Originally Posted by 17mwallingford View Post
she is at least 25 (we don't how old she was when we got her), and she is a solid, bombproof horse. But the little cuss blatantly ignores
First & foremost, she's not a 'little cuss' and she is not ignoring you! Although if she could talk, she might say exactly the same about you. She's at least 25yo, was in bad condition when you got her, you don't say if as well as gaining condition & fitness before riding her, that you had the saddle checked lately for fit, or whether she had any chiropractic treatment or such - at 25yo, saddle or otherwise, it's highly likely she has at least some body issues, which might be causing her pain to be ridden, and she might be trying to tell you that, in the only way she can, but you're 'blatantly ignoring' her.
I've tried spinning her around in circles until she stops, mounting facing her
Pain aside, have you tried reinforcing her for doing the RIGHT thing, rather than just trying to punish the 'wrong'? Instead of just focussing on making the 'wrong' things unpleasant, focus as much or more so on making the 'right' things Good for her. Eg. when she stands still, tell her 'stand'(or whatever cue) and give her a treat, scratch or such. When she moves away, put her back where you want her, say 'stand' & reward her for being there. When you put your foot in the stirrup & she moves, keep your foot there, pull her around to a stop, then reinforce her positively(reward) and negatively(remove pressure; your foot) for being where you want her.
and she stumbles a little bit on the trail,
That could be a number of things, but IS something to attend to & not ignore. It could be that her feet are not well balanced, long toes or such. Could be that her feet are weak/hurting somehow. Could be that the trail is a bit rough for her. Could be saddlefit restricting her shoulders & hurting her, making her 'clumsy'. Could be a body issue, could be her eyes...