I believe that each of us have more inside than we know.
I have been horseback riding since I was 4 years old, that does not mean it was any more comfortable. I was a timid child, extremely fearful, I never wanted to jump or grow, and my trainers scared me. I went to college so discouraged that I wanted to quit, I felt like for all of the time I put in I was never good enough. Then I saw a sign for the Equestrian Team, it must have been meant to be. I joined the team, little did I know this would be the most discouraging riding experience of all. My trainer made girls cry every day, one day she told me I was not "built for the sport, my torso was too long and my legs were too short." I stayed jumping cross rails if I was lucky.
One day in my senior year, I was captain, the coach got nastier every year. This year she was so mean to my teammates I had enough. I walked out with my saddle and walked into my real riding career. I promised myself I would never ride with another discouraging trainer. I went to a western barn to rediscover the fun of riding. I was having the time of my life and decided it was time to start jumping again. I used visualization and believed that I was more confident and a better rider. I went to my first barn and within a month was jumping higher than I ever had. This trainer was patient, supportive and most importantly; believed in me. That's when I saw the real difference these trainers make.
Within 6 months of riding, she offered me a training position, I was elated, I never thought I would be good enough. From there my confidence grew, I kept learning at every opportunity. I went off on my own and evolved into something I never thought possible. I rode with top trainers, rode high quality show horses, and even better rode them for other people. The importance of finding the right trainer is enormous. You have to feel good to ride good.
Never let a trainer make you feel incompetent, this is a sport to empower not to tear down. I still look to grow and have a long way to go, but the path looks exciting, not daunting when you realize you are in control.