I guess what I'm asking is, how often do I NEED to be working with him?
The background story is, he is a year old and I have been working with him nearly every other day since he was born. Little things like grooming, picking up his feet, tying, ponying, leading, moving away from pressure, etc. And it got to the point this past spring where I was just getting SO frustrated because he was acting like everything was a big game. He was nippy, playful, climbing on my other horse when I was ponying, etc.
Finally a good friend offered to take him for a month and put him in her pasture with her horses, so he could learn some manners from them (because he pretty well walked all over his mom and my gelding).
He is back home now, and he seems to have matured some. I don't want to overdue anything and get all frustrated again (I was almost to the point of giving up on him).
So he can do the following:
Tie, groom, pick/trim feet, lead (although with attitude), pony (although after he climbed on the horse I was leading him from, I sort of gave up on that), trailer loads, moves off of fingertip pressure, disengages hindquarters and shoulders, walks in a circle around me on a lead rope (like the beginning of lunging but only at a walk). I've saddled him a few times (he totally doesn't care) and he's been bathed twice (not a big fan of bathing, but he tolerates it). Can be fly sprayed.
So do you think it is okay to let him "sit" for a while, in other words, just take him out and tie and groom him, then put him away? And not really work with him seriously for a while? He really needs more work with leading in particular, but I really don't want to get all frustrated again. I am afraid if I push things, it will get to the point I end up giving him away, and I really don't want to do that. I really want to be able to ride him someday. But I feel like I'm taking the easy way out and not trying to train him if I just let him sit.
So what do you think? My best friend says to take him out maybe once a month and work with him, instead of all the time like I have been. To give him more time to mature. Because up until this point he seems to think life is just a game and me and the other horses are there only for his entertainment.
PS. Our main problems have been nipping and chewing. The nipping/chewing seems to have improved a good bit lately.
PSS. He was gelded at 5 months and is a year old tomorrow.