Neglected pony with kicking problem
I got my pony about a year and a half ago, he was a rescue and all I know about him was that he was left in a pen with 8 other horses (he born where he was rescued from and was only a yearling when he was rescued), the horses were rarely fed, didnt have water and were up over their knees in mud and manure. The people that were "fostering" him did nothing but feed him and turn him out, so he had no ground manners at all. When I brought him to my barn, I started by doing ground work everyday and he caught on very quickly. He has been going under saddle for a little over a year and is great.
Then there is the cross tie issue, you cant walk up behind him or he will kick. And not just a little kick, he almost broke my knee last summer. After he kicks, he then flies forwards and back and almost "hangs himself" with the xties (I leave the throat latch of his halter undone so if he does fly back it will slip off, although he has never slipped out of it) Its almost like he knows he shouldnt do it and thinks he is going to get beaten for kicking (Ive smacked him before after kicking but its been quite a while bc hitting him only makes him angrier and he will kick again) Ive tried so many different methods, ignoring, repremanding him, clicker training and nothing seems to work (the clicker training seemed to be the best option but I cant leave him on the xties alone bc he will still kick). If it tie him outside and brush him, he is perfectly fine. But thats not really an option all year when we have snow, mud, etc.
He has come a long way since Ive had him, he is no longer aggressive over food and he is a dream under saddle, Ive never started a horse that learned as quickly as he did. At shows he doesnt act like this either, you can stand him in the aisle and he is fine. But I dont know how to address the xtie issue and since I board him, I need to do something bc he is not safe unless I am standing right there. Any suggestions would be very helpful, I try to stick with natural horsemanship if that helps!