Need advice if I'm being played!
Hi, I'm getting very discouraged and can use some advice.
I'll try to keep it short. 4 months ago I bought at 14 year old TB gelding from a feedlot. After a month of quarantine, I brought him to the barn where I board him. First two months were spent putting weight on him, getting his shots, hoofs taken care of, letting him relax and just bonding time. I groomed him in his paddock and on cross-ties, he was affectionate, sweet and just a good boy. He's had several vet checks, healthy as a horse. LOL. I had no problem haltering him, hand walking him including on trails, grooming, whatever, easy boy, and everyone that handles him at barn says he's the easiest horse and does whatevers asked correctly.
NOW, the change. He has started pinning his ears when I try to halter him and walking away. I eventually can, just not as easy as before. If I try to groom him he pins his ears, whether in paddock or cross-ties. He's also gotten pushy with me, I back him up and move his feet when he does, but the confidence I felt with him is slipping away. I am working with a new trainer (to figure him out riding wise since I don't know his background or what he knows), he doesn't do this behavior with her or anyone else. Some people say to be firmer, others to be gentler. Nothings changed in how I approach him from the beginning to now, so why is he doing this? A friend at the barn says he playing me and testing me and I have to address it. But what is the right way to address it?
I'm fully aware that it has to be me doing something wrong, so please be kind. I want to go back to having the relationship we had. Is he playing me? And how would you address it? Has anyone else ever had this situation, where he pulls this stuff on you and then is an angel for everyone else? I can see him looking for me when I arrive and he whinnys when I walk to him, so he must like me a little, I hope. Thanks for any insights.