Follow The Leader Pony

Joined
10 August 2020
Messages
42
Hii! So I have a 7 year old mare and she’s a dream to ride when she’s following other horses, and even just in an arena with them. But, when she’s alone in the arena everything changes. It’s so much effort to even canter, and she’ll step over every jump I put her at. I just feel useless and I really don’t know what to do, there’s nothing that will make her move without someone chasing her. Any tips??
 
Joined
10 August 2020
Messages
42
What’s her history?
She was in a riding school for 2-3 years which I’m assuming is where it all started. She used to be very nappy and completely dead to the leg but that’s all out of her now. I can manage her doing flatwork, but I can’t jump her without another horse in the arena anymore. It’s 99% from being a riding school pony, now I just don’t know how to get it out of her.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Joined
20 February 2009
Messages
37,137
Location
W. Yorks
Start by putting poles randomly in the ground and asking her to go over them while you are riding circles etc. Take no notice of the poles yourself, except to make sure that she doesn't trip over them, don't expect her to change her way of going over them. Get her used to them being there all the time, although you should keep moving them to different random places. Then just raise the poles slightly, still out randomly. It will probably take quite a while to get her out of the habits that she developed in the RS, it is probably a form of defence against unbalanced riders.
 

Winters100

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Joined
18 April 2015
Messages
1,962
She was in a riding school for 2-3 years which I’m assuming is where it all started. She used to be very nappy and completely dead to the leg but that’s all out of her now. I can manage her doing flatwork, but I can’t jump her without another horse in the arena anymore. It’s 99% from being a riding school pony, now I just don’t know how to get it out of her.

You say that you can manage flatwork, but also that it is difficult for you to canter without other horses around. She is 7, and coming from a riding school was, I suppose, ridden by novices from a young age, so did not receive the best education. Can you afford a regular instructor? Or failing that get help from a knowledgeable friend? I don't know how experienced you are, but it sounds to me as if she simply does not respect you and understand what you are asking of her. If she was 2 to 3 years in a riding school and is now 7 then she started there aged 4/5 - it is quite surprising to me that riding schools in the UK use youngsters.

I think that you need professional help, and to go back to basics, because if you are having a problem cantering then trying to jump is a step too far.
 
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