I'm with SEAmom here. Work from the ground up. And keep work interesting. I'm willing to bet that his " headstrong" tendency is boredom. My first Arab told me, after two laps, that longing was super boring and that he'd be delighted if he could stand in the middle and make me run in circles. I never longed him again, but did tons of groundwork with obstacles and other challenges. That's what he wanted to do, interesting stuff.
Normal bits, especially part rubber, are just too thick for a small Arab mouth. Try for yourself, first with your index, then with your little finger....which one is more comfy?
I also wouldn't canter him. Walk and trot, always bending, yielding, shoulder in. Never straight. And after arena work a little round around the block, to relax. Keep things positive.For accepting the leg aid, start on the ground, apply pressure where your leg would be, as little as possible but as much as needed, until he yields, then right away no more pressure, without delay. Try your flat hand first, if not, go all the way " down" to the tip of your finger, then work your way up to hand again. He probably has no clue what leg aids are. Use your weight also, when riding.
Last edited by deserthorsewoman; 09-24-2013 at 03:24 PM.