Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ~*~ NEBRASKA ~*~
It sounds like 2 different things going on to me, and I've had some of this behavior from my horse when I first got him. For starters, how long has it been since he was worked? He could be trying to tell you that he isn't fit enough for what you are asking. I know it seems weird that he can't trot in a couple circles, but if he hasn't been worked like that, it could be. My horse hasnt been worked since June and I just started him back up today. He used to be able to canter on the lunge for half an hour or more. But now, he can barely make 2 circles. It is his fitness level, and it will get better.
I think also at the same time, your horse is also trying to show a little dominance but I think it starts out as him trying to tell you he can't do it yet and your not listening so he feels he has to really push his point to the point of getting dominant and/or aggressive with you.
What I would do if this were my horse.... a lot of lead line work. Get back to basics, Get him walking beside you correctly, halting, backing and even try turning on the fore and on the haunches if you can. All the walking will help in his fitness and it will help get that trust and bond with him restarted. When working on the lunge I would let him trot once around then ask for the walk and let him walk a few times, then ask him to trot another time around and build up from there over a few weeks. This way, he can start building up his stamina again, but when he goes to a walk it's YOUR idea and YOUR say so, not his and he is less likely to learn that he can bully you.