So I wanted opinions on 2 things: Should I sell him? And if so what do I ask for him? I would not be selling him for at least a month, since I am having him vetted at the end of Feb for a general health checkup. He has an old injury (I think) but I am having it vetted to be sure its nothing major. I have him on a joint supplement which seems to help him out quite a bit.
He is a grade horse. Black gelding that stands 14.2 hands tall. He was teeth checked to be 8-9 years old. He has a rough past, being sold and traded a lot. He was pretty awful when I bought him. His previous owner was a straight beginner, 12 years old, and he took major advantage of her. 8 months after having him I broke his biting habit and his manners have drastically improved, but I would not consider him beginner safe, ever.
So I have ridden him quite a few times w/t/c. By himself in open fields he is a little nutty, but with others he is fairly calm. He rides great in the pasture. He had his teeth floated last July, which really helped (they were pretty bad when I bought him). He now takes the bit very well, he used to refuse it. No buck, rear, or bolting, although he does like to take off in a canter when you ask for a trot if he is excited. He is finally learning to respond to leg pressure and seat. I have also brushed up on his neck reining skills. He yields his hind end under saddle and has a good whoa on him.
Most days, he stands nice to be saddled, picks up all 4 feet, ties well, leads very well, lunges decent, and rides pretty well also. Other days he still has those old tendencies to be rude (which I correct right away). He has come a long way since before he wouldn't stand, ran through the lead, wouldn't pick up his feet, was awful at lunging, and would not hold his pace when riding. He still has his days, but he is much better.
His temperament is curious and lively. He loves people of all kinds. He is low on the pecking order, but can be pushy with humans. I have lead lined him with children, and he does great with them.
Another thing. This is not your typical horse. This horse MADE me use natural horsemanship. He has been abused (I think) and the harder you get on him, the more he pushes back. The only real way to teach this horse is to make him work and to make him think. You must be his partner, not his master. He does not respond to being whacked, and if you do need to pop him, you must do it with discretion. If you use it too much, he will just ignore you. Needless to say he was a challenge to correct, but is smart and responsive.
So, what should I do? I can work him lightly, but the weather here sucks. I have worked him quite a bit over the winter, so he's not too rusty. He would be good for an experienced rider that wants to hit the trails, or do some fun shows. He doesn't spook easy at all, and is very easy to catch. Loves people and attention. Should I lease him out? Sell him? Keep him? As long as I can I will work with him, and try to make him the best I can. I'm just not sure what to do with him now.