I think I bit off more than I can chew....
Ok, for some reason I can't post in the 'training' forum, so I'll post here.
Let me introduce 'Ready To Rumble', a 15 y/o, 15.2hh palomino Thoroughbred/Quarter Horse gelding, who is registered Australian Stock Horse. 'Andy' is very much TB in temperament. He is fiery, highly-strung and difficult at the best of times. His owner is an older lady who is scared to ride him because he bucks. And he doesn't just buck. When you try to get on, he rears and shoots backwards and starts bucking. When you put a leg behind the girth or ask him to canter, he bucks. You can't catch the ratbag, and when you do he throws himself at you in an epic tantrum. He freaks out if you do up his girth more than one hole at a time, and pulls back when you try to put the bridle on.
Now, when he is a good boy, he is amazing. I have ridden at ONE show where he pottered around like a kid's pony all day. Last weekend we went to another show. He did his shooting back and buck trick on me when I went to get on, and I stayed on, so he bucked in circles for a good five minutes til he nearly fell over and had to stop bucking to save himself. In our classes, he bucked everytime I asked him to canter. I never fall off him, but my problem is, I don't think there is any chance of turning him into a nice and quiet horse, at the age he is. Surely by 15 they have either settled down or are locked into their ways for the rest of their days?
Andy could be the best horse, but he refuses to be a good boy. He CAN be good, I know he can, but why won't he? The saddle is correctly fitted, it was custom made for him, the bridle and bit are fine, he rides in a snaffle, I don't use a whip or spur on him because from what I hear, he'll kill us both if I do, and I don't hang off his mouth or aggravate him. He is just a naughty boy. Another thing: if he is naughty at something, e.g if he pulls back when you try to put on his bridle, and we say 'ok, we will take his bridle on and off til he's ok', it makes it worse. His owner won't even put a rug on him after his last tantrum. I feel sorry for the poor bloke. He has the ability to be good, but he just won't!
The half-halt is also used as a "hey poneh, I am gonna ask you to do something in a second, is yew awake?".