My daughter's quarter pony is 5.We've had him for a year. He was being trail ridden by his previous owner's 12 year old daughter when we bought him. She wanted to run barrels, and she said that he was too slow and didn't like it. She was a pretty good rider, but I noticed she rode in spurs. Hmmm. I KNOW I shouldn't have bought a 5 year old horse (we since purchased an 18 year old been there done that for the kids) for a novice rider, but he was so quiet and so well behaved.....
I didn't want a horse that would take off with my daughter, and he definitely doesn't do that! Background - We had been working with a pro trainer, and kid and horse were doing quite well together. Pro trainer is too busy in summer with the horses she has in training, and her show team, to do lessons (we start again with her in afew weeks). She agrees that our horse tends to be on the lazy side, and not particularly willing to work.
Our 4H advisor considers herself to be a "trainer" too (eh, not so much), so we rode with her all summer. Mostly, they went around in circles. Towards the middle of the summer, the horse occasionally decided that he just wouldn't move forward for my daughter. She'd get on, it was either a chore to get him to go, or he'd take afew steps then stop. With a really experienced rider, he doesn't play this game.
We took him to the fair afew weeks ago. Even though my daughter was only planning on doing some halter & showmanship classes and not riding, we thought that it would be a great opportunity to get the horse used to a lot of things. He adapted really well to all of the hubbub, which was great. But halfway through the week, he decided to stop walking halfway through his walks (they get taken out of their stalls once every hour or 2 for a walk), and just refuse to move. Unless he was walking with another horse. Then he was fine. Sometimes he would refuse to come out of his stall (he's not confined to a stall at home).
The behavior has continued at home. I put the lead rope on him to take him to the arena to lunge him, his feet became glued to the ground. Once I got him out there he lunged for me, but walking him 100 feet took awhile.
So far I have tried moving his head to either side, turning him in circles, tapping his butt with a dressage whip. Sometimes it works right away, sometimes not. Sometimes he takes 3 steps, then we have to start over.
I think that too much repetitive activity over the past few months made him sour. Some of the best rides my daughter has had on him have been when our trainer has set up obstacles in the arena. Poles, barrels, cones. I don't think he's interested in being a contest horse, but he seems to find the obstacles interesting and enjoys walking and trotting around them.
Any and all suggestions are welcome. I do NOT want to make the problem worse. It's bad enough when he won't move under saddle, but when he won't even walk on a lead rope... Do I need to come up with some "games" to play with him?
Oh, and he's also decided that he doesn't particularly want to get on the trailer. He used to jump right on. Now he walks up, stops and stands there. Usually takes 15 minutes of convincing before he finally gets in. He doesn't seem scared or apprehensive in any way. Just won't budge.