Novice confidence shot - Is my new horse suitable for me?
I went and bought what I thought was a begginers horse. I went on two trail rides, traffic proof, rabid teenager proof, dog proof - you name it, I tried it. I asked around and people who rode at that ranch told me that the mare is a saint and only kids would ride her because she was "too boring" for adults.
So, after all of that, the mare arrives and she is really great on trails with other horses and I can do that without fear. However, she had a few minor issues in the school because she was never inside one and those stopped after about a week. She wasn't dangerous, no bucking or rearing but had a few napping incidents when walking away from the door. I handled them just fine and she hasn't had one in two weeks. Also, she is really not that good when alone out on trails, very spooky but I can skip that for now.
The problem is that I'm basically paralyzed with fear. I'm back on the lunge line, even for walking. I am not enjoying it all, even though the mare didn't do anything wrong in two weeks. She does have a very active movement and is rather foreward but I always preferred that in horses. (She wasn't foreward when I tried her, I guess she worked a lot at the ranch). My instructor had her other students, kids, riding her and she was perfect.
I might just mention that once I fully trust a horse, I'm fine and I even galloped an OTTB mare out on the trails by myself because I trusted her. Even when she misbehaved, I wasn't scared. My new mare only has to cock her ear and I have a meltdown.
I went to a therapist, but he wasn't much help ("It's a normal fear, there isn't anything I would recommend to get rid of it").
My plan is to give myself another couple of months of riding her every day but I am really wandering if I should give up riding all together. I can't even ride a kiddie proof horse...what hope is there?