I bought a 4yr old QH mare a little over 4 months ago. She's a nervous girl, as the previous owner tried to beat her into being a barrel racer. For the first month, I did a lot of ground work with her, groomed her and just bonded. First few rides were a little iffy. She bolted once, other times, she just planted her feet and didn't want to move. She has a few bad manners. We have worked on her giving me space and still working on her food aggression, using vita-calm in her food helps. About a week ago, she cow kicked me in the knee when I was cleaning her hooves. So, she was in her stall, just being fed, and having her stall cleaned. When my husband and I went out today, everything was pretty muddy from the recent rain, but I felt good enough to ride. Went through normal routine, feeding, grooming, tacking up, but skipped lunging, because the round pen was so muddy. I mounted her outside the pasture and my husband led her through the gate. I usually flex her both ways, before we ride. Each time I tried to flex her, she just started walking. So, I let her get out of the mud. Tried flexing her again and she pinned her ears and started bucking and rearing. 5 rounds of bronc riding before I hit the dirt. This is the first time she has ever even bucked with me on her. I got up and dusted myself off, walked her around a bit, calmed her down and led her out of the pasture. One of the women at the barn, that always has a nasty attitude said, "Not a good day to ride" as I was walking out of the pasture. The barn owner is great, and helps with anything I need. I'm not sure if the weather upset her, she didn't like the mud, or what. The farrier is coming to trim her tomorrow. I'm thinking, while my knee is still healing, we'll just do LOTS of groundwork!
how much training has she had prior to you getting her? and , may I ask, how much have you?
I think that she has not really learned how to do a one rein stop.
and, she has not really learned , when in doubt, go forward.
why do I say that? becuase of her "planting her feet", and the bucking and rearing. when a horse cannot be persuaded to go forward, even when upset, then they tend to look for another "way" to go, and that's up.
you want her to always go forward from your asking, even if she is scared. that might mean she goes forward into a circle, and even into a one rein stop/disengagement, but it's different from her feeling "stopped" and then thinking about doing something else. if they are stepping forward, in a circle, they are less likely to be able to buck. So, that's something that isn't , perhaps, really solid in her groundwork
and, imo, having a horse just flex their head to each side serves no purpose . in fact, if the horse does not have a good "go forward", this only serves to disconnect the rein from the feet. a good one rein stop must have the rein connected to the feet, as you are trying to stop the forward movement. this means you get the head to come around (if necessary) and the hind end to step over and to disengage
. if the horse just pulls their head over to one shoulder, they can keep plowing forward, onto their front end, but aren't very balanced. being unbalanced is very threatening to a young horse.