Botw isn't really representative of what other Zelda games are like. So, just because you don't enjoy this doesn't mean you won't enjoy others. As for your criticisms, maybe this just isn't your style of game.
You can change the sprint button... I think there are two options for it.
You need to bond with your horse before it will listen to you. You can check your bond at a stable. It shouldn't take terribly long to max out your bond, simply soothe the horse with L, or feed it apples.
The game lets you travel anywhere you wish more or less. This means that you're going to encounter enemies that are way above your current capabilities. If there's a group of enemies that is taking you 45 minutes to kill, then you should honestly be avoiding them, or you need some other strategies. It is theortetically possible to beat any enemy at any point, but you're better off spending time getting more powerful weapons.
In regards to test of strength in particular, are you able to dodge/flurry rush consistently? If not, you're gonna have a bad time. Also, ancient weapons are better at taking out ancient enemies. And, if you're still using basic armor, you're probably going to go down in a few hits. You can come back to a shrine at any time, so no need to be stubborn. If you're getting your ass kicked come back later.
If your stamina is problematic for you, increase it. IDK what more can be said about that.
Overall, BOTW doesn't hold your hand which is actually different than most other Zelda games. While other Zelda games guide you along so that you're never able to access a challenge you're not equipped for, it's quite possible for that to happen in this game. You can even go charging into the main boss fight almost immediately after the game starts. It's possible, and expected, that you're going to run into situations you're not ready for. The whole game is basically about preparing yourself for more difficult challenges. Whether or not you'll find that fun, I can't say. I love the game, but even with a game that's almost universally praised, it's just not going to click with some people.
Thanks for everything you wrote. A lot of this is helpful to read.
Nice. I didn’t know I could feed my horse apples. Or that I could use a stable.
I can hold the shield button then jump to the side. IDR if that was specifically called dodging yet. If so, I definitely haven’t mastered that yet. I guess I’m used to just pressing a single button to dodge. Been getting a little better at parrying, but it’s hard to time. Idk what a flurry rush is. I’m pretty sure I can’t do that yet...
Very good to know about ancient weapons. Haven’t come across one yet.
I don’t have armor. I just bought the Hylian clothing set.
Thanks again for your response!
A couple of things. If you get a horse take it to a stable. It will stay there, and you can retrieve it later. Also, it keeps whatever bond level you have, so you don't have to capture new horses every time.
If you either jump to the side or backflip away right before an enemy hits you, time will slow down and you can mash the attack button to get 4-5 hits in while time is slowed. This is essential to beating the tests of strength, because those enemies have a lot of health. The timing is also a lot easier than parrying imo.
Are you following the main quests, or just kind of wandering around? If you stick to the main quests early on, they'll either directly tell, or guide you to a lot of these features. For example, I'm pretty sure one of the early quests forces you to go right past a stable. So if you haven't been doing that, I'd recommend it for the first few hours.
Hope these tips help you enjoy the game more. And of course there are a lot of videos that will also give you some good starting tips. Unlike other Zelda games, this one really doesn't give you a lot of direction. If something feels too hard, it's probably because there's a better way to do it.