As I don't have many places directly around here (aside from my own- aka his own- pasture) or roads (and I have no idea how he is in regards to that, and don't want to try it right now) I'll probably be taking him where I took him last time, which is a large ranch that has lots of terrain- creeks, hills, gullies, etc and just seems to go on forever. I had forgotten about that I took him there, while back, and it was indeed one of the few times I saw his interest perk and seemed to enjoy himself.
I know trust doesn't come immediately, and I'm not expecting immediate results, just hints or ideas to help it along. Makes sense though. I can work him all day long, and he can be respectful of me, but leading makes you a leader, and leaders are trusted, and in turn, more respected.
Can't hurt, that's for sure. Being that he's so smart, I know that he must get bored as well (I try to switch things up, introduce objects, lots of direction changes, small obstacles, but there's only so many things you can come up with on a limited budget and he spends most of his time in the pasture). But exploring the world and seeing new sights is good for anyone.
I can tell the difference between trust and respect, and usually trust falls naturally behind respect, but for him, it's a lot harder to do. To me, to effectively make a well rounded horse, you need both.
Regards to an outside trainer- I am under guidance from a trainer, I'm not going in blind, and I have had experience with difficult horses (though I will admit I don't know everything, and don't pretend to). But, I do not (and neither does the rescue) have the funds to get a "professional" out. Therefore, he is in my hands.
My fear with pushing him to far too fast is I don't want him to regress or to "blow his mind" , I want him to seek other options even if its just a few steps at a time. The last time I "pushed" him he wasn't aggressive toward me, but he reared up and flipped over into the round pen panel, and it took me about an hour before i could walk up to him without panicking. (He had gotten stuck in the panel, and if I approached he panicked, so I let him figure out the mess he got into. May have not been the right approach, but I didn't want him to break his leg either so seemed like the best choice) once he got free (that didn't take him long, a few minutes) I worked on desensitizing (that took forever), made sure he wasn't injured, and then went back to what we were trying before hand.
I welcome and am open to ideas, suggestions- supportive or critical, and I haven't ruled out a physical problem, though I don't see it as very likely- but it never hurts to check. Thank you all for ideas, I'm always learning! I will try to keep responses shorter (I'm wordy, I know it's annoying. I apologize)