So in the last three months I've acquired a TB, he's thirteen, has raced but not for eight or so years and has been schooled previously. Bit of a back story before I get onto the issue - Before I acquired him he was owned by a girl who used to just barrel him over jumps, letting him practically gallop over them, as well as being pretty rough on the mouth (Riding in a gag most of the time) She had a fantastic seat from what I saw when he'd throw his tricks out, I wouldn't be brave enough to sit to it! (He was boarded with her where I was already boarding, so this is all first person) and they'd just go for hoons quite a bit, he got away with a bit ;) She only came out once a week, eventually once a month for around six or so months.
He was very sensitive to aids, you couldn't put your leg consistently (even just relaxed and not putting any pressure) on his side, and god forbid you click at him. Although he's made a huge amount of improvement with his aids, he's still very touchy with where my legs are, and I don't want him to keep being so precious.
I've been lunging him with stirrups down, even attaching things to his stirrups to try and desensitize him, which has been working, slightly (any progress is good progress however!)
I've been told to keep my leg on him when he shoots off when he's touched behind the girth, but that really seems to just wind him up and it takes a long time to get him back to me. (to add I'm also riding him in a snaffle, which he's responding well to, although still working on accepting and relaxing on the bit)
Does anyone else have any suggestions as to desensitizing? / anyone else have this same problem?
Any input I will be grateful for! Thank you for reading this essay :)