Except for this last week or so I have been riding him about 4-5 days a week. We were working on getting him nice and soft and trying to get him to move sideways. I had him going over some groundpoles and doing other exercises (We had been playing with a trail course that was set up.) For awhile, he was moving forward but now I feel like I have a completely untrained 3 year old on my hands. He refuses to give to the bit, won't listen to any of my aides, and just has been having bad manners. He has gotten really cinchy and no longer comes running to the gait.
I tried mixing things up for him. We have done a bit of everything, english stuff, trail riding, cows, you name it. I figured maybe he was getting bored? Well none of this worked...So I gave him about a week off just because maybe he was getting a bit fried. I rode him the past two days and he is exactly the same.
I have ruled out any pain issues. His feet are up to date, teeth are fine, Chiro says back is fine.
What could be his problem?
About 6 months ago I had let a few little girls ride him in exchange for letting me stay on their land. He picked up a lot of bad manners from that, but I would think that he should be back in shape now since we are no longer with him and I am the only one that rides him. He was rough for awhile after we moved him, then he got better, now he is worse than ever.
He is a 10 year old gelding, UTD on everything. I mostly used him for barrel racing and trail stuff before, but have been working on being able to show him in other things (Horsemanship mostly). He used to be really responsive, stop on a dime, turn on a dime, move off your legs, etc. Now he won't do squat.
I am getting really frustrated so my BO is going to ride him a few times because I feel like I'm not really doing him any good right now. We are just butting heads.
Any advice? I have tried everything I can think of and I feel like I have a completely different horse. If I didn't think he would end up a sandwich I feel like I would sell him out of desperation at this point.
I love him dearly I just don't know how to help him progress....
*Pulls Hair Out*