About four months ago I started leasing a Friesian x Arab cross. She is 9 years old, and has little training. She accepts the saddle but she doesn't really accept the rider. She doesn't listen to my aids. We're working on bending and listening but when I ask her to do something she catches the bit, and ignores my aid. Then I make my aid stronger and stronger until she gives in and bends, but she pins her ears back and has a little bunny hop. Then at the trot she ignores me almost completely! She has a huge stride, and often rushes the trot. If I ask her do half-halt she holds the bit and rushes forward, pulling my hands down. Then asking her to bend at the trot is another story. She is very unbalanced at the trot, and she feels like she is going to fall flat on her side. If I try to bend her so she can get underneath herself and balance, she throws a fit and bucks. She is a very headstrong mare, who is full of herself. She throws fits all the time! She's broken her stall door, broken cross ties, broken through fences. She is very herd sour too, and will become very agitated if she is away from other horses. I've yet to have a relaxed ride with her when she doesn't listen, spooks at objects she's seen hundreds of times, and is anxious when away from other horses! Any advice to calm down and get her to stop, respect me, and listen to my aids? I'm not used to headstrong horses, so she is quite a challenge for me.
The bit I use with her is a Herm Sprenger KK Ultra Loose Ring Snaffle Bit. What I'm wondering is if she needs a stronger bit? The KK bit is the one my trainer insisted on, but I'm starting to really think that she needs a stronger bit.
First off, i would stop riding all together for a while. Sounds like you have major lack of control and respect which are key ingredients to a safe ride. I suggest ground driving. Go back to the basics, you can do everything on the ground that you do in the saddle. Sounds like this is a recipe for disaster. Get off and work with her on the ground before you get hurt. She needs to listen to you, be soft and responsive on the ground before you even put a foot in the sturrip.
I know of many trainers who have ground driven bad minded horses for up to 90 days before they ever get on. It will help tremendously. I also suggest looking into getting a different trainer. Sounds like they arent helping at all. So like i said. Ground drive, ground drive, ground drive
Thank you for your response, I'm going to start working on the ground with her right away. I need to gain her respect.
That's really what I'm starting to think...
The owner lives 2 hours away and has come to see the horse three times. I haven't met the owner, my trainer has. My trainer was the one who found the horse for me. So its an odd situation.
Hmm. Are you paying for a lease and lessons by chance?
I have a full lease with her, I pay for everything. I get about a lesson a week because of funds but before when I first leased her I got a lesson almost every day. So yes I'm paying for lease and lessons.
Sounds like the lessons arent helping. Like i said, i would look for a new trainer.
Perhaps talk to the owner about reducing your lease cost. I used to pay a little more than half the board cost for full riding priveleges. Owner looked after everything else. Lessons were up to me. It was always a win/win situation.
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