Much too often, riders are merely passengers when riding horses and allowing the horse to make way too many decisions. The question you should ask yourself is…who do you want to be in charge, you or the horse? Remember, whenever you are working with your horse, everything must be on your terms!This means you should be the one that directs your horse where to go, when to go, how fast to go etc. Horses are very good at anticipating. They pick up on routines no matter how small and tend to take matters in their own hands instead of waiting for the rider to direct them. How many times have you seen horses that walk off as the rider mounts or even attempts to mount? Usually, this is the horse anticipating walking forward every time the rider’s butt hits the saddle.
Here’s a good rule of thumb, always do the opposite to what your horse wants to do! If your horse wants to turn left, you turn him right. If your horse wants run, shut him down and walk for a bit. If your horse wants to walk off every time you mount, back him or at least sit and flex a few seconds every time before you walk forward.
In all fairness to the horse, be absolutely sure you are not cueing the horse to do something unintentionally!
A good exercise is to trot your horse toward a fence. Wait and see if the horse starts to pick his own direction (left or right) then you turn him the opposite direction. Once the horse starts to realize every decision he makes is wrong, he’ll start to wait for you to provide the right answer!