Is your horse “wrong” for you, or do you just need to keep working at it?
That’s a great question, requiring lots of pondering, and I think nobody has the right to make that decision for you but you.
But some ideas to help determine your choices:
What are your goals? Can your horse meet those requirements, or are the goals unreasonable and can be changed to suit the horse?
Do you feel scared more often than not? Is this something that gets better as you learn more, or is it something you can’t shake? Is it destroying your love of riding? Do you hate going to the barn and are losing interest? Or do you find yourself wanting to make it work?
Is your safety at risk? This is a huge one. Some horse and rider combos are just not ideal because the rider (and horse) are at a huge risk. Even if your desire to learn is great; if the horse is quick to react and you are slow to react because of inexperience, this learning curve might be too great to be safe for you.
Do you have good help? Not just a good teacher but a support system? It’s not impossible to do it on your own but it can make a huge difference and give you a far better chance if you have a person or group of people supporting, directing and rooting for you.
Do you love this horse, or do you love the idea of conquering a challenge? Sometimes it can be really hard to admit that the horse might be better off elsewhere. Sometimes we get stuck in the idea of not failing – when our concern with this causes us to fail the horse.
Other times, the horse is safest and happiest with us, and with some elbow grease, time and dedication, miracles can happen.
The choice is highly individual, and should not be accompanied by judgement. Doing what’s best for our horses and ourselves can look different in everyone’s unique situation, and what’s right for one person is not right for others.
It can be a hard choice to make, but an important one.