So my cousin has a paint gelding who's around 12 years old (Tux), he hasn't been worked with in years and has been standing out in their pasture.. I've never been on him or worked with him and I've been thinking about working with him over the past couple of months, I started the other day with just going out into the pasture and letting him get used to me, I brushed him and checked him for any cuts or anything like that.
He did fine, he loves being groomed and petted :) Anyways, he was used as a barrel horse by my cousin back when she used to ride and he's also the reason why she quit riding..
I'm going to try to make this as quick and painless as possible but, here's his story in a nutshell:
My cousin decided she wanted to start riding after I'd been taking lessons for probably 5 years, she was always more nervous around horses, still is, but she wanted to start barrel racing. So my uncle took us to look at this 5 year old "green broke" paint horse. She saw him, got on him for 5 minutes, fell in love with him, and bought him.
They sent him off to a "trainer" who's husband out right hated him because he was a "pinto" and didn't want anything to do with him. Anyways, she trained him in barrels, he was there for a while.. It's been a few years so I can't remember a lot of details about it, but when he got back he was bleached out from the sun and looked horrible. My cousin got on him (in the pasture because we don't have an arena) , I remember she was already nervous about it, and he bolted with her. She jumped off and never got back on him again.
After that they took him to a trainer that I had been using for my horse (who had come back from the other "trainer"s a totally changed horse, not for the better) and she worked with him in the arena a few times and never had any issues with him..
So that's a long story short, but I really want to try to get him back into some semblance of shape so I can try to sell him for them.. He doesn't really get taken care of, they never mess with him or anything, and I think he could still be a pretty good barrel racer with the right rider.
I just really don't know what to do with him, I did a little groundwork with him today and he did fine except for the fact that he just seems like a bundle of nerves.. I'm not a nervous person, I'm not loud or rough with him, but he acts like I'm going to take the lead rope and beat him to death. (I know for a fact my cousin has never hit him, she'd never do that)
Anyways, I was trying to make him disengage his hindquarters, which he had done on the other side, when all of a sudden he spooked and started backing up.. I held on to his lead rope and talked to him quietly, he calmed down and I walked him a little then tried again and he did fine.
I just need advice on what to do.. I know groundwork basics and do them with my own horse all the time, but Tux is different from my horse, and I'm just not sure what to do with him.. Any advice is appreciated :)
I don't know if this matters or not, but I do know how to handle horses, I've been riding for about 14 years and I exercise horses for a woman with a few cutting horses. Not that this makes me an expert, but I know a few things :) I've attached a few pictures of Tux, his registered name is K Peppy McCue.
(Sorry about his stance, he kept walking towards me)