I have posted a few lead change questions, but I have another one *sigh*
For those of you who haven't read my past threads, here is the incredibly shortened version of my problem: for about two years (not constantly working on this) my horse has been kicking out when asked for a lead change. He still changes, just kicks out. He is very much capable of doing it without the kick, because about half of the time he does it correctly. He has seen a chiro, had some things that needed to be tweeked, but is now good to go.
My trainer says that since he has been doing this for such a long time, the lead change is basically trained with the kick, so we have to re-train him. When he kicks out, she has me pop him with the crop on the butt and canter on. Do you guys agree with this? I am a HUGE push over, I hate smacking him, but it seems like it's what has to be done. After he gets tapped, the next time he usually does it without the kick. Sometimes he will even tuck his butt as if to say "don't hit me I won't kick, please Mom!"
The one thing I hate about this is that sometimes he will freak and take off and get very unbalanced (when I say take off, I don't mean he runs away with me) and my trainer wants me to sit down and PULL ON HIS FACE until he stops. I can handle hitting him, but frankly, I really don't like pulling on his face that hard (another thing I'm keeping in the back of my mind is that his teeth need to be done and will be done by the end of this month, so perhaps that is why it is taking so much to get him to stop) I have owned him for about four years, and have always ridden him in a simple d-ring snaffle, we usually only have these problems when his teeth are bothering him.
So after my novel, my question is: Is it ok to hit him when he kicks out? It seems like it is helping and I don't see much of another way to fix it. And what do you have to say about the whole "pull on his face until he stops" deal?
Thanks and cookies to you if you got through this! =]