Last night I decided to try out my 8 year old 15.2-16 hh mare because she's my most trustworthy mount. She did fine with them. [I started out with ground poles then raised them up to cross rails and such, not on her back, but on the ground lunging her over] After watching her jump I decided that I wanted to keep her western. So I went and grabbed my pony who is 13 years old 14.0 hh. She was my 4-H mount for 2 years and I trust her a lot but she's a bucker. She bites/kicks when saddled [this is a problem that just started last year] She also bites/kicks when I'm trying to get on her. I had my vet check her back, legs, and feet and he said that she is just fine. Her only problem is that she became lame a while back, but that is a thing of the past [we got a new farrier and he fixed it with a different cut on her feet] This mare is my halter pony, so I was a little leery of jumping her, but I trotted her [not on her back, just leading] over ground poles, then up to a cross rail, then [I was using a barrel to hold the poles up] I put one across the barrel. She actually seemed to be enjoying this new exercise. I then tied her up, after getting her a drink from the trough, and got my english saddle. I put the saddle on her and she didn't pin her ears back at all like she does with my western saddle. I then grabbed the girth, she pinned her ears back a little, and then was fine until I started tightening it, when she tried to kick out at me twice. This was nothing unusual for me [yes I do reprimand her for it, but NO, I would NEVER beat any of my horses] So I walked and trotted her once around the pasture [not the big one, it's relatively small and easy to work it] And she seemed fine with this saddle, I didnt have a bridle on her because she does fine just working in her halter and despises the bit [though she works okay in that too] I had my best friend put the poles back down on the ground and I took the mare over them, then I kept raising it as I did before..she did fine and only reared twice and bucked a couple times [not even at the jumps, just random places aroudn the pasture] Other than that, she was an angel and went over the jumps like a pro.
This was both of our first times jumping, but I've been to clinics and such. Her bucking and rearing also aren't like she's trying to hurt me, just showing displeasure. [Her buck is more like a crow hop anyways and sometimes she only kicks out with one leg] But I'm wondering if there's anything I should do to aid her and make things happier for her, or if maybe I shouldn't jump her at all. Please give me your advice? [I give her treats after every ride or training session so she has something to look forward to]