Originally Posted by livelovelaughride View Post
My BO said my horse would have more respect for me if I got off and led him instead of making him work through an issue (in this case being barn sour while out on the trail/road). I think otherwise and now know when he's being a butthead vs. genuinely afraid.
I would want to get to the bottom of WHY he's being a 'butthead' though first - eg. if he's not afraid, are you absolutely certain he's not hurting from a bad back, saddle, hooves, etc?? Once you work out why, you can address the cause too, rather than just the symptom - eg. he may see taking you out as unpleasant Work. What can you do to change his attitude into seeing it as enjoyable & fun?
I think it very much depends on the specifics. I presume by 'barn sour' you just mean he doesn't want to go out alone with you? I do like to ensure they're comfortable with stuff when I'm on the ground before riding, and riding in an area they're comfortable, so I'd be taking him out for walks on lead & also riding him at the barn before riding out. But assuming he is fine in that situation & it's only when you're riding, then you're not going to teach him to 'respect' you up there if every time he plays up you get off.
However when he gets sticky, I am more confident that using my seat legs and a swat from my stick will unstick him. Thing is, he'll trot forward and keep trotting forward. Sometimes he will try and continually jog forward. He will walk if I ask him to but may start up trotting un-asked again. He got into a real sweat yesterday doing this.
Instead of 'giving him a swat' I would tend to tap lightly but repetitively until he *starts* to move, then accept and reinforce what you get, before asking for more. I find it tends to get more of a response & less of a reaction. If he's jumping forward into a trot, keeps trying to trot, getting into a lather, I'm betting there's either fear or pain(or both) involved.
Since he was being a twit, I asked him walk forward, halt, turn back toward home, walk forward, halt, turn around again, several times.
Assuming you rule out pain, sounds like a good tactic to me & don't ask too much of him until he can confidently & comfortably do these sort of basics.
He was ok and didn't toss his head much at all.
Teeth &/or bit problems, &/or you're too heavy on the reins &/or he's been used to arguing with a heavy handed someone...
Oh and his pace is 12341234 real quick. Should I let this trot forward on the road go unchecked?[/QUOTE]