She regularly rushes ahead and ignores my 'micro movements', until they get bigger and bigger and I have to tug her back . The complete OPPOSITE of what we both want!
In my experience, horses often ignore micro movements in situations of excitement unless these movements and the reactions to them have been introduced in a calm context and in a stepwise manner. Once this has been done, it is much easier to gradually transfer this type of communication to situations with more distractions. To do that, I first do the Encouraging politeness type of work in standstill. Second, I need to get into that area right between standing still and rushing, so I slowly work my way forwards from one end of that spectrum (standing) to the other one (rushing). I don’t simply start walking with the horse and wait for him to rush before starting to communicate. Instead, I stand still with him, walk one step, and as soon as the horse is in the process of setting his first step, I interrupt him and ask him to stop via body language (taking my focus back, standing straight etc.). When he stops, I reward massively and then we walk two steps, we stand, walk three steps, and so on. Once this stopping works, I minimize my cues so that the horse does not completely stop but merely shifts his focus back and onto me, which I reward and then directly walk on. In that way, we have established a fluent, constant communication that we can use while walking together.
Also, I make sure that a situation of rushing and pushing does not occur in the first place. As soon as I feel the least bit of resistance or that they stop attending to me, I stop in my tracks, freezing completely. I stand there and wait, and don't move on unless the horse has turned back to me and made a step out of my space. I reward this and only then we walk on. After that, I frequently check the horse's communication by giving little body language signals and rewarding the reactions to them. If there is no reaction, I stop walking again. Thus, I make sure not to walk without the horse's attention at all.
By the way, we have discussed a similar thing in the Encouraging politeness sticky
so i am left by his shoulder when i ask him to stop he spins around so he faces me
When my horses don’t stop when I stop but run past me and cut me off, there are a few things I can do. First, I do what I have described above, i.e. making sure the horse slows down and stops in accordance with my body language. Additionally, I use my body to block him, if he gets too fast. To do that, I walk beside him and then turn my upper body and shoulders towards him. If he has learned to react to small body language signals in standstill (Encouraging politeness), this will most likely make him yield away from me with his shoulder. In terms of exercises, I do lots of direction changes and reward them. Now if I suddenly change direction, it will be very hard for my horse to follow me (and get rewarded) if he has not attended to my moves before, so he learns that he can make it easier for himself if he stays attentive and close to me.