Background : I have a 20 year old Grade Paint, is sound with his back/neck/legs/teeth everything. I've had it checked. We have done western most of our lives, recently picked up working english. I ride western in a broken Tom Thumb, and english in a dog bone snaffle (Three piece). Jake is extremely high strung and wouldn't think twice about doing something that would hurt himself. He's the type of horse that I have to make sure I'm putting his feet in a correct spot at all times cause he won't make that decision for himself. He's the type of horse that trips over change in elevation if I don't keep him up. I have been having a good friend of mine work on my english, so my eq is something to be desired but it is satisfactory.
Okay Jake can be both extremely soft on the snaffle and extremely hard depending on his mood. At a walk and trot he is light on the bit, and behaves the best on warm up. Soon as I canter its another story, he holds his head above his pole and bounces around like a rabbit on crack. It takes me either holding my hands hard as I can in on his neck in the two point or completely breaking my position and sitting on my butt and not holding on with my calves. Which only works 50% of the time.
Problem I'm asking for help on : Okay when I start doing transition work Jake goes to extreme diving for going into slower gaits. For example if I ask for a canter to trot transition he gets extremely heavy on the bit, rolkers himself and moves into an extended trot. Half the time he is hitting his nose on his own knees. To get him to slow down from there is like trying to stop a freight train. He just powers through the bit and flys around the arena like that. Typically I have to one rein stop him once this starts and his head is so low that it takes a lot more strength than it should to do a one rein stop. Every now and then he does this at a canter as well, and I have little control. He seems to go into a trance and has no idea where he is going, I figured this out as I tried to run him into the fence once when I couldn't stop him, and he ran right into it without slowing.....so I won't do that again.
Anyone else have a horse that does this? If so how did you cope, work out of it? I've tried pulling his head up, bending to the inside....bleh.