Selling a bolter
I have a dilemma. I'm trying to sell my horse and, as you can imagine, I'm having a hard time doing so. The background is, he came to me as a bolter, without me knowing about the problem. (Aside from the fact that nothing I did in those early days could have solidified that problem so concretely if it was NEW, I have solid evidence that he had the problem before I bought him, and wasn't told. The former owner insists she didn't know.) He bolted on me several times—sometimes I came off, sometimes I emergency-dismounted, eventually I learned to stick on and stop him. However, despite me coming off at first, these were all true bolts, not attempts to get out of work or naughtiness. I had another girl riding him for a while, who learned that if he was prevented from bolting, like with rein pressure, he would rear as an escape. As a fun addition, he will also buck when landing off a jump if the rider isn't super, super soft with their hands.
This makes him sound like the worst horse ever, and I agree that those are very serious vices. But he's not a lost cause at all. I have worked with him very extensively over the past year on desensitizing him and teaching him not to be afraid of things. He only bolts when he's scared out of his mind and that happens MUCH less often now. (He's also on a calming supplement that really helps.) The last two times it happened was, one, when I was deliberately pushing him past his comfort zone for training purposes—I pushed too far. Two, at a show where I pushed him too far again—it was the same scary situation as the first time, just a different day/place. He only ever rears when he can't bolt (and not every time)—and it's always been when I've used too much bit, which I no longer even consider—so again, that has been much less of a problem. The bucking has disappeared since I've worked on keeping my hands soft over jumps.
He has some pretty good points, I feel the need to point out. He has beautiful movement, and the potential to do really well as a show horse (he's ribboned a bunch at shows, but he acted up at the last one, oh joy.) He has really nice dressage potential and some excellent dressage scores at our eventing schooling shows. He jumps with amazing form—he needs some work to improve his confidence in jumping, which I am currently working on, and it's coming along well. He's nice on trails and surefooted. He's really sweet. He's suuuuper pretty. But no one so far has been willing to take a chance on him. I understand that completely—I'm not going to be buying a bolter either. (He's for sale because he's not suited for eventing, and I want an eventing horse.) And I won't sell him without disclosing his vices, because I think that's unethical and dangerous. (I WISH his last owner had felt the same way!)
So my question is, what's the best strategy to get him into a better-suited home—without leaving me broke? I understand that I'm not likely to get my asking price for him. I'm asking 4.5k for him (highish for my area, but exactly what I paid for him, not knowing he was a bolter) and mostly selling him as a show horse, potential dressage or hunter. I'm working on training him to improve as a hunter while he's for sale. I could drop my price, and I have been entertaining the idea, but that does bring in questions of how much I can drop it and still afford another horse, and perceptions of his value. Is there anything other than that that might help? Should I try and market him differently, or do something else? I don't think spending the money on additional training from someone else would help; he's had a lot of retraining already and I'd still end up having to disclose his problems.
Thanks (and sorry for the novel!)