Help needed with a 'hot' horse
I have a 10y/o AQHA named Nico. I have disected every which reason why he could be hot and came down to feed. We feed 12% sweet feed at the barn. I've heard that this can be the worst thing to feed an 'energetic' horse. I am willing and able to switch but was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what to start with? I heard that low carb feeds are best for horses with 'hot' tendancies. When I was 18, I would have loved this horse for all his energy...at 30, not so much.
I checked these possible causes off the list...
Maybe I developed into a 'heavy handed rider'...nope. He reacts the same on a tight rein as he does a loose one. He pushes past the bit or hack and does the 'ants in the pants dance' almost constantly.
Maybe I don't ride enough. Nope. I ride 3 days a week and he is just as hot when he leaves the barn as when he comes back.
Maybe he is in pain? Nope. I am a massage therapist and if there was a knot on this horses body, I would know about it.
Maybe he is bored? This one is still up for consideration. We ring ride before shows but once he gets bored, he does get a little more pushy. On trails, the other horses have to trot to keep up with his walk (an it ain't because he's leggy...hes only 14.2)
Maybe all I do is canter and run and that's what he wants? This one is a sure-fire NO. I've spent months only allowing him to walk and trot. He is actually hot at the walk.
Maybe he has ill fitting tack? I don't think so. The western saddle that I ride is a big horn and it fits him like it was made for him. I've been through 2 dozen (no joke) bits to find what he likes best. In the ring I can ride him with a loose ring snaffle as im not afraid of him running off with me in the arena. On trail, he rides a copper mouthed wonder bit. Though he doesn't like this one as much, when he gets a bit much, this is the only bit that can stop him.
Please help if you can...I love his personality, his demeanor, his big fat butt, but this GO GO GO! Thing is getting old.