I have recently started working at a racing stable. Most of the time I was working with someone else who would handle the more high strung horses. The longer I work there the more often I am on my own. In particular this weekend I was basically given a few instructions then left to clean all the stables, put horses on and take them off the walker and turn certain horses out into (and get them back in from) day paddocks. This was morning and afternoon.
Normally I don't have much of a problem, the horses I work with are generally between the age of 2 and 5. I can deal with the ones that are good but can get spooky. They occasionally spook, I get their attention back on me and we move on. Some horses get a bit excited and prance a bit but I just calm them down and get on with what ever we were doing. I haven't worked with a particularly aggressive horse yet.
My problem this afternoon was. I was bringing in a colt called Rat in from a day paddock. As someone else said to me he is just starting to act colty. Normally he is relatively calm and seems to like holding on to the end of the lead rope as he is lead. This afternoon I was by myself and stupidly didn't think to take a bit with me knowing he can be highstrung. I caught him and he seemed calm enough then about a third of the way back he reared nearly getting me as I wasn't expecting it. I tried to get him to focus on me and stop paying attention to everything else. Then he reared again and he nearly got me again. Normally a horse would chuck their head up or something but he gave no warning so I kind of didn't see it coming. The whole time nearly I had had trouble keeping him out of my space. I think he reared because I was holding him back from trying to race off. I ended up not being able to get him to go where I wanted without him chucking a fuss and I was getting seriously behind in my other work so I put him in the paddock I was standing next to. I went and got another horse and told the trainer when he passed him in the paddock as to why he was in there. Later that afternoon the trainer walked him down quite calmly on a loose lead without a bit.
I am so frustrated he seemed really hard to handle when I tried to lead him then the trainer gets him and he behaves almost perfectly. Any ideas on something I can do next time this happens? I can't really constantly work with this horse as I only occasionally see him. Also I will mostly be by myself and not always able to ask someone else to do it for me. Thanks for any help.