I really want to get into endurance with my 18 yo Arab mare. I know she's on the older side, but she loves trails and is sound, so I figure I'll condition carefully and see what she can handle. I have no delusions of being competitive, I just want something fun to do that my horse enjoys.
With that said, I was hoping I could get some general advice on developing calmness and control on the trail. My sister and I got to haul out with a friend yesterday and we had a HORRIBLE time. Our horses were jiggy and my mare, who is usually nice and sensitive, became extremely hard-mouthed and stubborn. I know I didn't handle it very well--we ended up getting lost and that resulted in a lot of stress--but now I'm wondering how I can work with my horse to get her more soft and focused.
I know this is a pretty broad topic, but I was hoping I could get some ideas from you experienced riders.
I'm also wondering how to teach her to rate her speed. I'm trying to be more aware of my body position and what that communicates to her, but sometimes it seems like she just goes faster and slower for no reason. I want to get to the point where we trot down the trail relaxed on a loose rein without me having to constantly adjust her speed.
Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks. :)