Originally Posted by dressagegirl145 View Post
*Rearing when we back up*
More information? Why is he rearing? Is he physically finding it difficult for some reason? Is he afraid of the pressure? Are you putting too much pressure on him &/or not releasing instantly for his 'good' attempts? Is he saying 'you & who's army'? Is he just confused with however you've 'trained' him? Assuming you're being clear & he's learned how to *yield* to pressure without fear, I'd just keep the pressure on & ignore the rearing until he tries a backward step. If the rearing doesn't work for him(make your pressure quit) and stepping back does, that's what you'll get.
I am assuming you're talking about rearing while you're on the ground, not while ridden. If he rears at rein pressure while ridden, I'd rule out physical probs like teeth, sore back, etc and especially as he doesn't lead well yet by the sounds, get him reliably yielding to pressure in all ways on the ground first in a halter, before doing same on his back, before using a bit.
*Freaking out with fly spray*
*Freaking out around dogs*
I disagree *generally* with the 'flooding' approach - that is, force him to just put up with it until he quits being reactive. This can work, but it can also just cause a horse to 'shut down' mentally from too much pressure, as well as damaging any trust he may have in you. Instead get him trusting of you & your 'toys' with 'approach & retreat' tactics, so he learns you'll be considerate of his fears & look out for him. Start at whatever 'level' he can handle - eg. Get him confident spraying 1-2m away from him, before getting closer & 'whoops, I squirted you a bit but now it's gone... until he's confident with that before doing it more/longer, whatever. With dogs for eg. You could lead him past barking dogs at whatever distance that he was mildly worried, backwards & forwards, until he's blase about it, before repeating the exercise closer up.
*Attemting to trample you when you lead him*
Again more info as to why, as if he's doing it in fear or confusion, I'd treat it a lot differently to if he were 'bullying' you.
*Attacking you for treats*
Sounds like he needs some basic manners first. In the meantime, if you must give him treats, keep a fence between you to prevent his 'mugging' so you can *consistently & safely* reinforce him with a treat ONLY for 'good' behaviour & ensure the mugging etc NEVER EVER works. Be consistent.
He now trusts me so much that he will just follow me around without lead or anything. I think I must have done join up correctly.
One day we were just walking around and all of a sudden this dog came running up and barking outside the arena and he backed ran forward and reared.
With respect, following you around doesn't mean he trusts you and it sounds like he may not, sorry. I don't think 'join up' is an exercise that promotes trust particularly. Running forward & rearing at the dog also sounds like he wasn't frightened(tho the initial backup may have been due to him being startled), but sounds like he may have been challenging/threatening the dog - trying to run it off but there was a fence in the way.
I would suggest finding an experienced trainer to help teach you how to work with him more effectively.