I'm leasing a horse right now and the barn where I ride is very much into Clinton Anderson training for horses so I know how they would tell me to handle this issue. But I really want to get some advice here and see how it compares.
This horse is an overall a pretty calm and willing horse but he's got a lazy streak in him. He's been used previously as a lesson horse for english and western but before he came to the barn he was a roping horse. So now I'm trying to get him back into english. He's a quarter horse around 15 years old.
The other day I was lunging him and when I tried changing direction so he was going clockwise (the direction he seems to hate) he started arching his neck like he was doing rolkur to himself. I tried to move him past it and he just stopped and stretched his neck out at me and started lifting up his gums. It wasn't like he showed full out bare teeth. I've see that before in other horses. This looked like a horse who was smelling something bad. You know that look when their lip is turning up. But he did it enough times that I definitely saw teeth.
I happened to be alone in the ring as the few other people there were on the other side of the farm. I know if I asked them what to do, they would tell me to get the Clinton Anderson stick with the string/whip thing and make him turn circles back and forth until he was exhausted. But honestly, I got a little nervous. Plus I thought if a horse is getting more and more worked up, is it really a good idea to keep them building until they burst? Or should I work on bringing him back down?
What I did was stop, I talked to him a bit saying, "It's okay, it's okay" tried to calm him down. Then I walked with him a little bit in the ring. Then I walked to the other side of the ring and tried again. This time he did lunging no problem. I didn't want to totally stop working so he'd think that a tantrum gets him out of work. But I also didn't want to keep going the way we were.
It was kind of scary. I didn't know if he was going to rush into me and hurt me. So what is the best thing to do in a situation like this? Are there any trainers I should be looking besides/instead of Clinton Anderson? Is there a popular trainer with techniques that are more common with english riders?