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Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/Unwilling, Stubborn, Aggressive Pony

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Question
I bought my first horse this past July 2012 (I have been riding for over eight years and have helped to start multiple young horses, but this is my first time owning). He's a POA/Morgan gelding and was 4yrs at the time - the ONLY thing he was familiar with was the round pen and some basic voice commands. I started working with him about two weeks after I brought him home and introduced him to the lunge line and jumps. He took to this well and seemed very interested, though his pasture mate did prove to be a distraction that he couldn't get away from. I mounted him bareback after about 4 weeks and started teaching him to move forward, give to the bit, etc. but after a while, I felt us come to a standstill and thought that my communication with him was getting fuzzy so I took him to a local dressage trainer who I have known for several years and respect. The first week he was there, she said he was a monster - he tried attacking her, rearing up and flipping over, etc. After 30 days, we got him so that he was going on the lunge line smoothly and obediently, he would stand quietly for me to tack him up and willingly take the bit, I could ride him and he seemed to understand. He was starting to move forward in his training again! I have had him back home for about two weeks now, and though he lets me tack him up without problems, the moment I get the bit in his mouth, he hangs his head all the way to the ground and closes his eyes a little bit - he looks so depressed and defeated every time. I then have to DRAG him over to the mounting block and while I'm riding him, ALL he wants to do is fight with me. On the lunge line, he has a good side (like all horses) and refuses to go that direction. Eventually I make him, but he rears and puts up a fight for a good ten minutes or so. Anyways! I don't want to sell him. I've already put so much into him both emotionally and financially and the thought of having to sell him kills me. How do I get him to trust and respect me again? Is it something in his environment? Or is he just a lazy, unwilling horse?

Answer
Hi Mariah,
You have an all too common problem with your horse. Lack of respect. Your horse does not respect you and when you ask it to move in a dierection asked, he gets upset and rebels. This is a symptom of a cause. The symptom...his actions when ask. The cause....lack of respect. I suggest you go back to the very beginnings of your foundation and reinstall the foundation.  You have to get your horse moving foreward, backwards, left and right. If you can control the feet, you can control the mind.

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

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Bobby Passons

Expertise

I can answer questions concerning horse training, foundation work, colt starting, western riding, rider confidence and problematic horses.

Experience

20 years in horse training. Starting colts, problematic horses, rider confidence and Western riding. I have specialized in training good/safe trail horses. Shown in western pleasure, halter and trail classes. I worked in West Texas gathering wild cattle.

Organizations
AQHA, APHA, NREMT

Education/Credentials
degree in prehospital medicine.

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