Next Steps with 3yr old
Ill try to make this short, but its a lot, so work with me.
In the spring (mid april) I rescued a 3 yr old (ish) gelding from the camelot kill pen. I had knew nothing about him. He was very thin when I got him, and had no muscle at all. I couldnt get near him, he was very afraid to be touched. After isolating him for 8 weeks (basically just feeding and watering him, because I didnt want to give anything to my other horses) I started to make friends with him. He quickly learned not to fear my fiance, and then made friends with me. I didnt even know if this horse was halter broken. I worked with him with trusting me, and after 4 weeks he was much more trusting.
I have now started to figure out what he knows. Someone spent a good amount of time with him. He has good ground manners (walks well with a halter, like someone was preparing him for show. Pivots and walks trots and all with me next to him). He does not like a chain though, so im working on that, so if I show him he is ok with it. He gets nervous when I put it over his nose, so I have been doing it every time I lead him so he learns it wont hurt him. He didnt like me on his right side at all, so we worked with that and now he is good. He lounges in both directions, and knows his voice commands, walk trot canter and whoa.
He excepts a saddle and bridle (i have a egg butt snaffle) and I have been on his back 3 times (they said he bucked at the auction, but he hasnt with me). He is very sensitive with his sides when im on him, but listens to me. Mostly I have just been working on lounge work (walk, trot whoa both directions). What are my next steps? I want to add some poles, but have never done that before...I lounge him with his saddle on, with the stirrups hitting his sides, and that doesnt bother him. He is my first "baby". And what about side reins? Or a surcingle/long lines? I have never used them either....