speed,) I have had several close calls, mostly in the paddock and then with more experienced people and their horses.
I've watched a woman who has been riding all her life be tossed off a gelding she described as 'perfectly safe', and who she had owned for almost a decade. I mean, he bucked her right off, no qualms about it. That really shocked me. It's one thing to say beginners mess up horses and end up being thrown because they do it all wrong and ruin the horse, but when you see experienced people being thrown by horses they swear are gentle and safe, it makes you question not just people's judgement, but the safety of horses in general.
I don't own my own horse, and obviously I am not ready to, so that means school horses. The place I've been getting lessons at makes you get the horse in out of the paddock and then put it back all on your own. They also have electric tape strung in triangular fashion a few yards back from every gate. So basically, there's sort of an 'airlock' when you're getting horses in and out. Which sounds great in theory, but in practice, if something spooks the horse (like getting an unanticipated shock from the fence) you're now stuck in a tiny triangle with a panicked animal. I've also had a near miss where I have been putting one horse away and another one decided to come and give it a nip, putting me between horse and fence, ie, the wrong side of 500 kgs.
So that's another factor which has been keeping me away from lessons. I don't want to deal with the sole responsibility of situations which seem to put me and the horse at risk. I am also concerned that the lesson horse I'd been riding was lame for an extended period of time, and frankly, didn't want a bar of being ridden. If I'm to ride, I want to ride a horse that is content to be ridden and is definitely sound.
I was wondering if anyone had similar experiences? I don't want to give up, but at the moment I feel like the situations I find myself in aren't any good for the horses or me.