I was asked today by a horse owner to hop on their new horse. She's a 3 and a half year old pleasure mare that they have in training with another trainer at my ranch. She has an awesome trot, very flat footed, slow pace and level head. However, its an absolute FIGHT to get her to lope. She takes almost a half lap to convince her to go (leg pressure, voice, spurs...etc) and she will only take about four strides at a lope and then trot or break down to a dead stop. It's then, again, a fight to get her to lope. She was checked out by the vet about two weeks ago to see if it was a pain issue and he found nothing.
Part of the problem I believe, is that the trainer that rides her, only does so twice a week for half an hour. He kicks her butt then throws her back in her stall for two days. I think she's learning that even if she's difficult and lazy, she gets left alone for a few days.
I eventually got her, after getting after her and not letting her to break down, to lope almost a full circle. I volunteered after the ride, to exercise her the days the trainer isn't riding to help keep her from falling into the cycle of stubborn fighting and then idleness for a few days.
My question is - can anyone give me a hint or trick to help get this dead sided, lazy horse moving? I don't want to keep using spurs as she's already numb to them based on my ride experience. I was thinking it may have to do with a lack of respect and groundwork would help. But I WOULD LOVE ADVICE!! THANKS!!