Frustrated with newish horse and need help
You really don't NEED to read the part below here, it's just background which is probably helpful, but not necessary. Sorry I wrote a novel!
Hi. So, I got a new horse, a palomino quarab, about two months ago. He's six years old, had been shown western pleasure, and seemed to be mostly finished (just needed some more work 'on his lope,' according to the trainer). He had never been on the trails, however. I'd shown him to my riding instructor who also said she trained and she said she thinks he'd do fine, she'd take him for a month and get him used to the trails and the road and send him back to me (I live an hour and a half - two hours away, I'd been making weekly trips up there for a month or two).
We paid her to train him. Well, he spooked IN HER PASTURE with NO RIDER, bucked, reared, bolted, spun. She said she wasn't getting on him and refused to work with him. She also refused to refund our money. Now, I used to have a horse, a well broke OTTB and I'd ridden him all over. But that was years ago and I'm pretty much a beginner again. I can w/t/c on a horse with decent posture, but I'm much more timid. So, we decided to sell him and get a more broke, safer horse. And he basically went with no riding or anything that much (save for one time my aunt and I went down there and road him around the pasture/instructor's yard and he was time). Now he is down here and we are taking care of him.
My aunt used to ride a lot in her youth and is basically fearless. She hops on him bareback and runs around on him. She's also ridden him in just a halter. I don't think she's a very good horsewoman, however. She tries to persuade him with treats (at least I think she does) and doesn't act like much of a leader. And now he's gotten very disrespectful, I think. I could be way wrong because I'm really not that experienced around horses, so please feel free to correct me.
More essential parts here:
Whenever she goes to put the bridle on him, he backs up, tosses his head, throws a fit. He will normally let her get the bit to his mouth, but freaks out when she goes to put the rest over his head. I saw him pin in his ears back and, today, he even reared up a little while they were trying to put it on. Now, I don't think he's scared of it because, although he'd been doing this almost every time, he let her put it on with no problems yesterday. But, today, he was doing the same thing.
We have no lunge whip and no lunge line, but I am borrowing one tomorrow. And my mom wants me to work with him, but I really don't want to - I'm inexperienced, I'm kind of scared of him, and I have no idea what I'm doing even though I've read a lot. I'm scared of hurting myself or him or giving him bad habits or just 'ruining' him. But I have a feeling she's not going to let this go until someone finally buys him or I work with him. And so I'm here to ask: What do I do? Other than how to put the bridle on him, I want to know some good groundwork and respect building exercises, how to react when he pins his ears (I've taken to just jumping at him and looking angry, which causes him to run off and me to have to walk after him to catch him - that's another thing, he runs off and is hard to catch), and what to do in general so I don't mess him up. And also if you think it's a good idea for me to try to work with him, or just to fight my mom on it. Thank you all! And sorry again for writing a novel.
Editing to add we don't have a round pen.
Last edited by nyaps; 09-11-2012 at 08:30 PM.