Originally Posted by hberrie
I am embarrassed to freak out in front of the other barn people. One thing I was told when I bought him was that his previous owner was always screaming and hitting him. I don't want to be "that person". It seems like the more dramatic I get the more dramatic he gets.
Going over your last comments now makes me think that your horse's biting is more out of him being defensive than him being just plain naughty - the two are similar but if he's getting bullied in the field to the point he's constantly feeling the need to fight his corner and his last owner bullied him then its all carrying on into his relationship with you
He needs to stop seeing you in either of these ways and see you as a leader he can trust and rely on and not someone he feels the need to defend himself against. Ages ago when I first started work for someone where I stayed for a long time his prize horse was a large irish mare who when he introduced her to me he said - 'if she doesnt bite you when you go in she'll kick you when you come out' I soon discovered that being aggressive with her had a very negative effect and soon realised that she didnt ever attack my boss - because she adored him and trusted him
I used side reins to deflect the biting when grooming her - she never did try to kick - and I just built up a relationship with her - riding her, caring for her, controlled liberty work - didnt take long to change her attitude to me
Another thought - have you considered that there could be some underlying health issues to cause the crankiness - some pain somewhere, ulcers will make a horse feel irritable and Lymes disease will totally change a horses personality