Here is the situation: My mom after being away from horses for a long time decided she would like to get back into it this summer. After several months of looking and trying out several horses I found her a calm quiet older, confidence-builder, gelding that I felt was a perfect match for her, Gus.
And for the most part he is especially on the trail. However, in the arena Gus can be very stubborn with her. He likes to get stuck at the gate and she has trouble getting him away. Sometimes he will trot over to another horse and won't respond to her cues. For example she wants to go straight and he will want to go left... and he wins. He does not prance, toss his head, or other wise act scary.
Now when I get on him he is perfect. I never have any of these troubles he responds to me and is respectful. I know that this is partly because of my confidence, leg cues, body language etc. Sometimes I ride him for 30 min or so before my mom and that sometimes helps.
So my question is how can I help my mom? I know each time Gus gets away with this behavior it only gets worse. I have reminded her to focus her whole body not just her reins and I have tried to get her to use her legs more. One other thing I do is have her try to focus on a spot in the arena (a cone for example) and focus her body and attention on that spot, if she has to ride past the gate (which she knows Gus will have issues with) I tell her not to focus on the gate or even look at it because her worry over the gate will make it more likely that he will go over to it.
I have discovered that knowing what to do and doing it... and then being able to convey to someone else what to do are two completely different things!
And a picture of Gus with his green fly-mask just for fun!