Hey everyone! First of all, thank you for all the help, advice, encouragement, and compliments in this thread :) you guys rock!
Second, many of you asked for an update... I did begin a blog to record all my horsey experiences with both of my boys and occasionally my family's horses. It's at Trail of Hoof Prints
. Check it out and follow me if you'd like :)
Here is a summary of how things have gone since I last posted on here: the check has been sent and deposited, and Snickers is going to be delivered in about three hours from now! I'm so excited! After some clicker training, he quickly got over his briding issue and I've been able to bridle and ride him without doing any work or having any issues for the last two days. Yesterday I even put it on in the middle of the round pen with no halter holding him still after I'd lunged him briefly. It'll take a couple of weeks before I'd be comfortable to say he's REALLY over it, but he seems to be headed that direction!
My western saddle is definitely the wrong fit for him, especially since I'll be doing endurance, so I bought an English (GAH!) saddle with the help of the lady at the tack shop, another endurance rider who is personal friends with the (old) owner of Snickers. He's still alert and spooky (but recovers as soon as I say 'woah!', but now I knew he won't throw me in that saddle when he spooks - that was my biggest concern with an English as I'm not used to riding in one and don't feel as secure. So we both need some work and practice, him to be fine tuned and polished off the way I want him to be and me to stay put on his back! I didn't have to post, though - it just took a lot of concentration to stay up there with him trotting.
The good news is that as soon as I got the bit into his mouth and rode, he was very responsive! I asked him to drop his head and down it went! To me, it looked like his nose was nearly on the ground - I'm glad I recorded it because it turns out Arabian necks are much longer than QH necks (DUH!) so it just looked like it was so far down there when he arched his neck and dropped his head! I also asked him to lope and my goodness he's quick! Of course, that's probaby because I'm used to my QH's, who I can't get to give me a real fast lope unless I get my business attitude on with them (they're excellent western pleasure horses haha). He also has one heck of a stop and freezes as soon as he even feels me THINK woah - we've been working on our communication with one another and he's doing better at reading my commands now. I decided I should at least be secure in the saddle when working with him, and my western isn't so bad for short rides until I get my seat better in the English, so I rode him in that yesterday. I decided I'd work on slowing him down at the trot, and he performed beautifully! We must have looked like quite an unusual pair - I guess when you cross an Arabian who was trained by reigning trainer with a rider who's really only ridden QH's, you get an Arabian trotting super slowly with his head nearly on the ground and extremely loos reigns haha. In other words, I couldn't have been happer. I'm not sure I could ask the reigner/western pleasure QH that I grew up on and won many prizes with to trot like that with such a loose reign! I've never seen an Arabian behave like that - of course, they're usually in English with tight(er).
All in all, I'm very happy and felt like I pretty much hit the jackpot with this guy. He's so smart with an adorable personality, has the power and performace ability to really get fired up, but will also let me go back to my roots as a pleasure and reigning rider and do so phenomenally. What more could I ask for? <3