So here goes, I had a pony for 9 years, 3 of which I also had my horse, Dozer. When the pony passed away he was at the equine hospital. The last time Doz saw him, he was being walked down our driveway towards a trailer at 9:30 at night.
At first, he didn't act any differently. I took him out on a ride alone and he did fine. I trailered him down to the equestrian center to bathe him and he did fine.
About two weeks later, I decided to take him out for a super early (6AM- to avoid the mid-June California heat) and he changed. He spooked at everything and continuous tried to run home with me. I got him to the top of the hill (I was meeting my friend at the bottom) and then he lost it. He tried to run right off the side of the hill multiple times. I broke down, cried, and called my dad to have him trailer us home because I didn't trust Dozer to safely be lead or ridden home.
Maybe it was just because he had never been out that early? So I took him out on the street (In hand tis time) to check. He was still absolutely horrible. I walked him around the street for about half an hour and he calmed down a little bit, but there was no major light bulb "a ha!" moment where he went back to normal.
He continued on like this all summer. So I lost interest for a while. I'd meet friends and we'd have to go back to my house because Dozer couldn't handle himself. I ended up just riding other people's horses. They were less hassle.
He was still really well behaved in our arena, so I rode him in there every so often. But not too much.
About three weeks ago, my cousin and I decided to ride him and my dad's horse(Very green broke draft- never been ridden out of the yard) on a ride down the street to a development. Dozer only spooked twice! It was awesome! He was back to himself. Looking back, it was very dumb for us to go out. My cousin was riding n my new treeless saddle(with our only cinch) so I was riding Doz in just a bareback pad and neither of us were wearing helmets.
Anyways, since it went so well, we decided to go out again on Monday. On Monday, Doz had apparently remembered that he was supposed to be a dumb horse on trails, so he reverted back to that. Awesome, huh?
Okay, so the morale of the story is, I always rode him out in my(or my dad's) treeless saddle while going out and he was always bad. However, the one time I rode bareback, he was good. Could this mean his back is hurting him or he is being bad because he is somehow in pain? He doesn't roll excessively or anything as if he is trying to correct his back alignment but it could be something, right?
Or is this just his mental breakdown?
I'd really like to get him back to normal so that when I go away to college next year, he will still be ridden on a somewhat regular basis.
Okay, I'm done. Thanks for reading! Here's a pic of the big doof :)