08-10-2012, 12:08 PM
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Thank you everyone. Every little bit helps, if only to prompt me to consider new ideas I couldn't come up with on my own. Here is a brief update: Since I initially wrote, my daughter softened her approach with him and things seemed to be going well for a few days. Then on about the 3rd day, we decided to start out lunging him first and after going around a few times in each direction she (my daughter) asked him to canter (just with her voice, in a nice way, and going to the left-his easy/favorite direction) and he bolted. She managed to stop him without him escalating but then he did it 2 more times without her asking for anything more than a slow jog. After that he totally refused to lunge, facing her and snuggling up to her no matter what she tried to do. So eventually we walked him around, made him submit to some other things like halts, etc. and since he seemed quite calm she rode him. He was very good and did all she asked and seemed relaxed, but then suddenly went from an ordinary jog to 3 medium but definate bucks and she was on the ground. He stood there quietly next to her until she got up and got back on and he was fine again after that. She rode him a little after that but then we put him away. My daughter said he felt tense. All we can figure is that he might have missed his morning feeding. But we don't know for sure. He did seem unusually hungry both before and after he was ridden.
Unfortunately there is a huge show going on at the stable this weekend and so we can't ride him right now as usual. My daughter tried to ride him just walking around the parking lots etc yesterday and that lasted about 5 minutes until he got crazy over the puddles or the commotion or both and began dancing and coming up off the ground in the front and trying to spin around. OY! Andalusians are very nimble and just trying to lead him from the ground wasn't extremely safe yesterday so we put him away. I'm heading over in about an hour and we'll try just leading him around. I'll never be able to show him if he acts like this at a show. I hope it was mostly the puddles (which I know he really hates). He was fine walking all around the barn aisles and in the wash stalls even though it was a lot busier than usual. He doesn't seem very interested in the other horse which is good I think.
P.S. I had a couple of local trainers watch him move and no one can "see" any sign of soreness so I still don't know what up with the reluctance to canter to the right. He picks up the right lead fine but then does not want to continue to bend to the right. At least that's what it seems like to me. Won't be able to work on that until the weekend is over.
He is a sweet tempered, usually sensible horse, but he does get "worried" or "tense" about things that other horses might spook over, and when he does, he seems to stop trusting his rider and decides to fend for himself (by getting away from the object). He will usually trust a person on the ground but not the one on his back. For example, when we take him for our little "trail rides" around the property, if we ask him to walk in a new scary area (like down the narrow alley behind the barn), he will stop and wait for the walking person to walk ahead of him and then he will follow with confidence, but if the person on his back asked him to go down that alley without the ground person leading, he will hesitate, dance, try to spin, or perhaps rear and spin (not with anger or panic, but just with a "I don't like this, I'm leaving" kind of attitude.
Anyway, too long. Thanks for listening.