09-10-2010, 01:11 AM
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I make a practice of training & 'retraining' in a halter. I won't put a bit in a horse's mouth at least until he's going well & consistently in a halter. As the horses people want me to retrain are inevitably 'problem horses', yes, many people refer to them as 'stubborn'.
What I tend to think of when people talk of 'stubborn' horses is the horse that has been used & abused his whole life, often by novices that don't know what they're doing, so the horse has learned to do what works for him - ignore it & it'll eventually go away. On the other hand, resisting pressure is also the horse's natural reaction against something that it doesn't understand/is nervous about/hurts it. Therefore it may be due to a lack of good training in the first place, or painful methods or equipment that has led to the horse being 'stubborn'.
So, basically I'd take the horse back to the basics of training, teach him to yield to gentle pressure, etc, on the ground before being ridden. Fill in the holes in his training, to teach him that there's nothing to worry about & it's yielding to, not resisting pressure that works.