Lately I have had some behavioral/respect issues with our Mustang. First here is some background on him and the training we have given him:
Back in late November my wife and I adopted gelding BLM Mustang. While I have had experience in the realm of working with livestock, the only equine experience either of us had at that point is working with our donkeys (we had a Quarter Horse for 3 months before she died of a brain tumor so not enough time to really get great experience). As with most things I (we) do I researched everything about gentling and training a Mustang. Within 1 month of gentling we trusted him enough to let him out of the holding/training pen and into the pasture. He trusted and respected us very much. I had to continually reinforce that I was in charge as in the beginning he challenged my herd rank, but after quick ground work we were back to normal. From February on through late May I had absolutely no behavioral or respect issues, and if I was trying something new with training he always trusted me and worked very well with me. There was even a mishap on our second day of saddle training in which I still had his trust and respect well afterwards. To make a long story short I had already mounted him and was sitting on him for 1 minute when one of our donkeys spooked him fairly badly and I went for a wild ride. He was very on edge and running around the pen even after I dismounted him, but I was able to get a hold of the lead rope and control him and calm him down very quickly. He even let me put the saddle back on him 2 days later. For a week after that I had to put training on hold due to my work schedule, but I still spent time with him every day by petting and brushing him. Once my schedule was normal again I haltered him and took him for a walk outside of the pasture where the grass was much taller (and of course, in his mind, greener) as that is always great bonding time for the 2 of us (not to mention he loves those walks). The walk went normal and well as it usually is, I brought him back to the pasture, took off the halter and praised him, and went inside to get ready for bed. The next day I went out to his pen to do some saddle training and brought the saddle out as I usually do before starting. He sniffed it as is normal before starting and acted no differently than usual.
This is where the issues started:
Once I brought out the halter his entire attitude changed and he refused to let me put it on him. I checked him for any injuries or sores that may make the halter uncomfortable, but he checked out with nothing wrong physically. The halter is also very well fitting for him and couldn't fit any better on him. Since then he has turned his back to me unless it was feeding time. He has not shown me any respect and hasn't wanted to spend any time with me. I have tried everything from attempting Monty's Join-up to just general pressure and release, but nothing seems to work. When doing Join-up, once he stops to look at me and I turn he never really walks up to me and if I put my hand out he just starts frantically trying to find a way out of the pen. Sometimes he is hard to get going and to keep him loping around the pen. It is almost as if we are back at square 1 except unlike in the beginning I am getting absolutely nowhere and is like all the training that has been done up to this point has gone down the drain. I have watched and read every guide I can find and have tried most of the recommendations that the videos and guides give (including the videos posted on this site). I am very patient when I am in the pen working and never show anger or frustration to him when training (I learned not to show negative emotion as a kid growing up around livestock). I am very open to any suggestions.