I bought a gelding about 6 weeks ago from an auction.
We have no history on this horse.
He is either a QH, QHX, 10-12 years old, in very good flesh..show quality. His eyes are smallish and not soft, but not mean either.
He most likely came from a show barn.
It took him about a month to settle in. He's very tuned into the herd, gets upset i.e whinnies, paws, paces when separated from herd, be that in a stall in the barn by himself, or turned out in a paddock. He does best sticking to a routine.
He's easy to catch and friendly. He leads well, is respectful, a bit spooky, but overall handles okay.
The first few weeks he would nip and paw in cross-ties.
We would correct him with a jerk on the shank, a swift kick in the side and a loud "No!" eventually he got it.d So far he has not offered to nip.
Over the past week he's started swishing his tail in the cross-ties and lift his hind feet a little. The other day he seemed relaxed, lip hanging, I was doing something nearby and then the tail started swishing like mad. He actually hunkered his rump down, lifted his tail a few inches while swishing madly, started pawing with both feet and stamped his back feet like he was going to strike. I just stood there watching this entire process..shocked. No flies, no wind, no change in herd location, nothing precipitated this reaction. I tapped his knees with my dressage whip several times before he stopped pawing. Each time he started to paw, I lifted the whip and said, "No!"
He continued with the swishing tail and I waited a few minutes before I lead him out. I backed him, circled him, stopped short several times and he was fine on the lead.
Overall, his behavior is quirky. I don't trust him.
He kicks out in the trailer, kicks out quickly and aggressively at other horse's when threatened, and kicks out in his stall when irritated. I certainly don't think he would hesitate to kick me and I believe he would have done it the other day if I had gotten anywhere close to striking distance.
He's a nice riding horse, goes quietly under saddle so far. I want to work with this horse, but he scares me a little and I'm sure he knows it. I'd like to hear from posters who have dealt specifically with horses that have behavior issues. Thanks, Jenn