Last fall we bought a pacing standardbred mare, Bunny, just off the track. This is my then, 14 year old daughter's project. This mare is so sweet, but was offish with her head. She would never look straight on at you. Her head was high and she paced.
My daughter mounted her after we worked with her to be sure she had the ground manners and then to be sure she would respond to bit. She is just the most gorgeous, proud moving animal and from the minute my daughter mounted her, they became one. Bunny is like a model on the runway!
We constantly work on getting her head down and she is beginning to supple, but it is a long process, because she was run with hobbles and the bars they use to keep the head up. Now we are asking the total opposite of her. Muscle changes have to happen and she just has to be allowed to walk, trot or canter as a horse should. To teach her to trot, we laid a ground pole where she would be asked to trot and also small circles would bring her out of the pace. She will now canter after the jump, but still goes into the pace. It all take time and patience. Right now she is just being a horse and I see her cantering and trotting on her own. In the spring we will work with her again and I think she will really be ready. She will make such a beautiful dressage horse the way she moves.
Let me hear your stories of retraining.