Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Gloomy Indianapolis
VERY normal behavior to test you!
Turning butt/threatening to kick- I am no professional, but I do the groundwork on all of the youngsters/green beans on the farm. Every horse I have worked with, we've had to play "hide the hiney". It normally doesn't take but a few minutes for them to figure out what you want. My BO normally uses either a bucket(because it's loud and won't hurt them) or a lead, personally I use a lead. EVERY time he acts like he wants to put his butt to you pop him. DO NOT let him slide on it, this is a very dangerous stage they all go through but you must nip it in the bud immediately or they could seriously injure/kill someone as they grow. They normally look at you like you grew horns, wings, and a spikey tail at first, but you aren't hurting them in any way. Unless you enter his space and purposefully walk to his hindquarters he should NEVER EVER turn his butt to you.
Leading-You are right to set him back when he acts frisky on the lead. Ideally you want him slightly behind your shoulder on your right side. Some people want them trailing several feet behind, but it makes me nervous. What if something spooked them and they went into flight mode right over the top of me? If he gets too close, wants to walk too fast, etc... pop the lead and back him up. Have you worked on back with him at all?
Feeding-Kinda ties in with the butt turning issue, and once you teach him that lesson this should greatly improve, but make him wait until he is reasonably calm before you let him eat. Have you ever watched dog trainers make a dog wait until they say ok to go for their bowl? Same idea.
Field behavior- At this point, I wouldn't go into the field with him at liberty without something in my hand(lead, small whip, something). If he doesn't move off when you tell him to scare the bujeezus out of him. A dominant mare would nip, chase, kick, and scream at him for acting like a butt. Wave your arms, holler, and even pop him with the lead if he doesn't want to move off. And KEEP him away until he drops his head, or licks his lips and makes chewing movements, basically until he submits and says sorry. Then you can let him come back, give him a pat, and all is well.
Biting-there are a million different approaches to this issue. For me, as odd as it sounds, spitting on Jacks nose worked best. I tried push pins, pushing his head away, popping him in the nose, letting him "bump" my elbow, nothing worked and he was a BAAAAD biter as a colt. Get a small amount of saliva in your mouth and as soon as you see the thought cross his mind spray his nostrils. I know it sounds gross, but I almost did a dance the first time he froze with his mouth open and then walked away with a look of disgust on his face. I am told it simulates a mare snorting at him and gets your scent in his nose.
Hope this helps!