And I have gradually been fixing certain issues.
The horse is now "catchable" and will stand still and allow me to come right up to her in the pasture and will extend her nose for the halter.
She will now lift three of her feet with absolutely no problem. The fourth foot she will press to the floor as though her life depends on it (so that's another issue...)
The owners had been using a tom-thumb and a twisted-wire snaffle on her - and not surprisingly she was resistant to the bridle. I switched to a nice thick snaffle - and she is much more willing to be bridled and beginning to become more responsive to a light touch.
The owners had been using a saddle that was too narrow - and she used to fuss when being saddled. I have switched to a much wider saddle....and now saddling her is much better.
We've been doing some ground work - and she is becoming much more respectful of my space.
These are all good things - all signs of progress - and I'm very proud of how its been going.
Now to the issue: bucking under saddle!
I admit flat-out that I do not have the proper riding skills to handle a horse that bucks under saddle. So far - I have managed to stay on and re-direct her...but we continue to have these incidents with every ride.
I have a few theories:
1) Pain. The horse's feet are not done anywhere near as often as they should be (it's been almost three months). I'm thinking hoof/leg pain is causing her some discomfort - and probably explains why she is only willing (or able) to lift 3 out of 4 feet.
2) A physical issue of some kind - the bucking tends to start after I've been riding for a bit. It could be fatigue/pain some kind of problem that bothers her and she will only endure it for so long...
3) Just a nasty, disrespectful horse - she's certainly has enough bad habits....could be this is just what she's learned.
And the biggest problem? This is a *leased* horse - so the owners do not want to get a vet out...or have the farrier come more frequently. They feel if I just get "tough" with her....she'll be fine.
Does this sound "fixable" to you? What do you think? Suggestions? Ideas?
Thank you in advance for your help!