HIS STORY BEFORE US - Splash was born on Christmas Eve. He was owned by cutting horse barn in TN, and the owners last name was Hunter. The lady decided because she loved Splash so much, to name him Christopher Hunter. But Splash was too tall to be a cutting horse, so he was trained to be a trail horse until sold. He was put up for sale at age 3.
Splash got sold to about 7-8 homes between age 3-5. Which is when we got him.
The lady that owned him before us had another horse, who was 24. She has had the 24 year old for 10-15 years. But, she decided that she wanted a young horse to train. So she bought Splash in November of 2011. Between Nov. And May, her husband unfortunately lost his job. She had to get 2 jobs, so she could barely have time to bond with Splash, because she didn't ride him much. (That helped her sell him.) She also didn't have an indoor. It was also getting expensive to keep two horses at her house. She decided to sell Splash.
I found his ad the very first day he got posted. We contacted the owner and set up an appt. To meet him that week!
He was at the trainers for 3 weeks before that for conditioning. As soon as I saw him, I knew he was the one! I LOVED him! He was exactly what I wanted, to the T!
He was very green, didn't know half-halts, and had a very un-balanced canter. But he had talent, heart, needed love and attention, LOVED to jump, and was my dream horse! We vetted him that week, and he passed! So we bought him!
WHEN WE GOT HIM -
We started lunging him after the first week and a half he was at our barn. He was a sweet heart. After the first week or so he started getting grumpy at me when I would go into his stall when he was eating. (Mostly just ears back). That's all he did. Over the summer my trainer and I trained him. I would love him, ride him, and just have a good time with him. He had respect for me. ( Had respect when lunging, on the ground, under saddle). He would buck when I was riding him sometimes, but mostly when he decided he either didn't want to go, or he was tired. I made him work harder after he bucked. (To tell him misbehaving meant more work). We were jumping, and doing clinics.
His food aggression got worse. When he was in his paddock he would kick at you and lunge, even if you just walked by. Same with him being in his stall.
We knew he was in really good shape (body wise), and we decided it was time to take it up a notch. Contact with the bit. At first I tried it with him in lessons, and he didn't like it at at all, which was expected. So my trainer took over. (This was just after Halloween). She has been working with him since. He is doing better. (In the mean time I have been riding one of her school ponies that needs work and training.) About a month ago I told her I wanted something to do with him, so she said for me to start doing groundwork with him again. So while she was watching, I got to the point in groundwork where I let him off his lead and let him follow me. At first he was good. Then when I changed directions, he lunged at me and bit me. It as only my jacket hood thankfully. My trainer worked with him right after that and explained to me that him biting me was just him not thinking I was his leader yet. I understood.
A week after that I just staring grooming him, for bonding time. One time I was grooming him I asked him to move over, and he started kicking at me, biting, and hopping. I kept my pressure on the same spot the whole time until he stopped. He thankfully hasn't tried to do that again. After a couple days of grooming, I decided I wanted to do some groundwork again with him and see if something has changed. He was really good he first week. The second came around and when I asked him to do something, he would start hopping. (front feet in the air - only like a foot off the ground). This would happen randomly, and he would be fine after with me. I would tug on the lead shank after for disciplining him. My trainer thought that I was just overwhelming him. I continued to work with him, doing the same things but in different orders, length of time, ect. One night I was doing groundwork with him and I was asking him to follow me (even though he had his lead rope on), and I was going in a circle (he followed) and then he nickered at me, gave me a little shove and reared. High. His feet were at my head level ( I'm 5'2). His ears were up when he was rearing. I Googled this behavior and found out this is what foals do with their herd mates. I tugged on the lead rope and made him backup. This has happened 3 times. I don't know what to do! I don't let him get away with anything! Also, his food aggression is worse. He hops in his stall, bucks, kicks, ears pinned, when anyone just looks at him. As soon as I go into his stall with his halter and lead and put it on his head, he is an angel.
I want my sweet horse back.