You misunderstand. I've only ridden 3/36 horses I have owned in JUST a halter, and they were both dead broke, in their teens, and used in about 7,000 hours of lessons in my riding academy when I taught with them.
You have a problem if your horse doesn't pay attention to you. How about "telling him to give you two eyes
?" Yank that halter and get him to pay attention!
IMO you are not asking for perfect behavior, every time with what he already knows.
Hate to repeat, BUT, How, when & what do you reprimand for? Horse not moving when leading. How to fix?
Okay, I've read through the both of those.
Red is a VERY personable horse. He was indeed spoiled by his previous owners and he will crowd your personal space on the ground if you let him. I do not let him.
There is a time when I will invite him into "my bubble" but he is not to be in my bubble otherwise. Period. That's not an issue anymore. I used to carry my carrot stick with me when ground handling him, but I don't need to anymore because I've taught him not to crowd me.
Red also doesn't rush through the gate. I open the gate and when I'm ready to ask him to walk through, I will direct him with my hand and "send him".
He is not allowed to lick me or bite me. He tried it a couple times when I first got him last year and he quickly realized that wasn't going to fly. He hasn't tried it since.
He is not allowed to rub his head on me. Ever. I know that his head is itchy after a ride when I take the bridle off, so after he has been haltered nicely, I will be the one to scratch him (because he likes it). But not the other way around. I'm not a scratching post.
He still doesn't stand nicely when I re-check the cinch before I mount. I haven't been able to "figure him out" on this one yet. He's gotten much better, but he can still improve. He will, however, stand nicely after I mount and is not allowed to start walking until I say so.
He tried to buck 2 or 3 times when I first got him, when I would ask him to gallop circles. But basically, his previous owners never made him do any real work. He quit trying to buck after I made him gallop harder and work harder, and he hasn't tried since. He knows he can't get away with it.
Anyway, I just give all these different examples because I am not letting him walk all over me.
But I am for sure still trying to figure out how to get his attention on me for those times when we are riding
and he does chose to ignore me.
He has never balked and bolted when handling him on the ground, like the times he has while riding. As I already said, I can't even recall him even pulling on the lead the handlful of times he has spooked or something on the leadrope. There's a big disconnect between his riding and his ground manners.
And maybe I should have worded my ground work differently. But I'm NOT going to yank on his halter, simply because he didn't notice my "glare" cue to ask him to disengage his hindquarters. But I am
going to start tapping progressively harder on him with my carrot stick, or twirling the end of the lead rope, to make my request stronger until he gives me the correct response. I am going to give him a chance to respond and an opportunity to respond and not just YANK on him immediately. I won't do that. And I don't stop asking him until I get the correct response. It usually only takes using the carrot stick or the end of the lead rope once, and then he'll do it with a glare (disengage the hindquarters). So even though he may not focus on me right away, he is NOT getting away with it. But when riding and he loses focus on me, are you then suggesting I YANK on his mouth? Or kick him in the belly? Or what???
Because that will NOT work with him. He is very, very, very sensitive. I carried a whip one time to help prevent him from "drifting" on one side of his loping circles, and he about came unglued and all I did was barely tap his shoulder a time or two. He bred to be a barrel horse. He's very sensitive and very reactive.
I also spent most of the summer getting him to travel at a relaxed pace, instead of galloping faster and faster (for example.) He is a go-go-go type of horse. He would fall over dead before voluntarily slowing down. I've spent a lot of time doing serpentines with him to get him to slow down, rather than constantly hanging on his mouth.
So it's really an opposite problem for the times he balks and then bolts. I don't want to start yanking on him or kicking on him to get his attention back, because it's just going to further scare and unnerve him. I don't want to make him any more upset than he already is. Hence why I try to somehow get him to move his feet, and it's been helping, but again, hard to grab his attention without making matters worse.
And maybe I'm not explaining his personality right through my words. He is just one unique individual. (And as I've already said, but I'll say it again before anyone tried to suggest it, I already am set up to take him to a trainer to help me figure him out.)