I've recently started exercising my friend's QH mare, named Magic. She has had tons of training and will do anything you ask. However, she is not a horse for beginners. She has a very strong "STOP nagging, LEAVE me alone" kind of attitude, and I've seen her get pretty pissy with other riders.
When I first started riding her about a week ago, the moment I got on her back until the moment I dismounted was a battle - she was high-headed, and kept attempting to break into a trot. Her trot is unacceptably speedy and out-of-control. She even attempted to break into a canter a few times. It was incredibly difficult to achieve a down transition - she'd just throw her head in the air and continue with her ears pinned.
I've ridden her maybe 5 times or so and we've already improved majorly. Our second ride involved only walk-halt transitions, and she will now halt with lots of seat tightening and a light touch of the reins.
With more trot-walk transitions, figure eights, circles and trot poles, her trot is now an acceptable speed about 60% of the time. She no longer throws her head in the air, and gives to bit pressure very well.
I am by no means a trainer. I'm just a teenager who is excited to figure this mare out and see how we can improve. I'm curious: What would YOU do to get an agitated, sensitive mare to relax and slow down? I'd love to hear some ideas (:
Thanks! Oh, here are a couple pictures of this beautiful girl: