:) Good Morning Bolly, Major Pain in Butt when you can't even get near your boy to clean him just so he doesn't get sores from tack let alone cleaning to go to a show! Sounds like your his freind but he's not yours......YET! This is just a suggestion, Have you tried joining up with him?...in his paddock. This involves you going into paddock and telling him to go away! Don't be aggresive..no whips or ropes/halter or any other tools. If he approaches you rise up like a monster and roar at him, don't chase, just send him away from you, if he runs already then your already on the right foot for this method. Now follow him around the paddock at a walk and if he stops to look at you roar again, he has to realise that this is on your terms! don't worry his choices are coming soon. Ok you do this 2 times NO MORE, now you are following him around and he stops to look at you and INSTANTLY you turn away and look at the ground, he will then probably turn and walk away again and you'll sneak a look and repeat the following him again and when he stops to look at you, you stop again, look at the ground...this may take awhile before the next step appears, Patience darling! The next step is when he decides that hmmm I might go and look at her and make freinds and when he stops to look and your looking away, he will approach you and when he comes to you say hi with small amount of heart in hand petting, tell him he's wonderful and then leave paddock....practice this for a couple of days before resuming to grooming....For this method to have good effect remove his paddock mates or him, you need to starve him of freindship so that he veiws your visits as company...likely if he has paddock mates he won't give a toss about you! Why should he, he has everything he needs. You show him that your the freind!
When you have him in grooming area, check his skin for cuts bruises or any thing that might point to pain.. address this first. Check his sesitivity by touching him..likely you see his skin jump or twitch along with other grumpy signs. Sounds like he's not habituated to being groomed or being touched. Go back to ground work..stand at his shoulder and lay your hand on him and keep it there until one of his grumpy signs gives in. You have to be alert...timing is everything eg..his ears forward, your hand off. Don't move away you already sorted space in the paddock. Next step, Lay soft brush on him and follow the same steps. Next step brush that spot and so on. Move around his body slowly using these steps always rewarding him when he loses his grumpiness...it is wise to work on least sensitive spots first. He learns that the right response results in you going away with that tickly thing much like moving away from your leg at the yeild. The more you practice this the more tolerant he will become. You get away with spending more time brushing and finally getting him clean. He gets more practice at getting used to being brushed, all I say is slowly slowly...rushing blocks a horse from figuring out the right responses. I know, I know I'm a nanna and I always have these big stories, but I hope this helps. :)