12-20-2013, 08:44 AM
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Whatever you allow is what you are 'training' him to do. You must be very strict 100% of the time. The worst behavior you allow is the very best behavior you can expect to get from any interaction with him. This is true of everything you do with or around any horse. Horses are creatures of habit. When bad behavior is accepted, it become the norm -- it becomes a habit and is repeated over and over. He is looking at you like a herd-mate on an equal with him. He is 'playing' with you like he would another young gelding in a herd. Just watch them play sometimes and you will see this behavior as well as pawing at each other and rearing up and 'boxing'. Then, they drop to their knees and keep biting at each other. If you do not straighten him out quickly, the 'play' will get a LOT rougher.
I disagree that he will be bad toward you if his owner keeps letting him act this way. I have been in several of these situations where I repeatedly had to 'straighten out' horses that owners kept allowing to go downhill. It was not very long until every time I got near them, they did absolutely nothing wrong. The second the owner handled them without me there, they just ran all over them. I could show up and say "Ah!" and they instantly straightened up.
This is a classic case of a 'pecking order'! Like I have said many times -- "Each horse/horse or horse/person pecking order is simply a pecking order between those two individuals and nothing more." You can be the herd leader and be well above him in the pecking order while the owner can be at the bottom of 'his' pecking order.