Originally Posted by maura
Was he ridden another discipline previously? Perhaps western pleasure?
I ask because he's pretty seriously behind the bit. Even in the free walk photos, where he should be strecthing forward and down, he's keeping his nose tucked well behind the vertical. The best photo is the third photo, but even in that one, he's slightly behind the vertical and the contact is tentative at best.
In none of the photos is he reaching up under himself correctly from behind.
I would forget about riding tests for a while and work on freely forward, and once you have forward well established, reintroduce contact, making sure to keep the forward. He strikes as being a tricky horse to ride correctly as he'll probably have a tendency to go behind the bit very easily.
Agree with the earlier comment about dropping your stirrup a hole.
He is an eye-catching, flashy horse, beautifully turned out and presented.
Yes! You are so right. Previous to me owning him, he was broke in a severe correction bit (the type intended for advanced horses) and the rider tried to train him (by herself, with no trainer or exprienced horseperson to help her) to be a reiner. The girl taught him so many bad habits, starting with going behind the verticle, which lead to running backward and then lead to him rearing. She didn't know that is was most likely the bit and her training techinque that caused him to miss behave. I got him for free and got past the rearing and running backwards but the going behind the verticle is an ongoing issue I haven't been able to get him past. I've worked with two trainers and it really is hard getting past that, and you are correct, he is EXTREMELY difficult to ride. The best way I can describe it, is like riding a horse with no head (as bad as that sounds) because I have to work ten times as hard to get him going where I want him. Even my trainer rode him and told me he is the hardest horse she has ever ridden.