We got a very well trained horse about a year ago. She ground ties and was very solid in often spooky situations for a horse. I even trimmed our trees from her back when we'd had her for a month or so and she sat calm while I reached up with the loppers and while branches fell around us. Its not that things didn't make her nervous, its that she behaved and followed directions regardless.
Fast forward a year and I believe she's doing fantastic. She still neck reins, she's learning to move off of leg pressure alone, she still ground ties etc...but when I tried to trim our trees this year, she danced around and was difficult. Now I'm not sure trimming trees from horseback is the safest idea to begin with...but it certainly felt safe last year and did not this year.
I'm looking for some advice about whats needed here. She gets ridden regularly and does her ground work nicely. She has not been ridden off of our property for the last year however. She's for my young daughter to ride and I'm just not comfortable allowing her to ride off property just yet - though that is a goal of ours. I do her ground work and have worked with her on moving just from leg pressure. She's a very attentive, docile horse that learns quickly. The only problem we've had with her until now has been related to the farrier. She lets both me and my daughter lift her feet (she lifts them for us when we ask) and work with them with picks, hoof knives, files etc but she would get excited and disobedient with the farrier. He's been our farrier for years and her reaction was on first sight of him rather then from how he works with her. We only recently got that under control by having me lift her feet and position them on the hoof stand. Once I placed her foot, she'd let him work on them, but if he tried to lift her hind feet, she used to kick him, dance away etc. Now she's letting him lift her hinds and work on them without problem. I assumed her behavior was a problem with farriers in general and related to shoeing, but I have no idea really. She was shod when we got her and we switched her to bare foot which she does very well with, even on gravel.
I've never sacked her out at all and I'm wondering if that's whats missing here? I was told before that I should ride her off property some to keep her training level up and I haven't...though I certainly can if its needed. I never sacked her out because she seemed so solid under stress but I can see that was from her training, not her inborn personality. Our other horse thinks feedbags, tarps etc are toys for him to play with, she sees them as things to accept because she's told too.
Since she's my little girls horse, I'm now wondering if I was mistaken about this horse being a good choice for a little girl. If we can get her training back to where it was when we got her, is this horse likely to make a decent horse for a child? Most importantly, what do I need to do to get this horse back to where she was about scary things?
I've been watching a lot of videos and reading a lot about sacking out and I think its something I could successfully do as it doesn't sound a lot different from working with autistic children to overcome hypersensitivities and fear, and I'm successful in that. Is it about the same or do I have a wrong imagine of sacking out?
I can call in her original trainer if needed but I'd prefer not to. I'd much prefer it if we can keep her training up to where it should be ourselves.