Recently, I've started riding a "new" horse, the Blond. I've known her for as long as she's been at our barn (5-6 years), but only now have the experiance and chance to ride her. She's an appendix mare, 17 years old, and about 15.1hh. She was originally a western horse, but was re-trained to go english, more specifically dressage. At her peak, she was doing 2nd Level dressage and was ready to move up to 3rd. A clinician/trainer messed her up at that point. I only know what I've been told, but apparently he pushed her until she cracked and became a nervous wreck. Since then, she's been worked sporadically by the two trainers at our barn and their more advanced students. In 2007-8 she was bred and had a foal, so was out of work for that entire time. In 2009 she was half-leased by a beginner-ish rider, who is freshman aged. Later that year, she was sold and bought by a mom for her daughter. The daughter is in 6th grade and a beginner rider (barely off the lungeline). Right now both girls ride her in sidereins. I think it is mostly because the Blond likes to yank on her rider and get very heavy and they are not strong enough to hold her.
I've had four rides on the Blond so far, three of those being lessons. We have only done walk and trot and have worked on transitions, leg yielding, shoulder-in, travers, and lengthen stride in trot. Usually my trainer has me work on a square and alternate between doing shoulder-in and travers on the sides. I don't feel confident working on those two movements on my own yet since I am still learning them.
When I rode Blond on my own, I did lots of figure eights, serpentines, loops, and some leg yielding back to the wall. Then I ran out of ideas. What are some other figures or exercises that I can do with her? I'm especially interested in ones that will help to get her to lighten in my hands as she tends to haul you down and race around on her forehand. She also tends to ignore all aids when asking for downward transitions and powers through everything. I've been doing lots of transitions to get her listening to me, but is there anything else I can do?
Let me know if you need more info! Thanks.