Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
First, I agree with creating and maintaining impulsion. NO movements are correct without a horse in "rear-wheel-drive." Also, horses that immediately move away from your leg will not plant their feet and buck or rear when frightened, so they are safer, too.
I suggest that you teach your pony to back on the ground, much like Clinton Anderson does. He suggests/demonstrates backing horses (on the ground) literally YARDS, around the arena, into the barn and into the stall.
After he has mastered THIS, work on backing while mounted. Expect only a step or two at a time, then ask for more. You back, halt, then walk off. When your pony has mastered this, trot off from the halt. You do not want to hold his head in a frame, but he will develop musculature from backing. My 6yo QH was throwing his head when I first got him. The rescue let their free help ride him and he didn't like any contact bc he was smacked in the mouth too often, as a 3yo. When my DD and I work him now, and we back him, he softens and comes into my hand. THIS is the very beginning of softening and breaking at the poll. I still work him in a snaffle, on a loose rein, bc I don't have as many hours in him as I would like.
You probably can't do it, but many places used to teach their riding horses to drive as 2/3yo's to develop muscles to carry a rider without having to carry a rider's weight. At ~4 years old the same horse would be backed bc he would be strong enough to easily carry a rider.
You might look into books/videos on ground driving, and "In-Hand" training. Here is one that I am studying and using on my geldings:
http://www.amazon.com/Horse-Training-In-Hand-Modern-Working/dp/1570764093I'm betting that your horse has learned to push his nose out as a habit. He'll appreciate going back and relearning to carry you. Hope this helps! =D