Hissy Fits from a School Horse
I need help with one of my barns school horses. Jack is an 8 year old pony/horse from Mexico. He was 3 when the barn first got him, but only 6 months later, the barn closed for almost 4 years. He was groomed and played with but not ridden during that time. When the barn opened again, we rode him to get him ready for lessons. He was amazing.
Jack is not the most coordinated of all horses and jumping is not his forte. He is amazingly comfortable and the sweetest little man in hand. He can do small crossrails but we mainly stick to flat so we don't hurt him. About 3 months ago, he started to throw small bucks as a rebellion to bad riders. We took him out of the program and only had trainers ride him for about a month.
If you are a very confident and knowledgable rider, he does not pull any stunts but if you show any fear, he spins around in circles, throwing small bucks and rears. He doesn't want people to fall off, only to scare them so they dismount. We have put him back into lessons- 1-2 a day at the most, 6 days a week- but he still throws hissy fits for no reason. We try to only put riders he likes on him but he has recently started to rebel against them as well.
I am scared that Jack is going to buck his way out of a job and I don't want to see that happen to him. He is amazingly sweet and mushy on the ground and he will follow a trainer around the ring forever if he could.
Does anyone know anything that might help Jack feel a little better about being ridden by different people? I have hopped on him a few times and he didn't even bother trying anything but then had a hissy fit the second the rider got back on. Many of the riders are accomplished. They don't pull on his mouth, thump on his back or give him mixed signals-- he just decides he doesn't want to be ridden anymore.
Jack isn't the prettiest by human standards and I'm afraid what will happen to him if this job doesn't work out. If anyone has help, please don't be shy.
Thanks in advance.