I moved my older mare home from my boarding barn a month ago. She's currently alone (we're working on a companion) and she's finally settled in and is quiet and seems content, but she's developed a really bad attitude under saddle.
She's had diet changes, being slowly acclimated onto grass and being put on senior supplements. She's now turned out into a one acre grassy paddock where before she was on a much smaller dry lot. My daughter was riding her while she was boarded, and was able to ride her out on her own. She has competed in trail competitions and always been good and reliable.
My mare has now taken to throwing a mini-fit when my daughter tries to ride her away from the barn. She crow hops, does little bucks, and has started backing up quickly. She cantered back to the gate last night. I rode her last week and was able to get her to do what I wanted with firmness and repetition. She's always been one to offer a little challenge but then back off when you got firm.
I don't think she's insecure b/c she spends most of her day in the lower paddock. She's still a doll on the ground. I think her attitude stems from not having to work much lately. I don't ride her b/c she's 23, has a bit of arthritis, and I weigh more than I think she should have to carry. My daughter is now afraid to ride her.
Can anyone offer any training/exercise suggestions? I was going to try meandering through her paddock, slowly making our way to the bottom with direction changes and circles. Also I was going to make a point to always dismount in the lower paddock, so no reward at the gate. Any other ideas to help get the kinks worked out?