I admire your ability to stick with this horse. Good for you. Do you think herbs that calm would help him? Maybe take the edge off and keep him out of the "I'm so mad at you for making me do anything".
Oh he is never going anywhere. Even if I didn't love the challenge that is this horse and even if he wasn't my heart horses son... who would want him!
As far as herbs he can get edgy (er) when he gets low in Calcium so we have supplemented him when need be. But he is otherwise not deficient and herbs wouldn't help. Its just who he is. He was born a brat. If I had a dollar for everyone who told me "that colt is going to be a handful..."
He is a huge intimidator and he gets his way with absolutely everyone else who he comes into contact with. I have had countless farriers have trouble with him but with a bad back and the worlds weakest hand grip I can trim him, taking three times as long and requiring far more patience on his part.
Jaydee- We have actually gone right back to the basics with him a couple of times. I think he would benefit from lounging with side reins and at some point, I will find someone who can properly instruct me & get the right equipment to do so. He does know how to lounge and go through the basics. When he was away this year for a couple of weeks she did ground work for a week. He came back with a rope burned face and whip marks on his chest from all of the attempts to attack her (another fun habit for him. IF you are not me and you wish to drive him in a circle). She had him more respectful of her at the end of the week but he was still a snot, he'd come in at her cautiously and when she went out in the pen to catch him she would have to work for it. He would plant his face in a corner and just swing at anyone who came to get him. A habit that I'd forgotten about! It has been years since he tried that one on me. As bad as it sounds I had a good chuckle at his rope burn and whip ruffled furr - something he was not expecting from someone else. He and I have gone rounds with extremes that I have never had to use with any other horse. Most of his ridiculous and dangerous threats had been defused by age 5. I think from baby on up to 5 years old every couple of months he would try something new and I would have to go to some extreme to make it known that we do NOT do that. We've had a good three year run now. He is my best buddy. He comes when I call. I lead him out into the barn by his head, he stands un-haltered and un-tied for anything that I do with him. He knows when my head is messed up for the day (some form of Epilepsy) and he'll be very quiet, try to keep other horses away (sweet, but sometimes inconvenient) when I turn everyone out in the pasture he'll walk next to me, they'll all run out and Image will take me back up to the barn before turning around and running out the far gate himself. He has a very unique inelegance and interesting way of learning. He is a great grudge holder to. I had an ex who seemed to think that he was bigger and stronger than horses and could man-handle them to get his way. Image loved this challenge.
The horse used to make it a mission to walk up to this guy, sideswipe him and walk by. All "guy shouldering into another guy coming through the door" style. Image has never done this to anyone else. That guy left my life and when he came out for a visit 3 years later Image saw him from across the pasture, strode over and sideswiped him. He's like "He still does that?!" I said "I guess he just remembers you because, no." I'd forgotten that he ever did that. Just last week when I got back from vacation the girl who was taking care of the farm here said GOOD. Go see Image. He has been in a horrible mood ever since you left and he is going to start eating people.
All that said- he is never going to hand me anything. But I am willing to take lessons when I find an instructor qualified, ask advice, find someone with some opinions that will help, accept critiques. I do not feel like I am such an awful rider "riding his front end into the ground" that he can justify not giving me so much as a trot. Dressage isn't something that I am set on doing with him, its something that I'd like to learn and since he is here and I am stuck waiting for my yearling to reach 17hh... Image it is. Its good for him too. He will move freely into a trot if I'm bareback with a halter and leads and bouncing all over the place. He must not like the structure and must think that it means slow OR he just doesn't want to ride hind end engaged in a circle.
Thanks for all of the suggestions and thoughts all.