Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
You really need to work closely with your trainer on this. Get a trainer that knows about training horses and Thoroughbreds and work with them a lot.
Think about things clearly. You have been working in a round yard, somewhere safe, enclosed and very familiar. Of course he is going to be best behaved in there. Then you take him to an arena that is open, unfamiliar (at least with a rider on his back) and he freaks out. Pushing him over trotting poles will not help. He is young and inexperienced. When horses are scared they run - and that is what he did. That is what he has been trained to do.
When you lunged him did you lunge him in the arena? That would be the appropriate thing to do, to get him used to the new working area.
Start doing ground work in the arena, then get someone to lead him while you ride to start with. I wouldn't worry about trotting so much - I think it is important to get a really good, responsive walk first. Walk him everywhere. Walk in the round yard, the arena, go out walking with friends, walk around the stables with someone leading etc. Always practice the aids. Stop, go, turn, stop, go, turn, go, stop. Etc.
Once he is quiet and calm with it all then I would consider trotting. In the arena. Round yards are great tools but a horse off the track doesn't have very good balance. Making them go on a small circle with the rider is just going to unbalance them. Once you have your trot really good, just like the walk, then consider trot poles. Then cantering.
Do shorter sessions rather than long ones. Also, consider training your horse to do the one-rein stop. It works very well for some people and might be a good tool for you if he tries to run off again.
I'm glad you're not too badly hurt, and that he is okay.