I purchased a gelding last week. I have been looking at him for over eight months, and decided I could handle him well. Everyone who sees me riding him says that we look really good together (he's the horse in my avatar). But, this Monday I was riding him in the round pen.
Normally, he does pretty well with direction, but on Monday he seemed to be veering off of the sides of the round pen into a tight circle. Granted, I was using his rope halter and one rein as a bridle. Could this be it? Is he just adjusting to the different method of cuing him?
He also does not like to move forward. He like to eat. I know that he has a lot of "go" in him, but he simply doesn't want to. I am practicing Natural Horsemanship, so would it be considered cheating if I used a crop to help him pay attention? He hated it when I would (foolishly) slap his butt with my hand to encourage forward motion, so I am not sure how he would react to a light tap on the shoulder whenever he isn't listening? Or do I just need to spend more time riding him? He isn't ridden nearly enough. Before I purchased him, he was getting ridden once a week AT BEST, and I was not the person riding him most of the time. There are two other people I know who would ride him: His previous owner (and she is much better than I am), and one of the barn hands (also my friend who's name I keep forgetting). The barn hand is greener than I am, so I'm worried if he is the cause of some of Winchester's (my horse) bad habits and uncertainty. Of course, I must not be helping much either, but at least I own him and have a right to ride him whenever. ^^
Anyways, what do you think I should do?
Also, he used to be ridden in a snaffle bit, but I am switching things up a little. I ordered a riding halter from www.crazyropes.ca, for only $24. It's cheap, and it may break, but it's worth a try, eh? Winny is also chomping at the bit and pulling at it. He did none of that when I was riding him in his halter. I also aim to train him for trail rides. But I have a question about that: Is is okay to ride a trail in a squeaky English saddle? The squeaks don't bother Winny, but it's the English part I'm worried about. I've never seen a horse being ridden on a trail in an English saddle.
Anyways, do your best to answer my questions! I could really use the help!