So, I bought a 17 y.o QH mare after seeing her once and riding her around for about 20 minutes. She had a foal and I knew the foal was going to be weaned in a few weeks. The mare was rusty of course but otherwise walked, trotted and cantered both directions. It wasn't til after I was done I learned she hadn't really even been ridden regularly for months if not years (been a broodmare) and in fact, the owners who owned her for only a year, never cantered her.
I bought her because she seemed so well behaved despite having a little foal tag around everywhere and she did what I asked. Maybe I had to ask a few times, especially with canter. Maybe I was a little impulsive...
She is at a new barn now...a week since foal weaned. I've discovered she is a little ring sour. Likes to stop actually sometimes. Likes to try to canter even when I ask her to trot. She'll continually tries to canter when we've been trotting for a while. She definitely likes to evade the bit (eggbutt snaffle). Her head is either too high or stretched too low. Not sure which bit to try next.
I've also discovered she is not really all that calm to put a child on her, sadly. She is not laid back.
Where should I start? How do I get her to settle in the trot, at least? What is a good length of time for a work out in a horse who has not worked for "years"?