Phebes is not the first horse that I have started under saddle. She was the third horse that I attempted to build from the ground up. The first one was a very calm baby that I had wearing a saddle and bridle by six months old (before you get all postal on me, no rider, just saddle and blanket). You could climb over him, under him, and share an ice cream cone "with" him. When he was old enough to ride it was a matter of climbing on, and working on steering. That was it! NO DRAMA. The next one was a 16 year old broodmare that had hammered the last person who attempted to start her (fractured her spine actually). She eventually turned out to be a very nice ride (we went 2000 miles before she went blind) and my heart horse. Those in no way made me anything less than a beginner because I did not have the tools (or exposure) to finish them out. But I can get them going! All of them understood leg (none of the potential horses except the last one had a clue what leg pressure meant), a direct rein, backing, and side passing. I would not term myself as a rank beginner. Granted, my riding style probably isn't the greatest. A muscular disorder and a balance disorder gives me real problems riding in circles or riding in the dark. Sometimes I don't have the balance to get out of bed, though medication usually keeps it under control I'm fine out on the trail, but get me on a circle for more than one lap, riding in the dark, or crossing flowing water and I might just fall off the horse! No amount of lessons or drugs is going to sort that out (hence I avoid circles, riding in the dark, and flowing water), though I've given both a try on more than several occasions.
There are people out there in the bloggish-phere who seriously dislike me. None of them know me personally. The person who suggested the high price for a "decent" horse is one. I don't know why really and yes, she had a horse for sale. I liked the horse, but never made the drive to see him. If he would have been suitable I cannot answer. If I'd have been paying for pretty his chestnut coloration certainly had it going on, his legs were straight, but the longe line was tight you could have hung laundry on it to dry!
Today may pretty much dictate my future in the sport, at least for a long while. If her royal spotted highness does not give me a good trail ride today, I will likely become