Just got back from seeing a mare for loan. She is 7 and can be stressy, hormonal. That doesn't worry me. She had a problem getting into canter, she just trotted faster and ran, then broke into canter. She was worse on one rein than the other. The owner has had her for nearly 4 yrs, but she was not broken in til she was 5 and she did not start canter work til she was 6. Owner mentioned that she has her back seen to every 6 months and she is much better afterwards. After a bit of googling I found she has seen a bowen therapist. Now I only want to hack this horse, mostly walk and trot and I might break into a canter on a good day with the wind behind me! My daughter will ride her too and she might school and jump her, but essentially she would be for me to hack. So, is this back thing the cause of the running into canter? Or is the running a schooling issue? As it's a loan and not to buy, would I be mad to take this on? Finding horses for loan is like finding hens teeth! The last one I looked at had arthritis and intermittent lameness.
Sounds like the mare is in pain and has never been properly diagnosed. She might stay the same but even if she does your DD will have trouble jumping a horse that is not balanced enough to do a canter transition. She may also get worse and you may be left with a vet's bill and a horse you can't ride - not to mention that horses with back pain can buck!
If it's not her back it could well be her hormones, especially with her 'being hormonal'.
Even if she did not have the back problems why take on a hormonal mare? She may have difficult days and she's likely to get worse in the summer, the time most people want to ride.
My first thought was its a schooling issue especially if she's been broken late and only started cantering last year.
It takes time and the right kind of work to build up the muscles so a horse can make a decent canter transition. It's taken my youngster absolutely ages to be strong and balanced enough to pick up the correct canter lead consistently, and to get a decent upwards transition. He was a late maturing type.
Also, if she's never been properly schooled and is finding it difficult to carry herself she could well be getting a bit sore. Or she could be sore because of an ill fitting saddle.
I wonder what kind of schooling, if any, that she's had. But whatever, if the horse isn't right for you then don't bother. Round here there seem to be absolutely loads of decent horses for share/part loan, so just keep looking!