I have a seven year old quarter horse that I purchased last summer and who was strictly ridden in draw reins or a martingale. I noticed there is a LOT of tension in his neck, and there is absolutely no suppleness. So first thing I did was start him in a halter and get him to relax and bend a little. So he's making progress suppling (through serpentines, lateral work, etc. I am not focused on his head set)
Well that's been going well, but now theres a new issue. It seems like he anticipates everything and lunges forward with every cue I give him. He also always has head in the air whenever he's being ridden. (For example: his downwards transitions are terrible. He constantly anticipates that I am going to ask him to trot again if I brought him down from a trot, etc)
This little guy does seem to listen to my seat and leg aids very well, however he fights me every step of the way when it comes to his head and neck. He is current on teeth and the vet said that he is a little stiff through the neck but that can be fixed through bending and suppling.
Any ideas on how to help this little guy relax a little so he'll stop anticipating everything? And any ideas on teaching him how to lengthen and lower his head?