How can I help my horse? Warning Long!
I have a 6 almost 7 year old gelding who I have had about 2 years now. I had planned to show him within a year of purchasing him or so I had hoped. We ended up running into a crazy amount of issues and here we are 2 years later in the same place we started.
Let me give you some info on my horse and his training. WARNING LONG!
He came off the racetrack as a 2 year old after what is believed a terrible starting gate accident. He was then bought by a college student to use as a college barrel horse. He then was sold to a lady who claimed to have retrained him. And then I bought him as a 4 year old to be a jumper. When I bought him he was flighty and had issues being left by himself, I had thought this was going to be our biggest problem however two months into owning him I found out he had arthritis in his hocks, which were injected and he was sound according to the vet. I started riding him around two weeks later and he still didnt seem "right" so to say, I had noticed he was getting sore spots on his withers so I had a saddle fitted to him and gave him a week off before trying him in the new saddle. The saddle was great fit him wonderfully, no more sore back. However there was still something off, I had the vet out to checked his teeth, sure enough he had an ucler in his cheek from sharp teeth. After some more time off I began trying to work with him again, This time I started teaching him to lunge on the lunge line. He had a bit of a problem with this, he wasnt able to stay in a circle, so once again out came the vet who told me he was ouchy and had hot feet from being trimmed really badly. So we had a different farrier put shoes on his front as advised by my vet. I then moved him to a new stable to have a professional trainer help me get him going. Once at his new home e and the trainer began teaching him to lunge properly, He tripped constantly but he seemed to be getting it a little until we attempted to put side reins on him, He fought the side reins alot. So then the trainer decided to lightly ride him to feel him out when she noticed he was extremely heavy headed and had trouble turning to the left and still constantly tripped. He also had no mouth what so ever and often locked his jaw on the bit. She began riding him daily and he started to become much better. He still however fought against left hand turns and could not hold a frame AT ALL! He had about 6 months training under saddle now and the trainer decided he might be ready to jump. His jumping was odd, he threw himself at the fence rather then jumping over it, he also often tripped right after the fence and zig zagged up to a few crosspoles. I decided to give him a break and had the vet back out to check him over. The vet found he had absolutely no muscle in the left side of his neck. Upon closer inspection (ultrasound of the neck) she found he had badly damaged 3 vertibrae in his neck and was completely unable to bend to the left on his own. I was given 3 options, let him be a pasture puff and he would always be uncomfortable, continue working with him and put him on supplements that may help or have the joints injected, so I had his neck injected, and he was given 1 month to rest and do nothing and then he was seen by a chiro who adjusted him. He was now sound as a bell! He can even turn and touch his left side for a treat! As told by the vet his neck could take an entire year to regain enough muscle to hold a frame or work properly. I decided to let him take a nice long time to recover a bit before anyone got on him again. When I did get back on him I rode him a few times in a snaffle but he still had no mouth, I wasn't to keen on putting a more severe bit on him so I put him in a hackamore. He is like an entirely different horse in the hackamore. I have ridden him a few times just hacking around but I would like to start working with him and hopefully be taking him to the show ring next year. I am begining with his ground work again.
He is completely bomb proof on the ground while not working, Just a big puppy you can do anything to!
So here is the issue I need help working out!
On the lunge line he is very nervous and wants to run. I ask him to walk on and he instantly wants to trot, once he starts trotting he just gets going faster and faster until he breaks in to a canter, I do not carry a whip while I lunge him as it makes him worse. I constantly talk to him and never push him forward. We work at the walk for right now (when he doesnt decide to take off trotting). He also has a major tripping problem. He trips constantly no matter what gate he is in.
How can I help him to relax while lunging and what can I do to help him pick up his feet!