Any help would be appreciated
I own a 9 yr old thoroughbred gelding, 17 hh. I got him as a two yr old and he had about a six-month stay at the track for training. The trainers had some problems with him that included him lying down on the trainer, and whenever he didn't feel like working, he would simply stop and wouldn't move for his rider. No matter what they tried the horse would pull this "stop maneuver" and would not move forward. He was returned to the breeding barn where I found him. I knew what I was getting into but I thought maybe a kind hand and a less-rushed training regimen might help this horse. I was hoping if he was willing that he would make a nice eventer. Well, after I bought him he and I went through a series of issues that had to halt our training for a few yrs... he had growth problems at first , a few absesses in the hooves, and other ridiculous health problems that seemed to hinder most training that I could do with him as he could not be ridden. Finally, after 5 or 6 yrs of healing and toughening up, he is finally in great health and can be started on a regular training schedual. Throughout the time I have ridden him however, we have had our share or behavioural problems as well. He has lied down on people, pulled this "stop maneuver" (once, extremely embarrassingly, in the middle of a class at a show) and , more recently the stop maneuver has gotten much more violent. It started out with him just stopping and sitting there, no matter how hard you squeeze, kick, or tap with the crop. If you try to turn his head to maybe get him to go forward in a circle, he will only turn his head, almost mockingly, while his body stands still. The 1st apprach I took to his problem was the "nice way" , patiently waiting, cooing to him, and such, but it never worked, and it seemed as though I was praising him for stopping. A few times I tried to force him forward using the crop (not hard ) and giving him a boot. Well this makes it worse and he goes from just stopping to rearing, bucking, and basically doing anything to get me off balance and come off. I know that the reason he is upset is that he is herd sour from the many yrs without work and hanging with the herd. He is very obedient when there is another horse and rider with us, but if I ever want to show or event this horse he has to learn how to work alone. He is also great while I work him on the ground (lungeing, grooming him, farrier, trailering, round pen work)so while I started him this yr our routine has been mostly in the round pen(being ridden as well) but as soon as we're out of it he starts freaking out again if I'm mounted. We've had vets and others look at him, he's healthy and in no pain so I'm sure its attitude. He doesn't look fearful at all, mainly just mad that he's not getting his way. I and a few others have been thrown by this horse and after 7 yrs owning him with no real results I'm thinking of selling him. Its unfortunate because he's healthy, big, beautiful,really sweet when he's being willing, and has tons of potential. I'm hoping that anyone who might have some suggestions can maybe give me a few ideas. I was thinking I would continue with the round pen training for now and maybe gradually introduce ring work with the help of another rider. I was also thinking about having a western trainer I know to maybe come and use his strength to help push him more than I can These days I'm afraid to use heavy discipline while on his back, cause I know I'll probably get hurt, so I've even tried to jump off him,apply discipline, then try again. I've had 20+yrs of riding experience, but I know that you never stop learning when it comes to horses. I'm getting close to the end of my rope, any ideas would be great!