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Sticky Sticky Sticky....
I have this little mare that I've been working with on reining.... I do go to a pro guy who helps me out but right now he's busy building a house and rehabilitating a horse so I hate to bother him too much. Plus it's miserably cold outside and I have school so I'm not going to be riding a ton. I'm just curious as to what I should do here.
My mare is really soft in the face, bends at the poll, gives to the bit... It's just when I ask her to back up she gets really sticky and just over-collects and leans back on her haunches but doesn't move her feet. I've tried using my legs in every way I've thought to move her back... Doesn't help. Light spurring on her shoulders helped some but I hate to have to resort to that. I've even started not asking her to back much because I don't want to get into a fight with her. She backs fine on the ground. I'm thinking it's me. Something I'm doing wrong or giving her conflicting cues, but I'm stumped. Kissing, clucking, kicking, squeezing, you name it, I've tried it. I hate to pull on her face, too, because she's so soft in the mouth usually. I feel like I have heavy hands when I have to do that just to get one step back out of her. :?
Anyway. I'm stumped. Since she usually has so much try and want to, and she was backing like a dream about 2 weeks ago, I don't know what's up here. Could it be pain? Or is it just that she's being lazy and trying to get out of it? I dunno. Opinions? Thanks in advance!
I quoted some of the main points here. IMO, not knowing anything about your riding style or your mare, it sounds like she's training you. As my fav guy Clinton Anderson says, you're either sensatizing or desensatizing a horse. When you ask and they don't respond and you stop asking, you're teaching them that they can ignor you. (C.A. calls it "nagging"). Light on the bit or not, there's no excuse not to up the pressure. I ask. I ask again. Then I tell. If she was doing it fine before and isn't now, my guess is just as you said (i bolded it). My mare is very light on the bit, but sometimes she'll start pulling her head up. I'll cue her to collect up. She'll do it for a few seconds, then right back to the head up. I'll ask her to collect up again, she will for awhile, then her head goes right back up again. I get on her case for things like that. She knows what I want. She's just seeing what she can get away with, which is what I think your mare might be doing, too. Good luck, and keep us updated! :-)
Thanks! I rode her today and I just tried the tough love tactic ha. She still is not going as well as she was, but that might take time to get back. I never let her get away with not doing it, she just isn't doing it as well as I know she can, and I need to get her back to that. I'll add more later, but I think that it's just that she thinks she should get to stop when she wants and that's not how it is. I feel like my body position might be hindering her some. Just because she's reining trained and I need to talk to the trainer about how he trained her... but usually I just try to raise my butt out of the saddle a little because she seems like that helps her to move easier. I think in time we'll work better together and she'll respond to my cues more, but... just takes time. =)
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