This is long, sorry, but I really need to fully explain.
So, I'm pretty new to horses as I have only been riding for a year and I had to have knee surgery halfway through which pretty much reset my training physically. Well, I got my horse about 5ish months ago and the first thing I want to say about him as that he is sweet and I CAN handle anything he throws at me tantrum wise(buck/rear/kick).
Cubone is a 18yr old APHA registered paint gelding. He has amazing ground manners, doesn't kick/buck/bite/rear/etc., and is all around a great first horse. He was marketed as a beginner friendly horse, however I strongly believe he is better suited for an intermediate rider. Simply because he most definitely has a mind of his own. If he wants to do something, their isn't much you can do to stop him. I've worked through most of his initial purchase problems (not walking when being led, being pushy on the ground and while riding, not even wanting to walk under saddle and then later trotting under saddle) except his ALWAYS going to spectators.
I can handle him rearing(he's only done it once), and even bucking if he ever does this and I can totally handle his many tantrums under saddle, but I can't break his habit of seeing spectators and trotting (even cantering) to them. I can't turn him away once he starts and now I have to pull really hard on the reins just to stop him (which kills me inside because I hate pulling his mouth. ). I've tried pushing him past but he just stops and doesn't listen to any of my cues and starts throwing his head and turning sharply in circles. At one point I was sure he was going to fall over. He has now started trotting with his head practically turned to me but he is horribly off balance and now I'm afraid he is going to fall and hurt himself or me because of his habit.
The only way I can prevent him from going to spectators (AKA my mom and co.) is not letting him see them at all. I have to keep him completely turned away from them and that is now hindering my training. Second annoying habit:
This might be a habit or this might just be a super annoying vice. I'm not totally sure. Cubone HATES arenas. When I first got him, just getting him to move was hard enough, but finally I was able to ride him well (with tantrums) but slowly he has been losing more and more interest in riding. He absolutely hates entering an arena and now no longer stays in the dirt paths of the arena and ONLY listens in the grass area. From his previous owner, I know that he did lessons for 10 and up children, did parades(which I have picture proof) and was good in any environment (which I also believe), and may have done ranch work at some point in his life but she isn't sure. She never mentioned he worked in an arena explicitly. I haven't tried riding him in the pasture simply because I want to keep that as his chill area and there are no trails I can go to test my theory that he just doesn't work well in arenas.
Any advice with keeping him on the rail? He hates to be there and when I do make him, he starts spooking at random things because he is frustrated and he also doesn't listen to my cues. Should I just try riding him around the property to see if it is just the arena he is having problems in? Third vice:
This one truly is a vice. He hates to canter. Once again, all his problems seem to be in an arena as when I went to try him out before purchase, I cantered him in his paddock. I have to state that right now, he is overweight and where I live it is very warm and humid so I'm not cantering at all right now. I'm trying to get him fit before I even attempt again. But when I do, I need some tips to get him into it. I know how to get a horse into a canter. My trainer told me to run him into the canter but he simply does a super fast trot and ignores my cues. However, a friend of mine who has way more experience came and she got him to canter from a stand still, English style. Should I try that? That's how I learned to canter from my lessons and I was simply trying to run Cubone into the canter like my trainer told me to.
Any tips? :)
Thank you for reading that! Thank you in advance to those who reply! I do love my boy and even if he never shakes these habits, I do plan to keep him and continue working with him till the day he is retired(Which I should add he is in great shape and doesn't act his age in the slightest.). He is my handsome butt-face! <3
also, I am thinking a harsher bit might be needed but I'm not sure what I should get. I know the bit is meant for neck reining, but he has had no problems until now with stopping and steering. (He doesn't neck rein but I'm teaching him that now.)
from today's ride: