I have noticed this with Damper ever since I have been riding her (which was this year Feb). Its mainly with walk and trot. Every time I apply just a little bit of pressure on the reins (like when I am trying to get her to work up from behind into the contact) she opens her mouth and tries to "regain her mouth" by putting her head down.
It can't be any physical pain, because she's fine when she's jumping.
I have resorted to just riding her on a loose rein when I'm walking and trotting her, and this isn't any problem for me, but I'm just curious if there is any way I could get her to accept the contact from my hands and to stop trying to get away from it.
Another thing I have with her is that it is very difficult to get her to stop. It doesn't matter what I do to stop her, from squeezing with my thighs to pulling on the reins! She just gapes her mouth (clearly evading the bit) and carries on walking until she feels it is a good place to stop. To get her from a canter to trot and trot to walk is fine, but getting her from walk to halt takes quite a while until she stops.
My instructor says she just has a hard mouth, but how does this fit in with her always trying to avoid the contact in walk and trot?
I just can't figure it out...any help please?