Yay! I feel like we're having a reunion! I love seeing the pictures of your son with Gatsby, they're such a cute pair :)
We both seem to be having similar learning situations with our Arabs. Mine isn't kicky, but he is "pully". Like you, I recently questioned if he was too much horse for me, but decided to make a plan and stick with it, which is training not just him, but me as well.
What a lovely mare! She seems like a wonderful "first" horse.
So to keep it short, it's definitely been a journey with me and Bear. I got him November 25th, 2015. He was a gift from my SO, his mother bred him and raised him and had him most of his life, but hasn't owned him for the past several years. She was unhappy with the last owners he had, so when I told my SO I was on the search for a horse (an an arab at that), they got Bear from the living situation he was in, and for the cost of shipping, he was mine.
He's definitely a lot of horse and is challenging, but he is smart and sweet, and as a result of being smart INCREDIBLY stubborn. I'm lucky that with training lately he seems to be willing to learn, and I'm approaching the next issue to tackle, which is him pulling back when tied. This is the one issue he has that I've been teetering around because it intimidates me, however I've recently discovered a way to help control him better when he does pull, and have found it's VERY similar to a method I recently learned about that is a safe and fair way of teaching a horse to stop and come forward when they pull their head back and feel heavy poll pressure. He has become a very confident trail horse, but he's very forward and I need to work on that. Recently switched him from a french link snaffle to a flower hackamore and he's been much more supple. Practicing a lot of leg work. My SO's mom said she thinks he and I would benefit from doing a little dressage, so that is something I'd like to focus on once I get him through some of his issues. My ultimate goal with him is to do endurance riding, but I am putting that off until I get everything else ironed out.
One of the few pictures I've taken of him without my iPhone camera:
And a picture from the other day :)