Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
I'm not a fan of round penning and if you have a smart horse, they get resentful about being "drilled" when they already know what they are doing. At that point they think YOU don't know what you are doing :)
She just sounds either a bit spoiled or honestly has no idea what you are asking and both stem from the same problem....not enough of a foundation. I prefer doing 10-15mins of ground work to teach them how to disengage the hindend and to cross over in front. Normally a good horse picks this up in 1 or 2 quick 10-15 min sessions, a horse a bit slower on the uptake may take 3-4 lessons but they all pick it up pretty quickly. Once I have them moving their body when I ask, I then take them and start teaching them to ground drive. I will spend anywhere from 2-5 lessons just ground driving. This teaches the horse how to go forward, reenforces steering and brakes, and also gets them out of their normal routine and can potentially break up bad habits.
After I am confident in their steering and brakes and I understand their reactions to new stimuli I then saddle up and spend 15-20 mins just walking on light contact to get a feel of HOW they move. Are they heavy on your hands, are they "lookie Lou's", are they trying to get out of work, or are they ready for new adventures.
I spend a lot of time improving the walk, especially on gaited breeds. The walk is the foundation everything else is built on. I've spent up to 30 days just walking my gaited horses (asking them to move from flat walk to a dog walk to a running walk then back down again) constant transitions in the walk, asking for circles, serpentines, clover leaf patterns, figure 8 patterns, anything that will engage them mentally and physically. Once I got them moving off well I then ask for either the trot or the next gear for my gaited horses.
She is asking questions that you haven't answered yet, and those kind of horses can really teach you a lot as a rider and trainer. These types of mares are just fantastic to have, once they form a bond with you, they are loyal for life. Good luck with her!