(I haven't read this whole thread, so I apologize if this has already been said).
Do I need to find myself a dead-broke horse that just plods around, or will I gain more confidence as time goes on? We just got our horses in December, so we aren't terribly familiar w/ each other yet (riding 2-3 times a week). Also, if you haven't seen my posts before, I've been riding for about 4-5 months. Before that, I hadn't ridden since I was maybe 15.
The way I see it - the only way a person can grow their confidence is to overcome the obstacles that were hindering their confidence in the first place!
...So for me, when I was struck with the decision to sell my too-green horse, the answer was NOT to buy a dead-head horse to plod around on, but simply one that had more miles and thus, "knew better". I ended up buying an 11 year old Arabian mare who had a great foundation on her, with show records in her history so I knew she had been ridden by experienced riders with success. She has twice the attitude of my green broke horse, but thrice the knowledge, and it was that very same attitude that built a lot of my riding confidence. Because I had to push her. Because I had to confront her. Because I
knew that she
knew better than to act badly, so I forced her to behave. And in the end she gave me her heart! To this day, she really tries for me no matter what we are doing, even if she does throw a little sass in there. I was amazed when I first plopped her over some jumps and she learned how to do flying changes all on her own just so she could make the next jump. That
is what built confidence for me; developing solid teamwork with my horse. Confidence comes when you challenge yourself and overcome your obstacles - and better yet, when you do NOT give up when you fail the first time.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill