Barrel Racer to Jumper
So..recently I've taken an interest in jumping, but it seems none of my horses have done so with me. [Lol] I have many animals including 4 horses, 3 ponies, 1 mule, 1 donkey, 1 llama, 2 alpacas, and 1 camel. Aside from the alpacas, llama, and camel I've tried jsut about every one of the animals over ground poles and cross rails. I started with the horses I work with the most and then just went down the list. I found that my favorite mare, Summer really has no interest or talent in the jumping area. I also found that my 4 year old, Buddy is a very talented jumper, yet very lazy and bull-headed. Then, as a last resort, I tested out the 10 year old buckskin quarter pony, Buttercup. To my surprise, she really enjoyed it and had nice form and just about everything the others did not. She also always has a willing attitude. There's just one problem, she's a trained barrel racer....she does some western pleasure and halter classes, but barrel racing is her passion. I'm sure with tons of work she can slow down, but the problem is she hold her head way high up, and WILL NOT drop it. If you try to make her drop it she gets very upset. I think this is because the people that previously had her would hold her reins very tight because she used to like to take off with her rider. Now, my sister holds her reins tight, too. [She doesn't really know how to ride] It's so ingrained in her head that it has to be up that I can drop the reins and ride [it's taken a few years for her to be trustable enough for me to do that, but I'm the only one that can] and she will keep that thing up sooooo high. I don't know what to do to get her to bring it down. We've gotten new saddles and saddle pads for her, and she rides in a bridle with a snaffle bit, so the tack isn't the problem and she's got no sore spots, had vet inspection, everything. I don't know how well I would place with a horse like that. Lately my sister has only been taking her to contesting shows, where they don't care what your horse looks like, as long as it gets good times. Now, I will be the mares main [probably only] rider, so I can do whatever. She will do what is asked of her, just with her head held high. Any ideas? Also if anybody has any ideas on how to get her to slow down to a suitable speed for jumping it would be very much appreciated.