You and Shadow are really cute together.
Mare's are special. They just take more finesse, and to be honest, I just prefer geldings. But , mares are special.
Anyway, after getting off topic there, I ride with a dressage whip, or a crop, or a piece of a willow twig, or whatever I can use to make an impression on my horse that he will remember and respect.
If he thinks he wants to argue with me about which branch in the trail to take; the one I want vs the one that goes home, I let him make the mistake of trying to go home, I lift the rein to my direction and gently put a leg on, then I raise my voice and add more rein pressure , then I take the whip and smack him behind my leg.
OR, if it is a minor arguement or the horse is just not paying attention to my request, after "ask" and "tell", I lightly smack my own booted lower leg, the sound of the whip hitting my leg wakes my horse up and he says "yes ma'am!".
One thing I would like to add here regarding using a whip/crop to get forward out of the horse. If you asked with your leg, asked firmly and now have to apply a crop, remember what you are asking for FORWARD, so when you crack him little one he will no doubt bound forward. You mustn't then yank him in the mouth with the reins. If all you wanted was a brisk walk but he gives you a brisk trot in response to the whip, let him go forward freely a bit before asking him to slow down. Otherwise you are punishing his mouth for him doing just what you asked him to do.
To be honest, it sounds like you have just a bit too much of a luvy-duvy relationship with this mare and not enough of a respect based relationship. Her not lifting her feet for you, that can be another way of her "blowing you off". Does she also run over you when you lead her, or grab offered food before you even put it down? You might consider how you stand in relation to her, She may be boss mare in the horse world, but is she boss mare to YOU too?
You are petite and cute, but you can be the leader that is needed, I bet.
Thanks! :) And you are pretty spot on. Haha I DO need to be more of a boss, and have been told so by her owner, and myself!
I have been doing better, it has just been weird getting used to using a crop because I Never used one before riding her. My Mom taught me to ride, and I was never handed a crop, and always told not to hit a horse (of course, meaning beat not smack lol) and me being the literal-minded child I was got it set in my head that crops were mean. Now I know better of course, but it is still hard to erase old thought patterns. Lol
She refuses to pick up her feet for other people too, not just me. I'm not sure what happened to her, but she was definitely mistreated. Ie her halter and bridle have to be put on backwards from what you normally would as she is Very shy of one ear - someone twisted it! She also balks at taking a bit on occasion. Again, she does all of this with other people so I know it isn't just me. That said, I DO need to be bossier. ;) lol I'm not sure when I will get to ride again, but I am going to work on her feet this week if I can.
Also, no she doesn't rush me when I am leading she is very polite on the lead. Lol She does try to pull you to graze, but she responds when you pull her head up. She is nosy about her treats, but I don't know about food that I set down. The barn she is boarded at is full care I believe so she is fed by someone else. Right now because of my school schedule I am just riding, but next semester my course load will (hopefully) be a lot lighter and I will be leasing her officially.