I am new to this site so it may take some time for me to respond. Here's a little about me:
I grew up riding Arabians so I am very familiar with their temperaments. I have been riding since I was a little girl but quit riding in about junior high school/early high school. About a year ago, I began riding again (I am 24 now). I still "have it" but I am in the process of getting my strength back and getting my position back to it's normal state.
Anyways, I found my first horse ever back in August. I have always just looked online at horses just for fun and I ended up looking at this ad for a 4 year old anglo-arab mare that was 15.3 hands. For some reason, I just KNEW I had to have this horse. I am currently in college and I kept telling myself I was an idiot for even thinking about getting a horse. I even told my parents about it and they were very supportive of getting her, which is very unusual for my parents knowing my financial situation.
Fast forward, I buy her and bring her home. I feel completely overwhelmed because I am thinking to myself "****take mushrooms Michelle...you now own your first horse...what are you doing?!" Even after being around horses all my life, after I brought her home I swear I forgot everything on how to take care of a horse. I am like "when do I worm her, when do I know when she's lame, when do I do this...when do I do that" I feel like I seriously just got thrown a test I haven't studied for in 20 years. It's weird.
Now, I also grew up only riding geldings. My first trainer HATED mares and only had geldings so I was basically forced to ride geldings. Even the girl who owned the Arabs I grew up riding only let me ride the geldings. The first mare I have ever ridden was one of the mares at the barn I currently work at now.
NOW HERE'S MY SITUATION!
I know to expect my mare to be a little on the "wonky" side because she is young, half arab, and a mare. She's a handful, and I was completely aware of this and she is pretty much my dream horse (tallish, arab of the sort, and young). When I ride her she likes to try and go whichever direction she wants to go and when I try to correct her, she pitches a fit. When I try to squeeze her into a trot she pins her ears back, kicks out to the side sometimes, halts, squirms around, sometimes even rears. I try to be gentle when squeezing her because she is very "short" and doesn't have much of a back so if I move my leg too far back with her, I am kicking her in the abdomen. After a bit of persuading, she will eventually trot until I tell her to walk. She does try to get away with a lot of stuff including eating the brush around the arena so I know to expect that "baby" attitude. I don't even attempt to canter her while under saddle because she is already giving me a hard time getting her to trot. She also throws her head around when I try to take any contact with her. Again, I know that's the baby in her.
I lunge her with the surcingle in the walk and trot with a very soft contact. She does well with that. I will occasionally canter her around just one time on each side. She likes to buck buck and throw her head around going into the canter. As my barn manager says "she canters very down hill" and has no strength for it so she isn't balanced.
My question (after my novel, thanks for reading!) is what exercises or methods would you suggest to work with her while riding to help with these bad habits? This is my first time training a horse from the basic level and I really want us to bond and ride well. It's more like we fight one another and get irritated with each other when we are riding. Any help or videos or whatever will be greatly be appreciated.
P.S. Is "mare magic" actually worth it? Everyone I know swears by it. I have never seen a mare be in heat like her! She's a mess!!!
(Here's my "nightMARE" or as known as "the witch" at the barn, Rosie...or I call her ROO!)