Retraining our horse?
Hi all! I'm pretty new to this forum.
We have a two-year-old American Paint Horse that has a bit of Arabian in her, so she is naturally high-strung. She has quite the "attitude" - if you must call it that. I'm afraid we've been letting her dominate over us for the past few months and it shows..hopefully with some consistent training and work we can change that.
We sent our horse, Roxy, to the trainers to be broke last year in July. When she got home, she was the best horse I've ever rode. Willing, trustful, responsive. Roxy's very smart, I only had to teach her something a few times before she got the hang of it. She rode absolutely perfect for the first few weeks.
But unfortunately her smartness kicked in and she bolted on me. Now, I've never had to deal with a bolting horse (although I know now) so I was thrown off and Roxy won. She bolted on my brother, too, and won over him also. Pretty soon Roxy started being in control and we didn't know quite what to do about it, being inexperienced ourselves.
A few weeks ago we got to know our neighbors really well, they have at least 20 horses and are very very helpful with our horses. They sold us two well-broke geldings, actually. Anyways, we brought Roxy to them and she tried bolting on them as well. They said pretty much to sell her. She'd be too much for us to handle and too dangerous...
But we don't quite want to give up on her. She's a great horse once she learns to respect you. So recently I've been riding her bareback with only a halter on. She does so so well, you'd never imagine her bolting... She neck reins, stops, backs up, and turns smoothly. She's just a little lazy. I feel like she's a ticking bomb, just gaining our trust and then waiting to explode. But that's probably just me, because it's so shocking to be able to ride Roxy like this.
We've been thinking the two geldings we can just ride around bareback have helped calm Roxy down quite a bit. She seems them getting praise and wants attention, so when its her turn she wants to be like them. She rides just fine with them around.
But we haven't tried the saddle and bridle on her yet. She saddles up fine, but I'm scared riding her like that so soon will bring back memories.
So what I plan to do is keep riding bareback for a few more weeks, and eventually start to ride with the bridle out in a little bigger area in the pasture. I don't want to get her in the wide open quite yet, I want to stick to confined areas - but we'll go bigger over time. I just want to take things slowly, so that she knows there is no reason to bolt.
I know she'll test us by bolting again, but hopefully now that we know how to disengage her hindquarters, we can try to work through the problem. I just don't want to quite sell her yet.
Does this sound like a good plan? Any advice? What would you do?
The two geldings are named Royal and Flip. They are very well trained. I'm learning off of them each day and transferring that to Roxy..I expect Roxy to behave as the geldings do. The more she watches them (especially when I ride) the more she wants to do what they do. But she's still high-strung out of the pasture...you can't work with her anywhere outside a fenced area...suggestions?
(Thanks for reading, sorry it was so long - forgive all typos xD)