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3 year old quarter mare resisting forward movement

I have a 3 year old quarter horse mare named Beau that I've owned since she was 6 months of age. I have a good relationship with her and have done 99.9% of her training myself. I've been riding her since she was 2 and she was doing extremely well under saddle at the walk, trot, and the canter. In the past 3 months, however, she's picked up this horrible habit of resisting forward movement all-together, and now I'm stuck way back at just correcting her walk from a halt! She'll start out by throwing her head once or twice when I squeeze (not kick) her flanks to go, then she'll start rearing...I mean REALLY REARING as in a series of FIVE COMPLETELY VERTICAL rears in a row (we call her "Pogo" now...) She's never offered to throw me or to get me out of the saddle in anyway. I just don't know what she is trying to tell me when she does this. I ride her with a regular light snaffle and a wide, broken in saddle that is in no way pinching her (the same tack I started her in)- I now have to put a tie-down on her when I ride her, which helps a little, but I hate using it as force to discourage her from doing this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you, Amanda & Beau

Hi Amanda,

Thank you for your question. What kind of bit are you using? Are her teeth in good shape? Please consider going back to the basics of ground training her to help her to move forward. Lots of long-line work, lunging, ground driving is what is called for here. After she is confident and comfortable moving forward again, from the ground, then ride her. Have someone lung her while you are riding her. That is a wonderful exercise that I think would help a lot. What she is saying by not wanting to move forward is that she is fearful and not confident to do so (barring anything hurting her like saddle, teeth, or something else in her body). This also may be related to herd bound symptoms. Either way, you taking her back to the basics is what is called for and should get you through this situation.

I am interested and here to offer help. Thanks again for your question.

Aloha, Franklin

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