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I recently got a new horse, a mare. She rides fine but has a problem with turning. I'm not a pro horse rider or anything, so maybe I'm the one doing something wrong... Anyway, I try to turn her & all she does is pin her ears & back up a couple steps. And also, sometimes when I'm just regularly riding straight, she randomly turns around to face the opposite direction and stops. After this happens she won't move, & when I kick her & smooch her, she pins her ears & bucks a little. Is this just because she's stubborn?
 

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make sure your using a snaffle of course.

perhaps being more direct with the reins will help and make sure you slacken the outside rein when asking for the turn. can't really advise much further without more info
 

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Your most immediate problem is the lack of impulsion -- not the inability to guide the horse. Riding a green horse is like driving a truck. You can't turn one around when it is standing still.

You have two choices on how you get forward impulsion -- and believe me -- forward impulsion is the single most important thing you need to teach a horse.

Do you have any kind of pen, corral or paddock to ride in? If you do, you can ride forward and do not have to worry about where the horse goes. In this way, you can teach a horse to go forward. A second person can even help drive/haze the horse to help you teach it that a smooch, a tap on the butt and a heel in its ribs all mean to GO FORWARD! You can do this without guiding the horse.

The other option is to ground drive the horse. In this way, you teach forward impulsion and guiding at the same time. This is what I do with EVERY horse -- even supposedly 'broke' horses that I buy. BUT, it requires a lot more skill and a lot more things can go wrong. It also requires much more preparation -- like getting the horse used to having ropes around its rump and legs.

Either way, you need to teach forward impulsion before you expect a horse to learn to guide. Effective training requires that you put things into a logical order for the horse.

If you try to do something new with a horse and the horse has no idea what you want and just 'locks up', it means you skipped a step somewhere and are just confusing the horse. Horses do not come 'STUBBORN', they only act like this when they are confused or spoiled.

1) Never ask a horse to do anything that it is not ready and able to do.

2) Then, never settle for anything less than full compliance.

This is how effective training works.
 
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