I agree with love2ride as well about the hand walking. For keeping her interested otherwise, I would try clicker training. I did it for awhile with my horse... then summer hit, and when it's 110 outside, nobody really wants to be out there... lol
All you really need is a toy that the horse could pick up (like a basket (preferrably fabric, something you can get at a dollar store), a hat works, whatever really, as long as it's safe), a clicker (you can get one at your local petco/ petsmart, whatever's in your area prices range from $0.99-5.00) and horse treats/ pellets.
The first thing you should do is just click, treat, click, treat, click, treat, without any object. This helps your horse associate the clicker with good things, so she won't be afraid of it.
Next, you show your horse the object, when they touch it with their nose click (within 3 seconds of the action) and treat. Continue allowing the horse to touch with the nose, then click and treat. The "click" reinforces the good action, and prolonges the amount of time you have to treat. When you first start, go no longer than 10-15 minutes per training session, as your horse probably won't have that large of an attention span at that time.
After your horse gets the idea of when they see the object, touch their nose to it to get a click and treat, move the item onto the ground, 2-3 feet away from you. Hopefully, your horse will get the idea to touch their nose to the object to get a click and ultimately, a treat. Then you can start moving the object across the stall, even 5-10 feet away.
After your horse fully understands that concept, ask for more. Now, even when she touches her nose to it, there is no click, and no treat. She will figure out that has to do something else, because she will want that treat! When she mouths the object, click and treat. Eventually, you will get to the point that she will have to pick up the object to get a click and treat. After she understands that, it is only a matter of time before she is going to pick up the item, and give it to you!
Here's a example of how well clicker training works. My BO has a very smart horse who needs constant mental stimulation. She started clicker training him. After about a month, she had it to the point where she could throw the item across the pasture, he would go grab it, and bring it back to her. If only my horse was that smart... it took him 3 weeks to start picking it up!
Remember that every time you start a training session, you should start with holding the item, nose touching, click, treat. This just helps to reinforce the last lesson. After about a week, increase the 10-15 minute sessions to 15-20 minute sessions. By the time she can be ridden her attention span will be great! It will help you accomplish so much when she gets back under saddle! I hope this helps and I hope your girl starts feeling better!
Last edited by haleylvsshammy; 08-14-2010 at 09:07 PM.