I tried draw reins as a suggestion from a friend and I didn't like the results I got, even from the first ride. I don't want to force her head down and MAKE her give to the bit. I want her to willingly soften her mouth and jaw.
I also found an article about softening that basically suggested taking up contact on one rein after the other and making the horse soften to the side and in turn, that would make a horse soften all the time. Well my horse is very soft to the sides and gives to the rein contact immediately, that's not my problem. So that paper got thrown away, lol.
I'm thinking transitions, and a lot of them. Her biggest issue is getting really tense in her jaw and neck when I want her to change gait, stop, or back up. So will doing a lot of transitions with soft rein contact help her to soften up? I've heard the saying "soft hands, soft horse" so I thought it might. But I'm open for any and all suggestions! I just don't want to spend too much money on equipment because I am selling her and won't need the stuff after I do. What I have is: a bridle, french link loose ring snaffle, side reins, surcingle, and lunge line.
Thanks guys! I always trust y'alls great suggestions.