I have just started working with a 12 year old mare, I understand that she was used for ranch work as a 4/5 year old, but then had a foal a year since then. In this time she was basically untouched, her feet have never been done, struggled to catch her, she's a draft cross, so is a big heavy girl to deal with.
She has made a ton of progress now, I can touch her all over, lifet her feet, clean out the fronts, and at least hold the backs, the farrier has agreed to help me get her feet done when I've got a couple more weeks work on her feet.
I've had her working loose and on the lunge in the round pen, she's had a lunge cavesson on, and is working in a surcingle and I've been really happy with the speed we're moving at. Today I thought I'd try her with a sidepull and mmmmm. I tried hooking the side reins up, but the pressure on her nose just had her backing around the pen, so I dropped those off again a bit quick. I hooked up a long rein to each side of the side pull to see if she would ground drive, and that was a mess
If I took pressure on the right rein, she turned sharp left, pressure on the left rein, she turns right. I did work on just standing still and turning to direct pressure, but she seems really confused, always turning the opposite way........HELP.
I put the side pull on, because I couldn't even touch her mouth when she first turned up, but today when I untacked her I tried slipping a bit in her mouth and she took it beautifully, so will be bridling her for her next session. I'm wondering if the sidepull is confusing her, or if she was taught to neck rein, and she is confused by direct reining.