Her canter idea is BOOM GO. As soon as you touch the reins its sonic speed.
Have you looked into having a good quiet lunging session before riding? I think this mare would really benefit from a lunging relaxation pre-riding regiment. I would allow her to blow off some steam, you to assess what your ride is going to be like, and for her to do some cantering and focus on that pace prior to being on.
I just sold a mare we owned who had zero experience. VERY sensitive mare at all paces(except the walk
), and would become an explosive bomb when quietly asked to move into the canter.
Before every ride, I would warm her up on the lunge line with the main focus being canter work. Make sure you have the clip of the lunge line through the outside bit-over and behind her ears-and thru the inside bit to your hand. The work allowed her to stay bent, learn voice commands which at times was convenient and she eventually(about a 2 months or so), learned to settle herself down into the canter. She eventually had the most beautiful, slow canter anyone could ask for(the most uncofortable horse to ride!).
I soon came to realise that this is pure mickey take.
A lot of owners are that way(Ill admit I'm that way myself when it comes to handling my own horses on the ground).
She works beautifully on the bit, she just requires.. ahem.. a talking to. No whip or spurs, but a good placed pony club kick did it.
Nothing wrong with that! Every horse needs that every once in a while, and from your description it sounds like a really well cared for with over caring owners who adore her, and just treat her like china glass.
Also, owner said if she is worked too hard she colics? I have never heard of this before, and due to the language barrier don't fully understand :S
EVERY horse in the world is at risk of colic if worked hard, and proper cool down precautions not taken. If the horse colics that easily, then the horse should not be ridden-period.
What makes me wonder is if this mare has a history of colic? And the owner is over cautious of that? Even if that is the case, proper warm up and cool down etc will prevent her from getting sick. But keep in mind a horse who has colicked(spelling???) in the passed, is always more prone to colic again.
....and by the way, you have the most adorable avatar I have EVER seen! If you ever decide to retire it, let me know because I would love to steal it!