Yes to everything. She is a very lazy horse. Leg pressure starts the walk easy. Lots of kicking to get her to trot. Canter is even more difficult. She does drag behind when on a lead. She resists backing up. When going forward leg pressure does not keeo her tracking straight she must constantly be correcred with the reins. So i am going to say everything you say is correct. That being understood what groundwork do you suggest
yeah! I took a big risk making those guesses, and a part of me is glad that I was right, but the other part is not so glad for YOU~!
Ok, so , the thing is, the first thing you want to get out of this horse is FORWARD!!!
like some kind of bugler's charge . . ."Forward charge!"
No, seriously, more forward is the cure to 90% of horse issue, and , fortunately, it's not the hardest thing to deal with.
I wish I could be with you and watch you work with this mare, so please forgive the assumptions I am making. My guess is that you are , yourself, kind of dull in how you prestent your 'asks' to the mare, and consequently, both of you are, to a certain degree, sleepwalking though the whole process, and not making any real CHANGES.
This is what I challenge you to look for in this mare; changes. When you ask her to do something, and youv'e asked many times before, is she giving you the same level as before? or, is it changing? for the better or worse? You want to see changes in her behavior, as this is what training is all about; changing things.
Ok. specifically, If I were to ask a hrose to go, in the round pen, and the horse was just kind of lollygagging along, I'd give a quiet ask, a firm 'tell' and then , by God, I'd fall apart!!! I'd do something that created a real CHANGE in the horse's behavior. I'd make a bit of noise, flap the flag good and noisy like, or spank the ground noisily with the tail fo the leadrope, or smack my thigh with my hat, or kick sand some where . . . whatever it takes for that horse to say, "WHAT????? WTH!!?????" and look at me like I was crazy.
THEN . . . .. I'd quietly ask, "go forward!" and I'd want a change that was equal to the level of my ask. If I whispered, Id want a small forward. IF I shouted, I'd want a big change.
YOu see what I'm getting at? YOu are spending so long in the 'gray ' area that you are dulling her out. If you are sure that your ask is ok (meaning you aren't asking her to go forward in the round pen while simultaneously standing in front of her blocking her ), and she is pretty much blowing you off, you need to get serious and wake her up.
You need to require more of her, and be very , very clear when you ask that you GET what you asked for. NEVER walk away from a request until you've gotten some kind of change from your horse, some kind of REAL ANSWER>
Can you envision what I am talking about?