Encouragement to get your horse to move?
Just purchased a 5 y.o. OTTB. He had an issue with lazyness at the trot, but his lazyness seems to have progressively gotten worse in such a short time. When I first brought him in, he was energetic, pulling on the lead line, and always wanted to go, just unsure about himself at the slower gaits (as he should be). Nowadays it takes us 10 minutes just to walk up to the barn because he is so slow. In about two week's time he's been going downhill. Fast. It makes me wonder if they put him on 'roids before I went out to test ride him.
I know he needs time to relax and learn to be a horse after his track life, but I don't work him hard. Just walk/trot maybe sometimes a canter if I'm lucky for about 20 minutes a day (riding). These rides literally sap all the energy out of me, because I constantly have to drive him with my seat and legs in the hopes that we just make it down the long side of the arena. I try to take him on walks around the property too because I'm wondering if he's just bored, but that's not it. He just plain doesn't listen and couldn't care less. He doesn't disrespect me, he just seems to have no work ethic whatsoever. Today I tried to work him in the round pen, and we trotted for about ten seconds until he realized "why on earth should I do this?" then blatantly ignored my commands. I'm at a loss with what to do. I've never seen a horse so against just moving. I crack a lunge whip on the ground, nothing. I let the end of the whip touch his legs, nothing. I even tied a plastic bag to the end of it today in hopes to encourage him to go. Still nothing. I've seen horses that refuse to move unless you wave a bucket of food in their face, and that's not how I want to encourage my horse to go. Everybody at the barn tells me they'd rather have a quiet horse than one that's uncontrollable but I'm used to the headstrong ones. I know how to train them. I'm planning to put him on supplements to see if that perks him up a bit (wondering if he's still detoxing from the track drugs, but he's been off the track since january). Anybody have any tips on encouraging him to go? I was originally hoping to turn him into an eventer (he has the perfect build for it) but unless his personality drastically changes, I'll be lucky if I can turn him into an extremely lazy hunter.
To answer your questions, yes, I have tried the soft encouragement way and he totally took advantage of me and I couldn't get him to move at all in the first week I got him. Thus, the purchase of a crop. I've had trainers who tell me to literally smack the crap out of a horse, but I'm against that as well as eventually he'll just learn to ignore that. I get after him now and again and we move a little bit better, but that requires me to encourage him with literally every muscle in my body. Now we somewhat move but I really would like to lounge him to encourage a frame and natural gaits. How can I encourage him to move from the ground? Anyone else have an OTTB that's extremely lazy?