Well, here's one. I own an 11 year old OTTB who raced through the end of his 8 year old year. He had 80+ starts and over $100k in winnings for multiple owners and trainers. And he wasn't gelded til late in life.
I have worked with over 20 other OTTBs directly off the track. Your view of what happens on the track is quite distorted. It's true that POLITE ground manners are not established, but patently untrue that horses run the show. As well, it is untrue that your horse knows about three commands under saddle - honestly, how do you imagine a 112 lb man finesses a horse through a tight pack at 35 mph when his only contact with the animal is his heels and his reins? These things aren't guided missiles that magically find the finish line.
Apologies in advance, but I couldn't give a rat's behind about a horse "respecting" me. That's projecting a bit too much emotion into it. I train the horse, he responds with the appropriate answer when prompted. No more or less difficult than that. If you're not getting the right response from your horse it's not due to lack of "respect." It's because he's either not understanding (not trained, or not given the correct and clear cue) or giving you the finger.
I'm having a hard time finding the appropriate word for this, but I believe SERIOUSLY? Will sum it up nicely.
His motivations are NOT that complex. Read articles like this one - how horses learn
. A horse reacts to you based on his experiences, not a complex set of logic ("no one has cared before, why would they now?"). Read through some of his examples and compare your ideas of what your horse is thinking vs his.
Rearing for example. If I might guess, if your horse began rearing under saddle you would say it is because he realized he could scare you. In reality, the horse only realizes that rearing is a good way to avoid work.
Or having a hard mouth (example in part 2). You may think your horse is difficult to stop because he's ignoring you or "disrespecting" you. In reality, there are a few simpler explanations - he lacks sensation (hard hands have dulled him), or he has been conditioned not to respond (there has been no release of the rein if he responds).
You need to work on TRAINING this horse. Reconditioning his responses to you. Reprogramming him. "Bonding" and "respecting" and such hooey will come along with him learning that he can trust you - because you give consistent, easy to understand commands and you are consistent and rewarding when he responds properly.
No matter how many "bonding" and "respect" things you do with him, he will remain distrusting of you as long as you give him conflicting signals, put him in situations he doesn't understand and generally are a bad leader.
If you want to know what "training style" would suit him () - go with the KISS philosophy. Keep It Simple Stupid. (not a comment at you - it's actually what it's called
) Start with very easy exercises. Give him the same commands every time, correct him swiftly once if he doesn't respond, reward him for the right response. Build up to more advanced exercises. If he's not reacting correctly multiple times, he is overwhelmed and not prepared for the exercise. Choose a simpler one.
I'd love to see pictures of your boy and updates on his training. I DO, as I have said before, think you are capable of assisting in his retraining. I believe you just need to reframe your thinking about him as a horse - understand that he has simple motivations (no matter what his prior training) and that his past doesn't matter. You can retrain anything you want into him. Just start SIMPLE and make it a building block progression.