As alot of you say, "leadership". Very important. This horse sounds to me like he doesnt trust your judgement. Very important also is trust. I have learned that when you have a "barn sour, buddy sour, gate sour" horse, work that animal around the area he/she wants to be. If you work them in or around the area they want to be and then take them away from that area for a "rest", they learn that the area they thought was "safe and relaxing" isnt anymore. I had to do this with my mare when I first started riding her. If your horse is in your space or over crowding you, make it an uncomfortable space so they will learn to trust themselves (confidence). Backing them up if they get to close is a great idea. Only when you say its ok to be in your space are they to be allowed in. I do or would use a crop or stick as an extension of my arm for extra help. This is not a tool to be misused. It would be as if I were the dominant horse and if the other horse got to close, I would bite... hence the crop. Not repeated, just one good clip. As for the side stepping when he trots/canters, start working him with leg pressure. If he side steps to the left, use leg pressure to the right and vice a versa. But this will take time for him to get used to if he doesnt know leg pressure. Do it while walking/standing. A little pressure and as soon as he moves away from it reward it with no pressure. Eventually, when you are able to trot/canter you can use this to help guide his body straight. I hope this helps.
Last edited by mbender; 02-03-2010 at 10:59 AM.