Originally Posted by Celeste
It could that the horse is responding to past experiences.
I have an old mare that has been girthy since I bought her. The previous owners used an improperly fitted saddle that hurt her back. She associates the saddle with pain. She also had learned that if she acted angry, the owner would put her in the stall and give her sweet feed rather than make her work.
This has been a pain to correct. I just kept cinching her up in spite of her frowny face and she eventually realized that we were going to do the saddle thing regardless of her attitude. Just so she is ridden on a regular basis, she is fine. If I put her in the pasture for a month, she starts trying to move away when I start cinching her up.
And DING DING DING, we have a winner.
Every girthy horse I have dealt with was a result of the current or previous bad fittign saddle. Usually cheap junk QH saddles put on Walkers.