So I got my horse (OTTB) about 5 months ago and he was underweight with no muscle at all. So we've spent the past few months building muscle and gaining weight (as well inproving some small health issues).
All of a sudden, he's hit a stage where he has almost no respect for me. The worst thing is that when I come near him (around his head and shoulders) he'll pin his ears and threaten to bite me. At first when he would do this, I would slap him on the neck. But then we would get into little fights in which it would go back and forth. So then I started on the whole "turn you out of the circle" by turning my back and crossing my arms whenever he would try to bite. It helped a bit, but not very much. In the cross ties, if he tries to bite, I give him an elbow to the corner of his mouth, but often times outside of the cross ties I'm not in a position where I can do this.
Other problems I've noticed are that he will lean into the pressure when I ask him to move over and refuses to stand (often times pawing instead). The pawing was a major problem when I first got him (to the point where it had ruined his feet) but we spent a lot of time on it. Every time he would go to paw I would snap, point at him, and say "Quit!" Now all I have to do is snap and/or point at him to get him to stop.
As a side note, anyone know why an OTTB would hate any sort of clucking/kissing sound? For some reason it always freaks him out (ears back, eyes bulging, head up, back hollowed) and he's not the first OTTB I've seen be upset by kisses.
Anyway, the barn manager is from a ranch out in Wyoming and has offered to help me (in a round pen, he said - but we don't have one. Any idea if we could make one out of poles and jump standards [each standard has holes on three sides]?) So basically, I'm asking if anyone has any ideas as to what I could do to correct these behaviors and gain respect from him. They can be anywhere - under saddle, in the ring, in the cross ties, in his stall, out in the field, on a trail, in a round pen, anywhere.
Poor Enzo! This makes him sound like a complete disaster! He's such an angel under saddle, just the typical little green horse issues, but nothing out of a lack of respect. I would love to hear what people have to say about this - and yes, I do know that these habits are dangerous; that is the reason I want them corrected.
Thanks in advance - and sorry for the long post!