So my pony, Riker, has proven to had some BAD manners. He was a rescue, badly starved. When we got him he would whinny and get excited at feeding time. Understandable given his condition.
As he's put on weight, this has progressed from whinnying to bullying us. I will walk him into his stall, and as soon as the halter comes off, he starts bolting and bucking AT me. Not bucking for joy (it used to be that) but last night and this morning it progressed to swinging his hind end around and trying to connect with me!!
I am honestly at a loss over how to deal with this. He's mid to lat 20s, 14 hands, and finally starting to look/feel good. I'm scared to have him around my kids...or even feed him without a helmet on for fear of him connecting with my head one of these days.
He is a doll. I can walk into his stall with food and he does stand in the corner. I'll walk him in and he'll stand quietly. He'll stand there all day looking at the food if I have him in hand. The change comes AS SOON as I either unclip the leadrope or take the halter off. Then he explodes.
The first thing I did was play alpha mare...and that made the situation worse. It kicked up to this notch after I did that a few times.
He can't have hay. His teeth are horrid and he can't grind hay...not even pellets or cubes. He's on a complete Sr. Feed that is formulated for horses that can't have hay.
I don't have a round pen...and no room/money to build one. My barn is in the center of my pasture, there's not even a separate section. I'd put some fencing up around the barn...if I owned the property and wasn't renting...but I refuse to invest that kind of money for something that I'll be leaving behind in a few years (or maybe longer, I'd love to stay a while).
Finally, he's already scared of whips. He's a rescue...so we don't know what all he's endured in his life.
Can anyone offer any advice on how to teach him respect at feeding time? In all other areas he's a great little pony and SUPER gentle. It's ONLY at feeding time that he acts like this.