So alas, in my desperate attempt tp make her an all-around horse, I have been trying since last summer to make her a trail horse.
When my Mom first bought her (Before I bought her from my Mom) she was emphasized that she was NOT a trail horse. Never really said why, but we didn't ask. I mean, we had no intention of riding her on the trail.
I took her out for the first time ever on the trail at horse camp. She was fine! We ran up hills, through brush, across logs....We ran into some trouble at the water but we ended up having to back her in and once she was in she loved it! Never had a problem again on the ride.
Once we got back, I decided to take her out the next day. So I did. And let me say, Oh. My. God.
We didn't make it halfway down the trail before it was a bucking, crowhopping, rearing, spinning around, jumping sideways, just being a real bitch. I then took her back to camp and worked her little butt off next to the other horses, thinking she was just sour....She displayed the same behavior there. I ended up getting twenty feet from camp and quit, tired of fighting with her.
When we got back from camp we went back to the arena. I took her on small walks on the trail and she offered the same behavior on the ground....Only this time she was striking out at me.
Now, at that point I did so much groundwork that I thought there was no way she could continue this disrespectful and dangerous habit. She was still an ANGEL in the arena (Any arena, not just the home one), and she gets worked hard there which makes me doubt she is soured to the trail as a place of work.
Once I got her going on the ground and she was walking nicely with me again, I went on ahead and tried to ride her again. She was fine for about ten minutes, then suddenly, we ran into the same dangerous problems as before! I got off her and worked her hard on the ground because I was scared of being on her back. At the end I got on, walked around and did a lot of counter-arc circles down the trail then got off, loosened her cinch, and walked back and worked her back at the barn again (Just to help rule out barn sourness)
We did that every day for about two/three months with barely any improvement.
I then got busy with the heavy show season and stopped. Today was her first day back in rythym and I took her on a hand walk. She was jumping sideways, trying to run me over, strike out at me, squealing and kicking. I was so mad at her, I couldn't believe it. I made her work and got after her every time and went back to our groundwork. Eventually, once we walked a minute or two without incident I stopped and let her graze. We then walked down the side of the road because I didn't want to walk her down the single-track trail we had come up. I made her trot next to me and did a lot of stopping an backing up groundwork, paused at a gentle spot of the ditch and did the "sending" excersize (Clinton Anderson) across it. Found some obstacles to go over. Doesn't even care.
What I have noticed is that it gets very bad when we try and just plod along. She doesn't misbehave when we are moving around.
Do you think she's just bored? Do you think I'll ever get her to be able to go out on trails calmly? I just haven't really noticed a huge amount of differance....I don't want to take her out alone anymore because I dpn't want to get hurt, but I feel awful when I have to bring someone with me and end up ruining the ride, even though I do tell them to purpose... At this point I might have to just bite the bullet and do it....Just kinda frustrated with it.
Alright and I'd just like to clarify I am 100% certain she is not in pain and she is not scared or spooking. She is being disrespectful but nothing I am doing is making a differance.