Horse is becoming aggressive/ now bucking...Suggestions ?
Have a real problem on my hands...so I figured I ask for help.
Situation is as follows:
About 3 months ago I bought a new horse. Gedling, 9 years, ISP, 17'1" fancy mover and great scope (easy 3'6") . Bought him as a jumper prospect. Had been used as dressage horse before. I am 5'11" and 160 lbs...very athletic.
Prior rider, lady mid fifties, was not a very good rider. (words of his old trainer) Harsh hands, trained him pretty much herself. As a result he was very very unbalanced, dead mouth, threw himself into every corner and was a very hard ride. A lot of power, very heavy on the front and just very difficult to handle.
I improved the horse tremendously. Mouth softened up in a major way, powers out of his hinds really nicely, keeps himself much much better balanced (8 out of 10....was perhaps a 3 out of 10 before). He has become very responsive to aids...in short much much better horse now. To the point that I believe the old owner would not recognize him.
About 2 months ago he was less excited to get out of his stall. He started to show me his hinds I would approach his stall. (form of aggressive behaviour obviously). Did not really pay to much attention to it...kept on training him.
About 3 weeks ago he started bucking when I asked him to cantor. Tried to ride through it. After some back and forth he engaged in a serious of big bucks and started running and managed to get me off.
Since then he has been bucking pretty much every time I asked him to cantor. (no issues in the walk or trot)
I had the chiro come out and check him...got adjusted but really no smoking gun. Vet has given him a general exam....found nothing wrong. Vet will now draw blood and check testosterone levels..
Asked a saddle master to come out and check on the saddle...does not seem to be the issue.
After the first bucking session I changed the training session a bit. Incorporated lunging before the ride. Does not seem to help much.
Also started to end my ride as soon as he bucked and lunged him in the cantor as a disciplinary tool. (make him understand that bucking will only result in him having to work harder).
He now is visibly aggressive towards me as soon as he sees me approaching his stall. Ears back, shows his teeth, bumps his head against the bars.
Started kicking when I try to get him out of his stall.
I would like to make clear that the horse has had a great disposition and attitude when I first got him. He was great for 5 weeks after which time I bought him. He had also improved within that period and I felt very comfortable with him. He has become a much better moving and behaving horse since...
He gets turned out 2 hours 30 mins each day...in line with what he had before. Huge outdoor paddock..adjoining paddocks are similar size and horses go out together. He is in turn out by himself...but that is what he was used to before. Other horses are adjourning...so they stand together.
Horse is very social with other horses...friendly...no aggressive behaviour.
The change in aggressiveness is a real problem. I am very reluctant to take the crop and teach him a lesson. That should be the last resort I feel. (mainly because he might hurt and this would obviously be the worst thing to do then)
I do exclude my riding being the cause (one should never say never of course). Based on the improvement the horse has had...I dare to say that it is not me. The rides were much much "happier" than when I first got him. There was nothing in his history which is remotely similar to what he exhibits now.
This is my 7th or 8th horse...also rode quite a few more horses over the years. Never seen that type of change in a horse before. My trainer is also not really coming up with anything (she thought he might be fresh because of weather change...but after all the lunging we pretty safely can exclude that I think)
Any pointers are appreciated. Perhaps someone has seen something like that before ?