I need all the help I can get because I am not sure I can afford to make this decision with emotions involved. I have a Registered Paint horse on trial-and the 2 weeks is up on Thursday. I am only 2+ months back in the saddle after 25 years, and aspire to use the horse for showing-lower level Dressage. He does not have a mean bone in his body, but is quite stubborn-meaning getting him to move forward, trot, etc. can be quite a feat! Lots of kicking on my part. He does eventually concede.I am in the top 2% of people in this world with extreme patience, and am not lacking in the determination area either. My very experienced trainer can get him to move better than I can, but it is a feat for her sometimes. He was once used for a lesson horse, but has had the last year of so off with only light trail riding. Stubborn and bratty! He is cute as can be and is very presentable show wise-built up hill, healthy and sound (of course there will be a PPE). He is also sweet-great ground manners, not at all scary and a good confidence builder-which is something I need. SO-is it possible to train the stubborn brattiness behavior out of the horse and get him to move around the ring? I am surrounded by people that are willing to help which is a big plus, and he is priced well enough that I can afford the extra training. PLEASE give me your stories and opinions on this! This is a bit heart-tugging!
I personally don't think it is stubbornness or brattiness....unless of course when you're cueing to walk, trot, whatever, he pins his ears every time you ask.
I think what has happened that if he is the confidence builder you say, and he has been used as a beginner lesson horse, he's just become dead to any cue you might have. It can be fixed, which is the good news, but it definitely requires experienced hands/legs.
No ear pinning-no meanness. He does do a little head toss/jump in the front when you ask him to trot-but that is getting better every time I ride. My trainer is going to have the trainer next door to ride him for a second opinion on getting him to move forwards.
He is likely shutting down from lesson kids kicking him. What has worked for me is continual tapping with a riding crop, just rhythmical tapping. The rhythm is important but quit the moment he even shifts his body. Do this behind your leg. Think of it as a kid tapping you on the arm steadily to annoy or get your attention until you react. If he absolutely won't move tap a little harder. It will get uncomfortable for him and he'll move away from it. Be sure to quite instantly. His reward is that the tapping stops when he moves. They don't always catch on the first few times but usually by the third time or maybe even the fourth. Once he's moving just walk him around the arena once and put him away. Repeat the tapping if he won't respond to your leg (calf muscle) not your heels. Kicking just shuts him down. He's likely fed up to the hilt with arena work. Have you tried him on the trails with a few other horses. You'd be surprised how much training one can do on the trails, yet being out there is refreshing for the horse.
I am pretty sure he has not done much arena work. Yesterday I just rode him around the field-and he will move out when the mood strikes him. One day I was using a little paddle crop-the kind with the spatula-type end on it and that worked better. However he does not like any kind of whip that has some length to it. He tried to take off with me one day until I dropped it. He is OK with the lunge whip when being lunged, and lunges on voice commands so he has some training somewhere in his background. I will try the tapping-it seemed to work one day for my trainer who has a far better seat than I do.
I would not suggest a whip or crop they get used to it and it puts you out of balance with your horse.when I get one that is sour or dead sided I start off in small circles slightly raking his rib cage and gradually I open my circles up
We have not used spurs. It does seem he is getting better every ride. My trainer rode him again last night and he did great! Hopefully he is just adjusting. PPE Thursday if the vet would get back to me! I may just have my first horse! I cannot even describe how amazing this is!