unfortunately she is not my horse so, although I had the same thought of feeding her in the arena...the owners wont do that. She has been uncomfortable in the back of the arena since day one. It used to be used for weekly shows, so there is a building behind the arena with picnic tables and such where people used to hang out. Since day one, she has been always very concerned about being back there and of the bushes around it. Even when I'm not on her back, just lead her back there and let her have a good look around without any pressure. The day she spooked, spun and took off...there were kids playing at that building. I think she initially spooked at that, spun on a dime and took off to the front of the arena. Then the saddle slipped and that freaked her out more, so she went sideways trying to get away from the saddle. She slammed into the fence, which broke and she took off to the back pasture - PAST THE BUILDING and eventually just froze and let someone go and unhook what was left of the saddle to free her. Now, she was fine...'cept a couple tiny scratches and a good scare.
As for the crop, I don't really USE it that much. Only until recently and, like I said, I hadn't even mounted with it because I thought maybe the new bit would be enough to control her. When I HAVE used it, all I need to do is barely brush her with it and she's back on track. And also, I have brought treats out with me. Previously I had used little peppermint horse treats and given them to her at the back of the arena, not when she was anxiously looking at 'whatever' but when she relaxed and focused on me. The last time I brought out baby carrots, had a baggie of them in my pocket. She is very responsive to treats and will nicker to you when she thinks you have them.
I didn't work with her today because I'm concerned she may have a medical issue going on but I wont post that under this thread, I think there's a 'horse health' thread somewhere and I'll post that there