Originally Posted by tinyliny
Here's a thought: is it really true that she listens to you sometimes and not others? I mean, is she "good" some days because she is more obedient, or is it that on that day , at that place, what she wants is what you want, anyway? So, you are no more controlling her then than you are on the day she is bolting. She is doing what she wants in both situations, just that one happens to mesh with you while the other doesn't.
It comes down to, how connected to the bit/rein and to your hand IS your horse? Fundamentally?
If she's pretty connected, then when she is more emotional, and more distracted (on a "bad day"), then you'll still be able to reach and control her. But, if the connection isn't good, (only seems good because her will just happens to parallel yours), then when her will goes far away from yours, you will realize how very little connected she is to you and the rein.
This is an excellent point.
I've ridden horses who were considered having a "good" day just because the rider didn't fall off. That doesn't mean they were doing what the rider asked, they just managed to lope the horse.
What does your horse do when you try and steer? Do you get an immediate response or do you get a duller, less reactive response? Personally, anything less than immediately and "Yes ma'am" is not acceptable. If your horse dives in on a circle, that's disobedience. If the horse takes two extra steps after you say "whoa", that's disobedience. If the horse is sluggish when you ask them to sidepass, that's disobedience.
Of course the disobedience could easily stem from lack of training, however it all comes back to the human with the reins. If you accept lackluster, C- responses instead of snappy A+ responses, you will feed the problem.