I can mount her without a riot now (she does still try to walk around a bit while I'm tightening the cinch, but then stops when she feels my foot in the stirrup and waits until I'm safely mounted --- a far cry from how she used to violently pull away and dance around through all these manoeuvres. She quit trying to nip while being cinched up (still tries to be sneaky once in a while, though!).
No confidence seems to be her #1 issue. For example:
When I got her, the BO declared "she jumps beautifully!". Into a few weeks of owning her, I rode her english and used some low jumps in the ring (a little more than 1'), and I noticed she seemed worried about going over them and needed a lot of reassuring. After I'd jumped her quite a few times, one of the trainers came in looking worried and told me not to push it because "she hasn't been jumped".!! I've worked at building her confidence on jumping and now she'll sail over 1.5' with no problem.
They told me they trail rode her: I had to work on her confidence over terrain other than a sand ring and desensitize her to a whole lot of stuff the greenest trail horse would not have batted an eye at, and even yesterday she made a fuss about going over some slightly messy terrain at the side of the arena.
However, I keep discovering things she was trained that were left dormant in her mind. So far it has been mainly cutting manoeuvers.
I saved the best for last: she's green at her canter. Specifically her startups on the lead she doesn't like. As much as she tries, she gets confused about the foot sequence of the canter on that lead, so combining that with getting up the momentum to start the gait completely screws her up. I knew she had issues with that lead when I took her, but I never dreamed a horse who'd been used for w/t/c lessons at one of the respectable show barns in the area would actually be flat out green at her canter! Anyway, she's coming along great with that: yesterday we had two flawless startups on that lead. And, while we're on the canter, one of the trainers at this barn had gotten into an argument with her about loping, and by the time I took her, she refused to canter below a certain (rather fast) speed: she'd start trotting. Long story short, now she lopes with no fuss when I ask her.
The barn used a twisted wire snaffle or a kimberwick (I think it was mainly the snaffle, but I know one of the instructors rode her in a kimberwick) on her for their english lessons, which were always beginner. So when I put an english saddle on her the first time, she started hopping around like she was on hot coals, not letting anyone touch her and making a riot. I was disgusted: it was as if we'd gone two weeks back. I used the correction because I was NOT riding her in a twisted wire, and the second she figured out what bit I was using she quieted down immediately. Speaking of bits, I've downgraded her from a correction to a smooth shanked snaffle, and I've noticed her mouth has gotten softer.
I now ride her with no contact as she is responding well to seat/legs. I rarely have to use the reins at all.
I took her to the fair a few weekends ago and she did great, minus getting too excited in the trail class and blowing the backing through the L. Speaking of backing, I had to work on making her stop backing crooked, and I still haven't quite gotten that down.
Her back feet were angled wrong and put undue stress on her legs. We're fixing this but it will take time.
If I listed every single thing I've been doing with her, I'd be here all night, so I'll stop at this. Reading back, I see I'm doing a lot of bragging!
Thanks for reading! If I get enough interest, I'll continue to update and toss up a photo.
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