Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canberra Australia
Sounds like you have some ideas on how to straighten it all out; so I guess keep at it. Though its kinda hard to get a good idea about it from a description, what comes to my mind about it is thinking about riding when I was a little kid, and then riding when I was a bit older (late teens) after I began to learn to ride and handle horses properly.
Most of the time I spent riding was doing cattle work and when I was little I would often be in a situation where a horse just wouldn’t cooperate, It wouldn’t go through a gate, or would want to rush through a gate, or any number of things. As I learned how to handle horses though all of that stopped. The reason all those sorts of problems stopped is because the person who taught me most taught me probably the most important thing I ever learned about horses; and it’s actually very simple. That if they don’t respect you on the ground, they won’t respect you on their back; and to get a horse respect you have to get it on the ground.
Now you might ask what does that have to do with the hiccups you are having with your horse? I would say that the little issues you are getting are not the root of the problem but symptomatic of the problem; probably a lack of respect. If it’s an ex-lesson horse it has probably learned to get the better of every beginner that has gotten on it and is now trying its shiftiness on you. It’s kind of to be expected really, horses are very socially hierarchical and do it to each other so it’s only natural they will try it on people too.
What I would suggest is not to pay too much attention to the specific problems you are having as such. For example if it won’t go in the shed, don’t get too stressed out about it and think that forcing it to go in the shed will ix the problem. As I said, my guess is that these things are just a symptom of a bigger issue. I’d recommend looking around for some respect building exercises that you can take you horse off and work on. Things like Pat Parelli’s lateral lunging stuff (just because that’s the stuff I learned), or if you think Parelli sucks, some Clinton Anderson, or whoever you prefer, it really doesn’t make that much difference, they are all more or less the same thing. If you do them right you should be able to insure the horse respects you and it will do what you ask no matter what it is.