I know you are looking for info related to Popeye K babies, but I just really don't think the issues your horse is having are specific to a bloodline. I don't have any Popeye K/Voltaire horses, but (this is just MHO) I think a number of top european bloodlines are not necessarily so ammie friendly. Maybe all the riders in Europe are better than us and have a different definition of "rideability" in order to concentrate on having super athletic horses, I have no idea.
In any case, we start/train both WB and TB babies on my farm, and (again this is just MHO) when we do get a naughty one sent to us, the naughty TBs tend to get upset, go fast or buck, whereas the naughty WBs are more likely to be stubborn, quit and go up. If it makes you feel any better, I own a very well bred WB (different bloodlines) who had the same behavior problems as your horse, to the point where I was concerned that he might not have any future as a riding horse. Now, a year later he's a steady fellow who puts his intensity into his work.
I would not assume that Popeye K is an "amateur friendly" horse at all - quite the contrary. He was shown throughout his career by a professional. His owner rarely ever showed him and she rides extremely well.
I thought that Popeye K had retired from the pro divisions because he was being shown by his owner in the 3' division. This was a year or two ago, unless I am confusing him with someone else?
Popeye himself is one of the easiest horses I've ever been around, including all mares and geldings. His temperament is unparalleled.
I've also been around a number of (9? 10? I feel like I'm forgetting one) Popeye youngsters closely, and a few from afar, and as a group have found them to be similarly quiet and reasonable. The only trait common to a few of them that I could see being an issue is above-average carefullness, which in the wrong situation would probably lead to issues. I have not seen any to be chronically spooky, nor would I say any I've come across have had any signs of temper. They were not all, of course, perfectly perfect all the time, but nothing out of character for a young horse. Although my own never gave me a moment of trouble, and her new owner calls and tells me she's perfect all the time .
I wouldn't be concerned with your youngster if there was such improvement so quickly, but I would venture to guess that the issues you are having may be due to the fact that he's a six year old baby green and not three or four. That's late to learn to work for a living, and you're going to see more bumps in the road than average because of it, but there is no reason to be overly concerned with the problems that spring up as long as you see a little improvement each time.
I know of several Popeye K babies that have a tendency to rear. There was a recent thread that was deleted about one that was given away for that reason
I personally know nothing about that situation, but read posts from the person that started that thread that also complained that the horse was allegedly advertised as a Popeye K, but was actually not sired by him. If that's the case it would be a shame to repeat information that was incorrect.
A lot of Voltaire bred horses are known to have pretty sensitive temperaments... which likely contributes to their competitive prowess. And as much as I love Popeye (as well as most of the babies I've seen in person), I often wonder why anyone would breed to him banking for an ammy horse. Although I've heard Popeye himself is absolutely lovely to be around, and super forgiving, his pedigree doesn't read that way.
Would anyone consider breeding anything other than world's most saintly, forgiving mare to Voltaire for an ammy mount?
My Popeye K baby, at 4, just went to his second show (first with his ammy owner riding (me)) and did the baby greens. He was perfect.
He is out of my mare who was a VERY difficult youngster, that was why we selected to breed to Popeye. Now, that being said, he has his moments. Usually that involves, "I'm done working, your gonna have to MAKE me move."
As you can tell from all the posts, they are ALL individuals. I'd stay stick with! It took my mare until she was 7 to become a totally reliable show horse.
Maybe your guy is just ring sour? Has he been over-worked or jumped? Kept in a 12X12 show stall when he is used to pasture or turnout? What is he like at home, same attitude?
Thanks everyone, it's been interesting to hear the feedback on everyone's horses. Turns out he was 2nd in both classes yesterday out of 28 so I'm very surprised and pleased with him.
My angle on all this was similarities and differences in same bloodlines. I'm not worried about his program or his training. He did start out late for a variety of reasons so Chanda's right, I think he's having a temper tantrum about the working life. I'm sure the road will still be bumpy but he's made significant progress in a short time.