For instance today, I took him for a little walk around the property and we had about 3 instances where he tried to get ahead of me and/or bumped his shoulder into me while we were walking. So I took the lead rope and spun him around to face me and backed him up several steps.
I try to back him up a lot in general just to get his attention and get him out of my space. Mostly, he backs pretty well, but sometimes he will ignore the cue (kissing and a tap with a dressage whip) and I end up smacking him harder, which makes me feel really crummy, but I have to get a response, right?
He also tried to nip me once today so I made him back 1/2 way across the pen.
I guess what discourages me is we have these battles and things get better, but then it seems we have these battles all over again a few days later. And again and again. I just don't know how much I should be expecting out of him at this age, and how to make an impression on him so he won't keep trying the same old stuff.
One day he can be perfect (especially after exercise) and the next day it's like we are re-inventing the wheel all over again.
Any thoughts? I don't want to be hard on him or expect too much, but I don't want him to grow up to be a disrespectful horse either.