I really need some moral support and guidance from people who have been in this sport longer than I have. I’m an almost fifteen year old para dressage rider who’s been riding (in lessons, not for therapy) for five years now. I switched barns in September of 2012 and got my first horse in December of 2012. Now, this horse was a big switch from the dead calm, beat the crap out of me and I’ll sort of trot lesson horses I’d ridden before. He was a proper competition dressage horse. I remember the first time I tried him I nearly fell off, and he was saintly enough to stop dead. I thought my trainer was crazy for suggesting this horse, but within three days I was in love, and bought him.
My trainer is amazing. She’s funny, works me hard, and has made me believe in myself. As tough acting as she is, she was the first one to hug me when the first horse we looked at fell through. I call her Mom, she’s always there for me.
My barn I mostly like. Everyone’s very sweet, and there’s only minimal drama. The only thing I don’t like I will explain now.
Last March, my horse and I were riding along, calm as could be. Calm as could be, anyway, until a few teenage boys sped by the arena in their shitty car and yelled ‘YEEEEEE HAWWWWWW!’ Needless to say, my horse bolted. I ended up coming off. Ever since that fall I’ve been mostly on a lunge line, and have had more falls than I could count on my fingers and toes. This anxiety, combined with the tightness from my cerebral palsy makes my horse very hot and spooky, and he’s very nervous while we work. Things have worked to fix it somewhat, me being on a stretching routine and getting a bigger saddle, but he’s still way more sensitive than I’m comfortable with. He also doesn’t have awesome ground manners. His issues have pretty much halted my progress in my riding.
My trainer as I said, is awesome, but she’s also the BM and doesn’t have time to take me to shows, even if I was ready. She also doesn’t have time to really condition and work with my horse on his issues.
My barn is actually an eventing barn, so I don’t have the resources I’d get at a dressage barn to make it where I need to go (Horses, trainers, etc).
We have considered selling my horse and leasing something calmer instead. I just don’t want to give up on him. Everyone has given up on this horse, except us. Am I crazy to keep him, as much as I love him? He’s gorgeous and talented, and he clearly does adore me.
It’s also getting hard for us financially, as I’m one of three middle class kids. I take up a lot of the extra money, and I feel so bad about it. Leasing could potentially be cheaper. If you were in my situation, how would you handle it? The barn and trainer being a dead end for me is depressing, as well as not being able to ride my horse on my own and be the rider I know I can be…