Have been on Cliffton and ridden round briefly at a walk a few times, but he was very introverted and inclined to come out of it with a bang!! Not good. I have dealt with horses like this before but Cliffton's behaviour didn't seem to improve although I kept backing off & taking things very slowly.
In fact I came to the conclusion that he must have had some fairly rough treament in the past to make him shut down the way he does. As the methods I was usuing weren't making any significant changes I researched some diferent methods. I have always liked the books by Mark Rashid & other similar horse trainers so was looking for more detail along those lines.
I came up with GaWaNi Pony Boys teachings, downloaded his e-book with step by step exercises and we seem to be making progress again.
GaWaNi Pony Boys methods are based around establishing yourself as herd leader with the horse loose in a round pen (arena in my case) then the desensitisation process is done again with the horse loose, giving it the option of moving away, if it does you encourage that movement for a couple of laps then invite it in again, the horse can choose at all times, but it's choice of running is made harder work than it would like.
Using this aproach I have found Cliffton retreats into his own world less and less, he wants to be with me all the time and is relaxing in general.