I have been doing so much research lately that I think my head might just spin right off.
So I am sure I will get jumped on in this thread but I might as well post it anyway.
So I am having a dilemma. I really, really want to event my horse. He was used for eventing his entire life for the most part, except the last five or so years. He did up to five foot eventing. Now I learned how to jump on this horse and he used to take amazing care of me. But something I have noticed with him is that the more confident and better you get at riding the harder he gets to handle. Doesn't really make sense, but he is an angel with beginners and is really naughty with experienced riders.
I currently ride him in a full cheek, slow twist snaffle. In the arena he does perfectly fine. I can ride him in a rope halter, a plain snaffle and even with just a rope around his neck. But if I take him out of the arena or take him somewhere that is not home then he gets insane. I took him out on the trails off the back of the property where he is boarded and he fought me the entire ride. Then during another ride we decided to try cantering and he took off instantly from a walk to a dead gallop. I tried to one rein stop him and he ran right through the bit and ignored me. It took a good 1/4 mile of trying to one rein stop him before I finally got him to spin in a circle and slow down. He literally just ignored me pulling on him completely.
He is 23 years old and is very, very set in his ways! By this I mean that if he thinks he knows how to do something then he will do it his way no matter what. When you jump him he will not allow you to moderate his strides. He will stride into the jump as he sees fit. You can try all you want to shorten or lengthen his strides or get him to take off at a certain point and he absolutely will not. He also gets very hot while jumping. When we do one stride jumps he take the first jump and then bolts to the second jump. I worked with a trainer on this and she couldn't even get the behavior to stop. You can sit as deep as you want, pull as hard as you want, half halt to your hearts content and he will still do it. We worked long and hard no this and got zero results. He was just as bad at the beginning as he was at the end.
I am seriously at a loss. I know that people say put him in a snaffle and go back to basic. Work on training him. Doing flat work. But the problem is that I can ride him ANYTHING on the flat as long as we are in the arena. He does great. But over jumps or out on the open plains he loses it. If I rode him in a plain snaffle out there he would kill me and anyone else that tried to ride him.
I am considering trying him in a pelham. I would like some opinions on this matter. I gather that some people will be against and some might not. I just want some opinions to consider. And before you tell me that it is all training, I invite you to come and work with him and see if you can get him to listen because so far no one can.