yesterday went no better........
I took her to the end of the driveway and of course, she wanted to go left. I let her go to the left and then I did circles, to show her that its not a fun place to be, but that she will have to work there. She didn't care, just started rearing and trying to go where she wanted. [ the only reason I can think of as to why she wants to go left, is cause when we brought her home from Nicks, I rode her the entire way home. To get back to Nick's is the direction she wants to go. (8 miles away) it was not a pleasant ride for her, that day we brought her home, as I made her work the entire way home, and by the time we got here, she was exhausted. Literally, she could hardly take another step!!! But its still the only direction she wants to go. ]
Then I took her into our big pasture and she rode fairly good in there, except for her wanting to go fast. I mostly made her walk & trot, which she didn't like, but I didn't care. For the most part, I had control of the situation.
Then I took her back to the road and went to the right, towards that dreaded bridge. It was a rodeo all the way. I finally got her to the bridge and she would go no further. I dismounted this time and attempted to lead her across. We got to the the middle of the bridge and I stopped her for a few minutes, letting her see it was nothing to be afraid of. She kept looking back towards the house and would try to go back home. So I walked her on across the bridge to the other side, I stopped and just stood there. Then I took her a little farther and stopped. We did this 4-5 times, go a few steps further and then stop. Then I mounted back up.
She immediately tried to go back home. So more circles, and the standing still. All the while she tried to look towards home. (remember there are no other horses there, just her pen/barn)
I know she has gotten control of the situation.
it appears she has become so afraid to leave the confines of her pen, that to get too far away, she has to get back. One way or the other. She almost went over backwards one time. That was scary...
I just don't know how to get control again. :(
Hubby was there with me this time and he told me to put a whip to her and make her mind. (this from someone that has no actual horse experience other than TV) I would not whip her. She is so touchy that the slightest movement makes her want to leap forward. IF I get her to go forward, she wants to go as fast as possible, but not straight, she wants to veer off the road into the ditch or pasture, but its not safe footing. And she is very hard to control at this point. Its like she has gone back to the stage of no rein control. She will go forward a few steps and then whirl around the other direction. (when she whirls around, its almost like a "roll-back".)
I'm now questioning everything. Is the bit right for her? Is there something wrong with the tack? Feed too high energy?, etc.,
We have her in a short-shank dogbone snaffle, which is what Nick wanted her in for more control. He said it works best for her, but i'm not so sure now. I have almost no control. One time yesterday, she even had the bit in her mouth sideways - the left shank was completely inside her mouth.
I had to dismount to correct it, and then re-mount. (i've had all her tack checked by Nick and he says everything is fine.)
Finally, I took her home and tied her to that (hated) hitching post and left her there for awhile. She, of course, pawed and circled the post for awhile, but finally just stood there. She was home and safe(in her mind), so it was ok with her. Once she was standing still, consistently for about 30 minutes, then I went back to her, took her to the barn, cleaned her up, blanketed her, and put her away. She was calm, sleepy-eyed, and generally a completely different horse.
You know the funny thing is, once I put her back in her pen, she just stands there like "hey, come back here, I want to be with you!!". She obviously wants to be with me, but on her terms, not mine.
So, to sum it up, on the ground she is wonderful. Mounted she is a wild, unmanagable devil creature. SOMETIMES!!!
I know she has gotten her bluff in on me. "if I start rearing, she will get scared and get off me". (yes, I get scared when she rears up high, its not safe.) I can handle those little rears, but not the "hi-ho silver" ones, where she's almost straight up.
Time for plan B??? (round pen is not coming soon enough)
BTW - kristy - I heard a lady today say that she has a little bag of lavender that she lets her horse smell before working and he calms right down. Ever hear of that one???