She's really intelligent, but she's difficult, especially as far as bending goes. And I'm not a novice: I know how to get horses to bend, know how to ask for the canter properly. It's not a problem.
But with Hope, I've been having major issues with picking up the correct lead-- of all things, right? Yeah. We'll get warmed up at the trot, and she does the obnoxious thing she always does where she looks to the outside down the long ends of the ring, but she'll bend when I tell her to, even if she doesn't do it all that cooperatively.
And as soon as she gets the idea that we're cantering, she goes entirely wonky, and will refuse to pick up the correct lead from the walk. Usually, it's not so bad from the trot-- she runs into her gait changes, but we're working on that and all. But from the walk, she simply refuses to work with me.
At first, it'll just be typical idiocy. I say canter; she trots. I bring her back down again, bending like crazy to the outside. And I force her back to the inside again, but she won't canter until she can get the wrong lead, and after a few shots she's gotten so worked up that she won't walk for me. I try to convince her to settle down and LISTEN, for godssake, and we end up getting into ridiculous tug-of-wars, then she'll not want to go because I've been reprimanding her so hard for pulling, and I'll be keeping the reins short to get her facing the direction I want, but then she just pulls MORE, and it's all very aggravating, firstly because at this point, we can't do anything but argue with each other, and secondly because I know my riding's no good when she's acting like this, and we'd look like total fools in a show ring.
I'm getting a harsher bit, to work with the pulling and whatnot, but as far as the motivation behind the leads go.. I'm totally stumped. My instructor and I have been trying different things, but nothing's worked in the long-term so far, and I'm out of ideas and patience.
Hence the coming here (yes, I joined to post this rant, but I'll probably stick around once I get everything resolved. We'll see). I dunno what you can say that'll make a difference, but if I knew that I wouldn't need anyone's help, so if you have any thoughts, I'd love you for them.
Actually, I'll love you if you managed to read all this without getting bored and leaving.