Alright, I haven't posted much on here, but I think it's time I start. And let me apologize for how long this post is almost garunteed to be, I tend to be a bit wordy (; So let me start out by giving some background on my horse and me. I'm 17, I've been riding since I was 5 or so, with a break for three years due to money problems. In March, a friend I volunteer with at my old barn offered me her horse as a gift because she claimed to be too old and in need of an easier horse. I tried him out for a week, and fell in love with him. He's about 16.1 hands, which I had to get past because I was terrified of big horses but I've now come to love. He was found in a field and had been there for no one knows how long, was later used as a barrel horse, then bought by my friend. For a horse that barely got ridden, he's fantastic. Mind you he has some little problems, such as holding his head far too high and not liking being caught, but we've been working through those and progressing nicely. He always takes care of me, I feel very safe on him when we're in the arena.
But not when we're on the trail. He's a different horse on the trail. He pulls at the bit, tries to take off, and gets anxious. I try not to get nervous, because he always feeds off my energy. My friend's trainer suggested a harsher bit, as he's in a snaffle, but I refuse changing his bit as he works well in it elsewhere and I don't think a new bit is the answer. He used to be like this even riding around the property he was kept on outside of the ring, but with lots of practicing in the fields, he's gotten better and now we can ride bareback all over. We've ridden through the neighborhood quite a lot and on trails, but he hasn't calmed down much at all. We've gone with his horse friends as well as alone, but it hasn't changed anything.
I do consider myself lucky, because with a bit of force I can manage to keep him at a walk, but it's a speedy walk. It's nearly impossible to stop him on the trails, though he will respond, eventually. Like I said, he has improved greatly in our time together, but this is one thing I feel hasn't improved at all. He was good on the trail once, and stayed at a calm walk, head down. I'm not sure if this is a good sign, or he was just very tired from our ride (we were riding him from a friend's house down the road). But the next time, it was back to square one. For an 18 year old horse, he has more energy than I've ever seen!
So I guess my question is, where do I go from here? Do I keep taking him out on the trails and working through things with him? What do I do with him out on the trails? I do trust him, and I don't typically get nervous on him, so I'm willing to keep trying.
Thank you to anyone crazy enough to read this giant post! You deserve some sort of award! (;
So, what do you guys think?