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?