Bucking while he canters. Is this normal?
I just bought a horse, and as I recall I was working him in the round pen, having him walk trot and canter. I first walked him before he trotted quite beautifully, calm and collected he was. I figured it was time to canter, so I asked him to canter, and kissed to him quite loudly for him to hear me but he ignored me. I used a verbal command as well. I did this repeatedly until he finally responded, what I got was him rearing up spinning in place and galloping crazily in the opposite direction. He was in a state of panic and I didn't know why! I told him whoa and stopped freaking out and he came up to me. He looked very frightened. I calmed him by walking him around the pen and let him collect himself before I asked him to work again. I asked for him to canter, and this time he just simply bucked and threw a fit before jerking in the opposing direction at a trot, I asked again and he sort of cantered it was more like a bunny-hop as he bucked and stomped at the same time. His neck was deeply arched but his ears weren't pinned. There was no tack on him other than a halter. He seemed confused. I know he's trained so whats up?
Does he need some work on his canter? Am I perhaps confusing him with mix signals? Would I be in danger if I lunged him since the barn I'm moving him to has no round pen?
He also has a problem with his ears being touched. His original owners severely injured one of his ears, I guess they pinched it some how quite bad from what I've heard because he won't let your ands anywhere near them. Putting a halter on him and taking the halter off can be a challenge sometimes but if I am slow and careful, I can get it off quite easily. I like to ride western, and I prefer headstalls with an ear-loop, something he will not tolerate. Is there any way I could possibly eliminate that fear of his ears, and show him I'm her to love him and make him feel safe, instead of pinch his ears?