It was August of last year. My riding instructor was out of town and had left me to care for her Quarter Horse, Azteca mare, Thoroughbred,Mustang and mini donkey. I agreed to care for them as I'd done it before without issues. In fact, the first time I'd done it for her was perfect. I practiced natural horsemanship with the rogue Mustang and had for the first time ever confidently cantered on a loose rein for longer than 10 minutes. We cantered around her house for over 30 minutes. At some point I had even put the reins down and closed my eyes, feeling the horse and using my legs and hips to steer him. It was the best feeling ever. Now it's gone.
I was supposed to watch the horses for three days and two nights. No big deal. I was given basic instructions,all of them I knew already. But my instructor left out that the Thoroughbred had been acting unpredictable for the past two weeks, that the mare was hostile, the donkey could escape, the Quarter Horse was feeling fresh and the mustang was acting out. All of this I found out when I got there. I was there two days and one night. I rode bareback in the rain under some trees like I usually did. I was looking to practice catering bareback as I felt I was ready to try it. Cody, the Quarter Horse, disagreed. His ears pinned, he bucked a couple of times and snorted. By then I was hostile myself from all the chaos that had been going on since I got there. He bucked and I drove my heels into his side while bringing his head around. He jerked his head free and shot forward nearly sending me over his neck...again. I did the one rein stop, put him through a routine I knew and got off. The paddock next to us housed the Thoroughbred. Jac, the Thoroughbred, had been having his own fit all the while I was riding. He was squealing, bucking, rolling, rearing and charging the fence. Both he and Cody needed to get this out of their systems. I turned Cody loose and opened the gate to the pasture, expecting him to out into the open field. Instead he came straight at me, ears pinned and teeth bared. I sidestepped him, barely missing getting run over. He circled back around and came at me again only this time he kicked at me hard. This continued for a while until I was eventually able to get a rope on him and get him out into the pasture. Jac was next. I opened the gate and he rushed through and out into the pasture.
Hours later I had to bring the horses in. There was a lady working there with me who was supposed to help me handle them but did not. Jack was the last to come in. Cody came in nice and easy for me. Jack however did his usual behavior when I wouldn't handle him. He reared straight up, came down, bucked and reared again. This was pretty normal for Jac and I. When he had calmed down some I put him in his stall to eat. It had been nearly a week since he'd touched his hay and he barely sniffed his feed. Jac refused to relax while in his stall. I gave him a calming supplement but that had no affect. He was rearing in his stall, nearly flipping over, and kicking the walls. But as long as I was in there with him he was fine. I went to bed at 300am after spending most the night in the stall and got up at 6am to check on him. I was exhausted but relieved to find he'd eaten a bit of grain. I turned Jac loose after putting the mare and donkey in the pasture with him. Jac is a very herdbound horse. When my instructor moved the mare and donkey Jac became an anxious violent wreck. Cody was still being a jerk so I did not ride him and honestly that encounter the day before left too nervous to want to ride. Instead I waited for my very angry instructor to come home early and take over the horses. She pulled in by the time I was giving the horses evening feed. Rose was in a stall and Jac was outside the stall. He once again was getting anxious as he and Rose weren't side by side. Eventually he began to body slam the gate for the stall. My instructor sent me into the stall to let the mare out as she was getting irritable and wanted out. I unlocked the gate and tried to open it, but the mare was literally standing on the back of my boots and the Thoroughbred was slamming the gate into me. It hurt and they would not stop.and my instructor offered no assistance, just a harsh "hurry up". I took the gate and swung it into Jac, causing him to jump backwards. He moved, the gate opened and the mare rushed out.
I received a long lengthy lecture about how stupid it was to have done there and basically how all the chaos was my fault.
I've always had issues with confidence but when I got into horses that went away and I became very confident. Horses gave me my confidence and horses took it away. But I'm going to work hard to get it back because horses are who I am.