Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
I've started a few older horses. As was said, they can be alot more resistant, especially a dominant mare type like this. It would be ideal if you could get a reputable trainer to put the first few months on her for you.
If you really want to start her your self, First, go back to desensitizing. Get her used to things flapping all over her body, and concentrate on her back end. You want her very comfortable with ropes all over, and things flapping over, under and around her. Ground drive her. Once she is totally ok with things on her body, move on to things on her back.
Make sure she is totally comfortable with a saddle, things above the saddle and stirrups flapping. Then get her used to you getting on bareback. Jump on so you are laying over her back, stomach down. In this possition pat her all over, butt, sides, neck, etc. squirm around, slide off. Repeat with the other side. When she accepts this calmly, complete mounting. Lean forward, lean back, move your legs all over, slide off her butt. Try with a saddle. Repeat untill she is comfortable with the whole process, on both sides. Then ask for forward motion.
By doing groundwork that builds respect, and step by step desensitizing her to things on her back, you take away the two main reasons a horse will try to get rid of its rider, fear and disrespect.
I can't tell you how many times I have seen people get tossed off green horses, and 99.9999% of the time the horse is disrespectful or they havent been properly desensitized to having a person and tack on their back.
Coincidentally, my favorite mare to ride on the farm sounds like this mares twin. Queen of the herd, solidly built and very tall, plus she is reactive and she knows how powerful she is, so two trainers were afraid of her. Once you know her though, she's amazing.