Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Jacksonville, NC
He doesn't respect you. There are never equals among horses- one is always higher or lower than the other and a horse lower in the chain would never act like that to his superior. Somewhere along the way you gave up leadership, he took over, and now thinks that you have to do what he says.
I personally wouldn't ride this horse without working through ground issues first. Even though you say he's ok when you ride and is better afterwards, you need to work on being able to share space without him trying to attack you.
I would do round pen work with him (always carry a whip or flag to show boundaries) and teach him to respect your space. When I'm working with a horse my rule is their nose must always be in front of their chest- no turning it towards me. I would work on getting control of his body- moving his feet, shoulder, hips, when I say he has to move them, not the other way around.
Then I would work on his feet. My horse didn't like his back feet picked up either and a couple times he caught me unprepared and ripped his foot out of my hands. That taught him that he decided when he was going to put his feet down, which is bad. So we had quite a fight the next time as I hung on while he tried to kick out. A few times later, he picks them up like a champ and I can hold them up for as long as I want. Then go onto the next issue, then the next. Take it slow and focus on one thing at a time.
Your horse needs to go back to the basics and pretty much be retrained like he is a baby. Race horses generally don't have much groundwork/basic training under their belt since the only thing asked of them is to run. It's alot of work but with a patient person there is no reason why he won't turn out to be the horse you want him to be.