I got my mare on July 31 and she is 4 y/o. She came to me with a few months of re-training off the track and I've done all of her dressage training myself. I've noticed recently that she won't relax into the bridle untill I give to her. On any other horse, you wait for them to relax and then you give, but not with her- it's so weird. I have to give with my inside rein and then she takes more contact and relaxes into the bridle. Is this okay, or will it come back to bite me in the butt?
Also, I don't know when it's okay to ask for more. I can get her to stretch into the bridle and take contact pretty consistently, but when ever I ask for a little more roundness or contact, she just puts her head up and drops the contact. I've noticed that when I give half halts, she will sometimes lose the contact one way or another. How should I ask her to work a little harder?
Lastly, her right hind leg is not right some how. I know it's probably weak from racing, so we've been doing lots of hill work for the past 2 months. The problem is, she cross fires on a right lead circle- even if she is balanced. The farrier was here today and he barely had to trim the hind right at all (it's been 6 weeks!) because he says she isn't using it nearly as much as her other legs. He did some test things and said her hock and stifle are fine. I already knew this because during our PPE, she had X-rays and lots of tests to check out her joints. As an owner of a 15 y/o ex-racehorse, I know that joint problems can be devastating, so we thoroughly checked that out BEFORE we bought her. I signed her up to see the chiropractor this week, and if that doesn't work thne I'll call the vet. The strengthening exercises are just NOT working. I've also been doing exercises to engage her hind right when I'm riding her, but they are obviously not working. Any thoughts or ideas on this situation?