This is going to be long, so bear with me! :)
I've been leasing a 14 year old mare for four months now. She has only been ridden for six months, because she was a broodmare her whole life, but is trained. The first couple of months were great - but now she stops listening to me.
I should note that the first couple of months I used a single joint loose ring bit, and then I changed to an eggbutt french link because I thought the loose ring was pinching her mouth. She at first worked better with the new bit, but now I'm beginning to question if she is uncomfortable with it as well.
So basically the problem is whenever I half-halt and ask her to slow down, she veers off to the outside and refuses to go the direction I ask her to go or simply halts and refuses to move forward.
Figuring I was too up in her mouth, I gave her a loose rein. This helped as she stopped veering off, but then she speeds up her trot again (because I'm not stopping her from doing so). And when I ask her to slow down she gets frustrated and bucks.
Yes, I have tried using my seat and weight to slow her down instead, but this has no effect on her.
Right now I'm so lost and frustrated because I know she can be so good, and I'm confused as to what happened. I don't know whether to switch bits, try a bitless bridle, or if there's something else I'm doing wrong or should try differently.
Please give me any suggestions or tips you have!
Thanks so much!