Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Taranaki New Zealand.
This may or not be relevant but I have found in my experience of young (or quite green) horses that you do get a sort of honey moon period while riding is new. I have always found that there comes a point once a horse is starting to get fitter and more confident with a rider that you enter in to a sort of trial period. My mare is an exceptionally calm horse and I thought I had done a pretty good job with the basics but over time little 'issues' crop up.
I am a great believer in backing up. I always start each ride from a basic level once a young horse starts to test. I start a ride with lateral strtching, work on this until she stands nicely until I ask her to move. Still in the same place I start asking her to move her hind quarters one step, front end one step, then the other side, moving into a full side pass, we practice this until I can place her feet exactly where I want them. We then do some backing and backing in a circle. Basically all I am doing is getting her to think before she moves. Also this is good for flexibility. I am pushing her around with my legs by the way, keeping my hands as quiet as possible.
Once I have done this and we go off to work I know she understands what I am asking her to do. When I ask for a trot if she begins to rush I bring her right down to a stand still and make her back up until I feel her give. Then I will ask for the trot again, I do the same thing the minute she even thinks of getting pushy, stop and back up. If my horse is pushing at the trot I don't even bother going into a canter until that particular issue is dealt with. Only once we are trotting the way I want to trot, for as long or short a time duration as I choose will I introduce a canter. This is just my little way but it works for me.