I'm going to be put my two cents in.
She's not mentally ready, period. Take it from someone with an ankle that has been reconstructed due to me ignoring my youngsters glaring "I'm not READY!" (I thought she was being a putz and was acting out because she didn't want to work) She was four years old, FOUR YEARS OLD, and still wasn't mentally ready. A conclusion I came to after I was laying in a hospital bed, waiting for my turn in surgery to rebuild my crushed talus bone. Coupled with a broken knee. The mare flipped over on me out on a trail, hadn't even made it five minutes out of the barn before she lost it. This is a horse I had ridden out on the trail multiple times, but her "acting out" was nothing big, but big enough I should've paid attention to.
I did ground work with her from 11 months old onward. I left her alone for six months before she turned three, did lots of work with a saddle on her back (but no rider). I put one very uneventful ride on her when she turned 3 years old, but still felt I wanted to wait. I was in no rush. I turned her out for a year and "forgot" about her (intentionally of course).
She turned four and I started ground work again, gradually working into riding. She started to rear. Saddle fitment wasn't an issue, teeth wasn't an issue, pain eliminated, she was acting out because she couldn't mentally handle what was being asked of her. On top of that a friend of mine thought it was thrilling to teach her to rear from the ground while I wasn't around *sigh*.
Either sell this horse if you don't have the time to let them mature, or wait yourself. You'll do more damage forcing a mentally immature horse than you probably will be aware of, and when you are, it'll be too late. Heaven forbid at yours or your girlfriends health expense.
The Fluffy Equestrian
Rhett | Hang on "Fiona" | Rockstar
Reg. TWH Gelding | Irish Draught Horse Mare | SSH Gelding
Last edited by Hang on Fi; 12-05-2013 at 08:07 PM.