I have been sharing a pony now (13.2hh grey gelding, 12yrs old) since september 2010, he's always been a bit wary of things but recently he's gotten a lot worse. Before easter, i'd just started to get him hacking out alone and with a bit of encouragement and bravery from me it was going quite well. I've come back after my 4 week easter holiday and although his owner has been lunging him and has had people riding him he's just turned into a bit of a nightmare.
Problem 1) He's impossible to catch, even with a bucket of carrots he still doesnt want to be caught and he trots and canters around the paddock taking the absolute mickey out of me. The only sure way of catching him is taking his field companion out of the field and then going back for him, in which case, he stands good as gold while you put his head collar on and lead him away.
Problem 2) He's scared of everything on the way in from the field - we walk down a small track and into the yard where his stable is.. The first challenge is to get him through the gate of his field where he just plants his feet and refuses to move - with a little shuffling around and smacks on the bottom he gradually gets the idea that he has to leave and does so.. The next challenge is just walking in - he gets scared of things in the hedge, rugs on the floor, anything he has an excuse for really.. Bearing in mind he's 12 years old and he was never like this to bring in before, I don't understand whats happened.
Problem 3) He's spooky in general - He used to be fine walking around the yard but now he gets worried and tries to run away from anything, such as the bench, the fillers from jumps, bucket, bags etc..
To ride in the menage he is absolutely lovely (unless there's something scary in there like a bag), really responsive, a bit strong at times but that's just his nature, which for me is fine.. As soon as we come out of the school he is snorting and tense all over again and scared of everything, he's so tense being ridden in the jumping paddock and I don't dare try and take him out for a hack by himself anymore. I havent taken him out in company yet but i'd be worried to do this as well..
I just don't know where to go from here and speaking to others on the yard I don't think they do either and neither does his owner. I'd really just appreciate some helpful advice, comments or anything that could possibly point me in the right direction with this pony. Before easter it seemed like we had formed a slight bond - which took a really long time! And I was looking forward to doing bigger and better things with him, we were jumping the top of the blocks and having fun out hacking and everything before and I just don't know whats happened. Whether something has happened that I don't know about or his owner lets him get away with things, I don't know.. I just need some help to start again :)