I have been riding my three year old colt for just over a year now. We have accomplished giving to pressure, stopping, turning, breaking at the poll, being soft and flexible, etc. However, we are currently working on circles OUTSIDE of the round pen, and most of the time he will give me a consistent trotting circle, but lately has been stopping when you squeeze or lightly kick to keep him going. He puts on the brakes, and now is starting to balk and back up several steps. Keep in mind that this is when we are riding at home in the pasture---so I don't think it is fear, and instead a matter of stubbornness, irritability, or possibly discomfort?
The problem is I am just getting frustrated and losing patience, and getting upset with him is clearly not working. And I know it is not the right thing to do.
Also, when we pick up a canter to the left, he will all the sudden take off to the right about halfway through the circle. Do I just need to slow him back down to a trot and get him back in the round pen? I obviously do not want to encourage this learned bad behavior.
Please--no "get a trainer," etc comments--that seems to be a lot of people's solutions and I need advice from others that I can work on myself. I am willing and able to work on exercises and advice from others. My "trainer" is my dad if I do need to bring someone else into the equation--he helped me break him and has been riding for years.