I have recently encountered an issue with my 2 1/2 years. When I try to pet him in his stall he starts trying to nip at me and then circles to have his rear end facing me. I feel like he is going to kick me and does not want me to touch him. I do not have the issue when he is cross tied and I walk behind him touching him etc. He has never tried to kick me or anything I just feel something is going on with the stall. I expect his to stay still in the stall and not try to avoid me. What should I do about this behavior? P.S. I turn him out and bring him in everyday
When he turns his butt to you get after him for it. Send him into the corner of the stall, and make him respect YOUR space instead of you having to respect his. He's just being territorial about his "home", as justsambam said.
I have an extremely alpha 2 year old mare. She is the highest on the pecking order in the herd, and I have to constantly remind her that I am HER leader.
When he starts to turn his butt to you, go towards him. Puff out your chest, use a deep/growling voice and get after him. Clap your hands or stomp your feet and go TOWARDS him to keep him facing whatever direction you want. Just don't let that butt come forward. If he tests you, make him "fear for his life" (not literally, but you have to be convincing). Don't back down. Get into his space, but stay clear of his hind end. Good luck.
Thanks for all the information. I will try with him when I get home. The one thing I forgot that he does in addition is that he hopes during this as well. Should I smack his legs with a whip to keep him from doing that? I have never had to do anything like that before but I feel he is definitely testing me.
I agree, he has got to respect you rspace, which may require getting after him a bit. That said, be aware of where you are. Should he react negatively towards you getting more forceful, you don't want to get cornered by him.
You could also consider sweet talking him---if he is food motivated, consider giving him a treat each time you go to his stall to get him. If he responds well to this, consider just working with him for 15 or 20 minutes each day---go in his stall, give him a treat while you put the halter on, take him out of his stall, then praise him (petting, a brief grooming or walk around, something you know he likes), then put him back in his stall and repeat several times.
After I was done lunging and riding my horse I completed the in stall exercise (involving stick out my chest etc.) It worked and he backed right into the corner. I gave him positive feedback and some nice grain and good hay...ahhhh life is good!
If you ever have to get 'physical' with him ie. When verbal and body language alone, don't work, don't smack his hind legs, as that will trigger a 'kick' response. Aim your lead rope, or crop at his hip...which is the are of his body you are asking to yield away.
Be as quiet, or as 'loud' as you need to, in order to make him realize that he isn't herd leader, but that you are.