Well some of you will know that Latte's been being a real pain for the past few months. First with the bucking going into canter (which did turn out to be saddle related... lesson from that, I now don't trust saddlefitters who say it doesn't fit perfectly but it should be ok) and then with the bolting off, spinning, napping etc etc etc It all came to a head about a month ago when he bolted towards the stable yard with me and almost chucked me into the fence. I realised I am not physically strong enough to haul him into line when he has a jointed snaffle in his mouth, and Mum suggested we try a kimblewick, which did work up until last time I rode him, when he was worse than ever. I got on him probably a week or two ago and tried to work him and he was really hard in the mouth again, leaning on my hands, refusing to go the direction I asked him to and then trying to bolt back towards home (one rein stop, made him go back the way he didn't want to and eventually got what I wanted). But once we were home and in his paddock, he stopped with the leaning and all that and was responsive again :confused: Normally, he's much worse in an arena situation than out, and the issue came to a head in an arena situation. There is one little thing I haven't mentioned yet that may have something to do with his behaviour out -- we got Edward and Sugar went to live next door, and on the above ride out Mum was riding Sugar and leading Edward (who he's really nasty towards). Therefore I think Sugar's presence was causing the problem, and back in his paddock he couldn't see her. But the trouble is, it's not fair to expect Mum to not ride if I'm working Latte, and Edward being so small, he can't take her weight for long periods - not to mention we only have one saddle between the two that I ride at the moment. Part of the problem is I'm scared of him now, and my fear frightens him, which makes him play up, which scares me more - it's a vicious circle, and one that's difficult to break. It got to the point where the butterflies took off in my stomach if I was to be expected to trot on him, in anticipation of his behaviour. When all was said and done I was ready to give up on him and pass him off to Mum for a couple of years. As much as I love him, and couldn't bear to part with him, his behaviour under saddle right now is absolutely beastly. But today I resolved to NEVER give up on a horse whose problems I have some responsibility in him having (some not all, Gaia did say he was hard mouthed when we got him). That means Latte and I will be working to get through this, one small step at a time. Starting, if necessary, with lead-line. Anything it takes - all the boring flatwork and embarrassing on-lead riding - to get my sweet, gentle, quiet slug back, I'll do it. Now, I know that not all of you will agree with us using the kimblewick, but the fact of the matter is, it is the only way that I can bring him into line gently if he's badly behaved. Mum has commented several times that I have the hands for using it - stable and soft - while at the same time knowing when to be firm. It has been suggested that we try a french link but Mum and I both really don't think it would work where a jointed snaffle failed. I've also considered bitless several times but because I want to event and do pony club with him it's not a feasible option and I'll only go bitless as an absolute last resort. We found a saddle that fits him well and are constantly checking his back to make sure it's not sore. I also wonder if he's just too full of beans and needs to let some of that extra energy loose before he can be soft, responsive and, most importantly, *safe*. Or at least as safe as any horse can be. Sorry for the novel. I guess I just really need to get all of this off of my chest and I don't have any other avenues to do that. As always, any advice is welcome and considered. Thanks guys.