I bought myself a pretty little mare just over a week ago and while she is super smart, I would love some suggestions for helping with rhythm!
Right now at the trot and walk she's rushing around like a demon creature is chasing her and spazzes when I apply the teensiest amount of leg pressure (I'm basically riding with my calves completely off ).
Here's what I've been doing with her:
"Milking" the reins when she gets speedy.
Going over ground poles.
Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of groundwork, including stretches.
She's been responding well to all of these things and has been evening out, but I would love to know if there's anything else I can try. Especially when it comes to calf pressure! When she dances/veers/spins I've been circling her until she calms down, but I don't understand her aversion to it and it's been frustrating me, which doesn't help either of us.
Our current training goal is to participate in a 15-mile trail ride on April 21st (the shortest of the event - the others are 25 and even 50 miles!), but if she's still rushing around and not using her energy efficiently I wouldn't be comfortable asking her to go so far. She's used to being mostly a pasture ornament. Our overall goal is to get into eventing, so this is behavior that absolutely cannot continue.
Thanks in advance for any replies!!