Hi, before I begin, please take the following factors into consideration when replying:
Mischief is a 12 year old, 13.3 new forest pony. He belongs to the stables I work at on the weekends and I ride him most frequently. I've been riding him for the past 7 years and I've ridden for a total of 11 years. Mischief is unshod but occasionally suffers from laminitis, which is carefully controlled and hasn't been a problem since around November. He is ridden in a plain, wide cavesson noseband and a plain eggbutt snaffle, and a Synthetic GP Saddle. He's a little tubby, but not quite 'show condition'. I also ride him with a long dressage whip to encourage forwards movement.
The problem with Mischief is that he plants / naps. He will, although grudgingly, walk and trot if he's following another pony within about 4 metres maximum. He doesn't move when in open order, maybe as he is used to the riding-school kids-lessons routine? He will willingly jump and canter without a leader. He will also walk when in closed order by himself.
When he naps / plants, he stops and when kicked moves backwards and spins. He is short necked so keeping a really good contact when he moves back is difficult. Then, when tapped with the whip he will kick out backwards or sideways or buck. If he's chased by the instructor with a whip then he sometimes suddenly lurches and 'broncs' up in the air. He also shakes his head to try and resist contact. He is an angel on hacks, but will not walk by himself through a gate. However he will shut gates happily.
I'd like someone to tell me which it is, or a mixture of both, and also if anyone has advice on how to ride him through it? Thanks