Originally Posted by Spirithorse
You can ALWAYS change a horse's perception of being ridden. My point is to find out WHY she's arguing with you. That's the key. I feel there is a problem somewhere since you feel the need to carry a crop with you. If everything was fine, truly fine, there would be no use for the crop. So one thing you could try is when she starts to argue, just allow her to go away from the threshold a few steps then ask her to stop, and rub her. I'm sure I'll get chewed out for this, but this CAN work (I've done it with my warmblood in the past). You are not rewarding her arguing, you are doing the opposite of what she is expecting. She's expecting you to fight her and try to force her, so when you do the opposite of what she expects, that brace in her mind has the tendency to go away. Then you just ask her forward again nice and softly.
I carry the crop on the road because if I don't she'll decide she wants to quit (or something, it's not a fear response, she freezes or jumps to the side when she's scared) and she'll start backing up (and she won't stop, as soon as she starts backing up I put my hands forward on her neck and lean forward a little just so I know that I'm not accidentally cueing her to continue) and progress to rearing and bucking (but mostly rearing) if I try to circle her or do anything to redirect her away from backing up. I've tried just letting her stand as soon as she decides to stop backing up but as soon as I ask her to move forward she starts going backwards again. The only thing that I've found will stop her is the crop. I whacked her with it once or twice to help her realize that backing up isn't fun and now all I have to do is wave it every so often when she gets balky. I'm sure surprising them with kindness can work for some horses but I've tried it with her and it totally doesn't.
I have this feeling that she has a secret "button" that once I find it and press it she'll just settle right down but I haven't found it yet.
Thanks Miloismyboy. =) No worries, I kept her going and didn't back down becuase she was angry. She's one of those ones that if I ever backed down I'm pretty sure she would return to her former monster-like self. Haha She used to be super flighty and disrespectful and as soon as one got on her back people most likely started selling tickets to the rodeo that was about to happen, now she's much better. Haha
On a good note, this morning I rode her bareback in her halter and she was SO good. She was kinda irritated that I didn't let her eat the hay that was on the ground (she got all prancy and indignant) but she dealt with it. Good poneh!