I decided on a horse to lease, and am so excited. Her name is Jesse, the 8 year old QH mare. She's such a love: comes in from pasture when you call her name, drops her head if you lightly touch her poll, and is honestly the most responsive horse I've ever ridden. Last night I went through the whole process with her (verus them already having her tacked up the 1st time I came to ride), and they suggested I lunge her first because she's only been ridden 3 times this winter/spring. She did fine to the left, and definitely had some crazies to work out. She walked, trotted and cantered, with a couple of hops and bucks in there as well. However, when I went to work her in the opposite direction (and she was a little tired from the heat and work), she just kept walking toward me. No matter what I did, she wouldn't move in the opposite direction. Thoughts/suggestions?
Secondly: None of the tack in their barn was bought specifically with Jesse in mind. She's kinda rolly polly right now after not being worked through the winter, plus she's just a stout QH girl. They *think* their Western saddle fits her best, so that's what I've used. I'm not convinced it fits her right, because she's fine cantering on the lunge line, and definitely moves out under saddle at the walk and trot, but when I ask for a canter she rolls her back and does a hop-stop. How can I determine if it's a tack issue and not possibly my faulty riding? I paid close attention to my seat and hands as I was sitting the trot before asking for the canter, and I don't think I was doing anything differently. I also didn't let her anticipate the canter by doing a lot of walk-trot transitions when I felt her speeding up.