Hey! I'm very new to this forum. I created my account just so I could get some help with this. I started leasing a new horse on August 23rd. He is a little grey 8 year old Arab gelding. I've been leasing him for over 2 months now. I rode English for about 11 years, but now I'm riding Western. I ride him about 4 times a week, sometimes 5 on average. I'm the only one riding him. I've been training him to barrel race, & he's done amazingly so far. I recently purchased the Silver Royal Dallas Barrel Saddle for him about 2-3 weeks ago, & it's still breaking in. Lately, he's been very weird.
For the past week or so, he has been very weird on the ground. He's being very pushy & moves away from me brushing him. He had mud fever on his hind legs about a month ago & me fussing with it made him not want me to touch his hind legs, but he still hates it even now when I'm nowhere near where the mud fever was. He also has been getting girthy, & is spooked at fly spray again which we worked very hard on & he was completely fine with. He recently has just decided that he doesn't want to move. He won't walk to the tackroom from his field. He just stops. It takes a lot of moving to get him to go.. I have to move him in a zig zag pattern just to get him over there. Then, he won't walk to the arena. Once again, he just stops. No matter how much I cluck or kick, he won't move. Twice I've had to get off of him & lead him to the arena. Then, he's usually been ok while riding... until 10-15 minutes in, when at some point we go by the gate, he just decides he's done, & stops. He won't move no matter how much I kick or scold him. He also won't be tricked by me pulling his head to a side. He used to love barrels, but now he keeps cross cantering around the barrel closest to the gate, & breaking to a trot. Once he decides he's done, there's no trotting him.
I'm getting his hooves trimmed on sunday so that may be part of it. But I don't know what else it could be... my money is very tight right now so getting him checked for soreness & back problems isn't really an option. I used a different saddle the other day on a 1 & 1/2 hour trail ride, & at first he wouldn't go with the group of 10 other horses... he just stopped. Which makes me think it's not the saddle. He also is not lame. I'm just thinking it's a respect issue. It's making me very frustrated & I really do not know what to do. This isn't like him & I feel like I'm the reason why it's happening. If anyone could help me out that would be much appreciated. Thanks!