First, Don't Call Your Horse a Knucklehead.
JDW: The horse is not a knucklehead: he simply hasn't learned to yield to pressure, in the case of leading & tying, to poll pressure.
By breaking an expensive leather halter, horse showed you that you had the wrong halter on him. You need a rope knotted halter to start teaching him to yield to poll pressure in leading & tying.
First, start by pushing down, causing a bit of discomfort, with a finger on either side of his crest, behind his poll. When he yields his head down the slightest bit, jump those fingers off of him to show him that when he yields, his reward is removal of pressure. Get it to the point that he'll lower his head to the ground at a slight pressure.
Then, with your knotted halter, use the same pressure & release for leading, then for tying, the same, except have a long rope just looped once around a stout hitching rail, & when he goes to "rare" back, let it out, feel with him, but with a BIT of pull. This shows him that you're feeling with him in his fear, & that you're not TRAPPING him, but you're also asking him to think about not reacting so much. Stand opposite the rail from him, rather than behind him. This way, he'll gradually learn that it's ok to be tied, without further drama/accidents.
Last edited by Northern; 03-25-2011 at 01:56 AM.