biting at side when spurred...??
Hi everyone! I was hoping to get some input on how to fix this unwanted behavior.
So, this last fall, a friend of mine with little horse experience purchased a 2 year old gelding who had been started and successfully shown in western pleasure as a 2 year old. He obviously needs finishing and refinement, but from what I saw, he has a lot of potential, a really good start, and a great mind. So, since my friend is very green when it comes to horses, the gelding has mainly been sitting all winter, with the occasional ride from my friend. However, when she rides him, she pretty much just lets him do whatever he wants. She doesn't provide him with the structure that a young horse needs, in my opinion.
Since she won't have any time this summer to work with him and show him, we have decided that I should use him this summer as my show horse. That way, she will not be wasting his potential and will getting him back to where he needs to be. And I will get to fulfill my horsey needs as well – without having to buy another horse right now.
The issue is that he’s a slow moving horse by nature, and since he was sold as being “spur broke” by the previous owner, my friend has always ridden him in spurs. Since he has gotten used to getting away with things with her, he has now become somewhat spur sour, from the looks of things. I rode him the other day (I don’t have a ton of experience with riding with spurs, mind you) and every time you spur him (which is pretty much the ONLY way he will move), he would bend his head around and bite at his side where he’s being spurred. I don’t know if this is a pain issue, or if it’s a behavioral thing, so any advice is welcomed! How do I get him to stop doing this? When he gets to my farm, I am planning on working him daily and getting him back into a disciplined schedule. I feel like even doing just that will help a little bit. Also, I plan on working on his lunging extensively and getting him very responsive to verbal cues so as to kind of wean him off of his severe need for spurs. I don’t mind using spurs, but I don’t feel like a horse should feel like being spurred is the only way he’s going to listen to you.
Again, any advice is greatly appreciated!! Please let me know if you would do things differently! I also have access to a lot of knowledgeable horse people around me - western pleasure people and a trainer who isn't far away, so I won't be alone in this. :)