I am having problems with a gelding I purchased two years ago as a level headed seasoned trail riding horse. Gabe was trained and owed by someone who trail rode him in a full cheek snaffle & a tie down. Said he liked the look of the tie down. The rider was also a larger gentleman weighing (by his own admission) about 350 lbs. Needless to say Gabe never developed a topline as he was always hollowed out while being ridden. Gabe is very rough to ride and is so busy pushing and rooting on the bit that he breaks gate and tics the ground pole I started using to help him round up & watch where he is going. I do not ride with a tie down. I started out riding him with a Mylar 1 Billy Allen eggbutt which worked for a couple of dozen rides. I then tried a coppermouth eggbutt and he started out for several rides OK then started the rooting business agian until he ultimately loses his forward all together. I recently started riding him with just a halter in the round pen & he seemed OK with more freedom to move forward. I have ordered a side pull with a smooth leather noseband & am awaiting it now thinking that might work .
I ride western with a circle Y flex two & have addressed saddle bridge issues as at one point he was sore from that. With the help of a saddle maker I found a special pad to support where he is hollow and have bee riding him with that for a month or two. I have had his teeth checked by two vets & they are fine though they will be floated this fall. I have had a complete lameness exam & veterenary chiropractic evaluation & x-rays from poll to withers. No problems found.
I really just want a pleasure/ trail horse that I can enjoy.... and for two years now I can't get past a trot or out of the arena & round pen as he is so resistant and distracted by bit pressure. He just doesnt want to lift his back at all, just raises his head and hollows out at any thing faster than a walk. Riding him is exausting and discouraging as in two years we have made almost no progress twords getting out and just enjoying the great outdoors together which is the whole point.
Gabe is complete gentleman in every other way. I have two other horses ...one pant mare who is retired at 28 due to arthritis and a 21 year old QH gelding who is lame from an injury a year ago. Any other suggestions on getting Gabe over this hurdle would be helpful.