I had a problem this last late summer/fall, and I'd like to get it fixed before it occurs again.
I was fortunate this summer and fall, as I could go out to the barn that I board at and put my horse and another out at 7 in the morning every day. My 2 & 1/2 year old filly has been pretty good with leading. To get her and the other horse out to the pasture, I have to lead them one at a time from the barn, to the top of a hill, then through one gate, down a narrow aisle, then through another gate. I always lead her first, since she doesn't mind being alone, unlike the gelding that she gets paired up with.
She did pretty well at first. She hadn't had any access to pasture before that point, and although she usually hadn't finished her morning hay, I always took her out without any issues. But after a few months, she'd get outside of the barn, and just plant all 4 feet. To get her to move, I'd just get her off balance, then walk on. She'd usually try it again though, and I'd have to snake her. When it got so bad that I spent about 20 min getting her to go 100 yards, I got pretty fed up and took to carrying a whip. Now someone did something to her with a whip before I got her, because she gets pretty aggressive with them. But I'm always working with that issue, and she's gotten to the point where she still puts her ears back, but doesn't bite or get aggressive.
So holding the whip in one hand helped a bit, but the issue still didn't resolve itself. So I tried leaving her in her stall for an hour longer, so that she could finish her morning hay. That didn't really work either.
My final action was to make it harder for her to stand still than it was to walk beside me. So I made her go in small circles, I backed her all the way down that stupid, long narrow aisle, and we got somewhere. But it didn't completely cure the problem. Other people- the barn owner's husband, for example- have tried to take her out. Instead of working with her, they just release her at the first gate, and crack the whip to scare her forward. This works just until she reaches the second gate, where she'll refuse to go through. Then she'll get scared, and try to run around the handler because the handler is still waving the whip around. It's not the greatest situation. Which is why I don't take that approach if I can help it. (And the reason that she doesn't like going through that second gate might be that she doesn't realize that it's open. I've heard something about horses not "seeing" an opening when there is fencing nearby that parallels the gate fence. But even that is hard to believe, since she goes out everyday, in the same pasture, through that very same gate.)
I'm not sure where this behavior is coming from, but it's not from fear or pain. She's never scared when doing this. It feels more like stubbornness.
When I have someone else to help me lead the gelding, she'll willingly follow, but she'll still stop a few times. I've put the gelding out first, then taken her out. But she'll still stop.
After all of these events, the only time I had her go completely forward without stopping was when I couldn't make it out to the barn to put her out, and she stayed in her stall/run all day. She was rearing to go out the next day!
Anyone have any advice for this? Like I said before- up until this, she was pretty good with leading. She's young, and still learning, but she was doing pretty good. It's a bit upsetting that we took so many steps backwards.