Chance gets very nervous outside of the pasture, and is more so that way when he's out alone than if we have another horse in the area. As soon as his pasture mate comes out, he calms down and doesn't move as often, but he's still nervous. When tied, he stands like a doll and relaxes, but when moving, he likes to go go go, and also has a tendency to head butt people out of his nervousness. I'm currently doing some ground work with him in between the practices [there are 3 per week] and I'm wanting to work on trying to get him calm on the ground so he's not so anxious to move under saddle. I plan on lounging him before doing any desensitizing, but whenever I do, he's paying more attention outside of the arena than on me. Same goes for under saddle.
The festival is feeding him an alphalfa hay mix, so he's a little bit hot. If we had the ability to, he would not have had any but that was all we could afford from our hay provider.
We know very little about how he was trained, but we assume he was used a lot because under saddle he is very responsive and listens to leg well. It's just when he's not moving, and he will pace back and forth and not really pay attention to the space around him.
He is the first gaited horse I've ridden, and from what I understand, they are very level headed animals, so his nervousness confuses me. Although, there are times when he's surprised me when things I would have thought would spook him, he's not reacted poorly at all.
Any tips or tricks are greatly appreciated!