I am a very experienced trainer and rider- I ride, train, coach and show hunters & jumpers. I'm new to this forum- I'm looking for advice and opinions and would also like to share the knowledge I have gained over the last nearly 25 years.
In all the years I've done this I have never taken on a OTTB until this spring. He is a 3 y/o gelding and so far has been lovely and easy to work with and around. Ground manners are impeccable and he is respectful. The only thing he could do better on is fidgeting in the cross ties. He stands quietly for mounting and walks around long and low on a loose rein. His canter is beautiful, balanced- people have called it 'to die for!'.
His trot... well... that's a different matter- I took him on because his trot is STUNNING, active, suspension and off the forehand. Early in his training we had no issue- in the last few weeks this has changed. He will not hold a consistent pace. When I ride him I can keep him at a trot, initially when he started this he would speed up with me and break into a canter. He doesn't take off with you, just lopes around and you can bring him back down within 15-25 strides. I can now keep him from breaking into the canter. He speeds up on me but doesn't break to a canter. I can slow the pace down by putting him on a circle but he will pick up steam again as soon as he comes off the circle regardless of how many times you circle.
I need to sell him right now to make room for another horse who is at risk- when people are coming to try him they are not able to stop him from breaking into the canter. They brace and bridge against him (regardless of how many times you tell them that this is NOT what you do with an OTTB) which does not help the situation and undoes all the work I've done. Most of the prospective buyers are not upset by this- they say he does not feel unsafe and that the canter is beautiful, one has even found it enduring. I don't find it enduring, useful, or indicative of the time and energy I've put into him!
I have never had this issue with a horse in the past. Looking for some sound advice and activities aside from the obvious patterns, circle and transition work which are not solving the situation although they are helping.
I want to stress- he is NOT unsafe, lame, sore, any of the above. He's been checked by a vet and I would not put anyone on a horse I felt was unsafe. My business has been built on selling sound, sane & safe horses.