Teaching an old horse new tricks
I recently purchased another horse, it is a beautiful 12 year old Palamino that may have a little fox trotter in her due to the gait that she has. The previous owner never worked on neck reigning with her, she is really responsive however. The first time I rode her was bareback with two reigns hooked onto her halter and she would go anywhere I desired. I have two issues that I would like to overcome first is that she backs up extremely well, sometimes too well. Anytime you pull back a little on the reigns she puts it in reverse and starts to back up. I like this except for when we go on the trail, she has stepped off of the trail twice now as I have pulled back to slow her down. How can I get her to not back so quickly?
My second issue has to do with the bit. The previous owner said that he didn't always use a bit and would just use the halter with the reigns. Because when you place a bit in the horses mouth she just plays with it. I am currently using a hackamore on her, and she constantly plays with this bit as well. I thought it might be the fitment of the hackamore, so I adjusted it until it seemed to fit perfectly. And she still plays (whips her head around and shakes it) around with it. Is their another bit that may overcome this issue or how can I break her of this habit?