So glad to have found this forum! I rode religiously in my younger years as a teen, but have had had very little formal training. The place I rode at was owned by a "grandpa" type friend of a friend who owned many horses of different levels, but didn't ride anymore, so opened his ranch up to friends to ride whenever they wanted. I spent my summers and weekend there mostly just pleasure and western riding. Towards high school graduation I worked with a trainer a few times, but she was not reliable or consistent about showing up. I did however move up to riding one of the horses that only a select few were allowed to ride. He was a big boy who could get outta hand with the wrong person. My confidence got the better of me one day and I took him out bareback... I still have the scars to prove it.
Anyhow in 2010, I linked up with a boarding stable and made an newbie purchase buying a 4 yr old "green" horse for a "green" rider. It was a short lived disaster and I was lucky enough to have the owner take him back. I did train for a short time with the stable owner who basically only kept American Saddlebreds and did a lot of shows. She said I did very well, but she too, was inconsistent and would cancel our sessions without notice.
So anyways, here I am now at 39, wanting to get back to my passion of horses. I've looked into a couple boarding stables and asked around about trainers and am trying to pin down a breed of horse that I really like no younger than 10 yrs of age and suitable for a beginner. I am in no rush. I've read through the sticky "Thinking of getting your own horse" and think that leasing a horse might be ideal, however I don't know how easy that would be to find in my area. I am leaning toward a gaited horse. One of my favorites to ride as a teen was a Tennessee Walker. I am also looking to get into English Pleasure, Hunter/Jumper, etc.
Any tips/advice would be great for anything I might need to take note of, down to equipment, saddles, supplies, breeds, what to look for, etc. I'm hoping to visit a couple stables this week and meet with their trainers. I'm hoping to find a knowledgable person to help me find a good match as well. Thanks for any info!