Just so my title isn't misconstrued, I'm not blaming this as solely an Arabian problem, but in my experience they do tend to have issues with it, keeping with the high head carriage they naturally have.
Ok, so my problem lately is Zierra. I've kind of been out of anything except trail riding for quite awhile and Zierra's training has gone virtually into the crapper. Which now means she's decided she doesn't need to listen to the bit, period.
Shay-las begun working with her, now that Cinder is retired and essentially the problem is her pointing her nose straight into the air and running away. She's ridden in a loose ring french link snaffle. She's fine if you keep a small circle - you can walk, trot, canter and keep her nose in a relatively "natural" position, and encourage her to give to the bit and bring her head around. She knows leg pressure, she bends nicely, and is overall an ok mare to ride.
The problem is "straight-aways". The minute you stop riding circles, that nose flies up and she bolts. You can get her under control, but the resulting gait is a bouncing, choppy pogo Arab canter with you practically hauling her mouth off to prevent her from going any faster. This is obviously completely counter productive. She will behave the exact same way at a trot, the minute you leave the circle - trotting with her nose sky high and attempting to canter.
In the past, I actually had my Dressage coach show me how to use draw reins because we had so much difficulty bringing her nose out of the clouds. Does anybody have any OTHER suggestions? I do know how to use draw reins, but I'm wondering if this should be my resort or if there are possibly other solutions I can examine?
As a note, this is when riding her English. The minute she feels a bit in her mouth, she seems to know she can get away with murder. If I throw the Western and a hackamore on her, she behaves almost perfectly, and I can lope loose rein circles on her. I DON'T get what her hang up is with the bit. She's been like this virtually from day one.
Thanks in advance. As a note, this is made even more difficult by the fact that we have no arena, just a snow covered YARD to school in. We've tried "shutting her down" by spinning a tight circle, but the footing just isn't good enough for that, hence our frustration when she gets silly with her head.