My Mare Won't Work.
I've down on my knees at this point searching for any kind of advice, even joining a forum that I think I'll stick around for :P. So, this will REALLY be long, but if you take the time to read it and maybe have a suggestion I will forever be thankful!!
I got my mare about 9 months ago, she is a New Holland Auction pull. When I first got her, after allowing her to settle in for a few weeks, I started seeing what she knew. I started by lunging on the line to find that someone did, indeed, teach her how to do that. I attempted cross ties - she knew what it was. I tacked her up slowly and she was a little spooky about it but nothing extreme. I lunged her under tack and she did it like she's done it all her life. So I figured that someone obviously had my mare at some point and taught her all these things, right? Well, after working with her and all that, I unclipped her lunge line and brought her over to the mounting block. As soon as I stepped my foot into the stirrup, that mare was long gone. She's only 14.2, but those bucks where so ridiculously high it was unbelievable. When I let go and hit the ground, she took off running. After literally ten seconds, though, she hit the breaks and allowed me to catch her. I put her back on the lunge line and she acted as though she were perfectly fine.
I spent the next few days having someone hold her and playing around with her, putting my weight across her, in the stirrup, and none of that bothered her. I had someone hold her when I stepped in and climbed on, no issue. She understood my leg aid for a walk and a trot, but not a canter. The vet said she had a pregnancy before, and it caused her to be off balance, so she can't find her balance to canter quite yet. (She's a lot better now! She canters perfectly while free lunging!) I figured we'd take it step by step until she started barrel kicking out at every horse I rode by. I rode for a half hour - hour everyday 5 days a week with another horse in the ring to get her used to the fact that she has to share. Eventually that came to a stop but something else I learned about her was that if you give her her head to relax, she will jump and buck and spin and once that starts, she will not give up twisting her body in every direction to dismount you.
I can ride her bareback for the most part, just a halter, and she'll be okay. Sometimes she pulls her crap, but not often bareback. But as soon as I place that saddle on her, her face changes and it's honestly like stepping onto battle field when we enter the ring. She still bulks when trying to mount. You can get off and get on and she'll be good one day, but tomorrow she'll bulk and it's like you never made any progress. She still spins and bucks when she decides she's had enough of you. I bought a western saddle, a nice synthetic one, light and easy, figuring maybe she would rather try a more relaxed discipline. I tacked up for the first time yesterday and mounted up and that mare fought me every step of the way. Eventually she relaxed a little but not much.
Her saddle fits fine. Her teeth are in great shape. Her bit is cleaned right after being used. Her bridle is clean. Her feet are cared for and if anything ever happens, my farrier is out the next day. She is in perfect health. When I free lunge her, she has a blast. But, she will decide she's done and then I have to start really pushing her. I just don't know how to go about this, and I love my mare. On the ground she will follow me to earth's end and do anything I ask of her. But when I'm up there it's like I lost my lovey-dovey, willing to please mare for a flat out b!tch. Anybody have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you !!!