I'm going to be nice, and make one
He tried to buck 2 or 3 times when I first got him, ...
I would have sold this horse at the very next auction, bc I was stupid when I bought him.
I can't even recall him even pulling on the lead the handful of times he has spooked or something on the leadrope.
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.
How often does he spook when being led? Mine don't spook when I lead them, but I demand perfect leading behavior, never ahead, never behind, always willing to stop when I do, walk when I do, back immediately on cue. I even back my 6yo geldings into the stall gate, the trailer and wheelbarrows. They don't flinch bc we do it all of the time. It's called, "desinsitisation."
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.
It's all about who is the head broodmare or head stallion. A horse (or a dog, or a cat, or any animal) doesn't understand equal. One of you is the boss. Head broodmares pin the ears or raise the leg and give ONE chance to move, then they bite or kick. THIS is what every horse understands. Your "tapping" is just an annoyance.
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???
Yeah, if I haven't finished my training right, and my horse does something dangerous, I WILL yank him in the mouth. He'll recover. I want to live through the ride so that I can train another day.
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.
One "very" would have been enough. He's kinda like your bad boyfriend that girls like to make excuses for bc a bad bf is better than none at all.
A GOOD horse is quiet to being tied, tacked up, trailered and new places. A GOOD horse is responsive to invisible cues from the rider.
A BAD horse spooks indiscriminately. A BAD horse doesn't want to you tell him what to do.
Glad I don't own your horse. Do as you will, and stop beating US up bc we want to help.