So, as I posted, I bought a TB gelding on Monday. I have been working with him on the basics like ground manners and lunging since his former owner, while good natured about it, did not really know enough to make sure the horse had an education. He has been making progress by leaps and bounds. I set a boundary, he toes the line. We are still having a few communication flubs, but overall, I just break down what I am asking into smaller chunks and he goes "oh! OK" and we go on about our day.
I had to wait until the narrow gullet bar for my saddle came in before I could even try to ride him. As it turns out, I will still need a riser until he gets a topline. He has NO muscle from his withers to his tail. It is a little creepy looking to someone who has never owned anything but QHs. LOL However, my trainer figured he had settled in enough for me to climb aboard and see how he rides without the western saddle we tried him in pinching his shoulder.
I could tell from the first time that I asked him for trot that he is used to having the rider ask for go and then hit him in the mouth because it was too much go. I just made a point of tossing him rein whenever I put leg on to start with and after a few false starts, we did get a relaxed trot around the ring.
He has almost no steering. Leg in any form means go faster. But, he is very willing and has no desire (at this point) to fight with me. By the end of my 10 min ride, I had managed to get him to grasp the idea of moving laterally from my leg instead of rushing forward. It was just a matter of feeling him bend his rib cage for me and not dive into the circle, but baby steps are the way to go.
Bless my trainer for giving me homework! LOL I'm very eager, but she will make sure I don't rush past steps!