Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: In my own little world;)
Something just popped in my head that a supervisor told me once when I was having issues with some people I was leading. He said that sometimes you need to get on their level to make them understand & get your point across. Find their "currency", and use that to get their attention
OP, I think you have the right idea, just need to tweek it a little. I was taught you have only a few seconds 3-5 IMMEDIETLY after a negative action to correct that action before the horse won't associate the punishment with the behavior. From your description of the horse, he still thinks he's the overall boss, and just graces you with his cooperation when he feels like it.
If a horse I was riding went to attack another horse, I've been known to make a fool of myself going absolutely bats**t crazy on them for those 3 seconds. No different than he would do in the pasture to a lower horse that was doing something he didn't like. When my time is up, it's all best buds, you're the greatest horse ever, relaxed, pleasant, blah, blah. THE SECOND he acts aggressive, I'm right there to be more aggressive. Once again, just for those few seconds like what would happen in the herd.
Watch them out in their pasture once. The alpha will decide to discipline a lower horse for whatever reason, very very rarely do they go more than a few seconds. And a lot of times, can be seen grazing next to each other in the next moment.
Get to this horses level, find his currency and use it :)
"Just because I don't do things your way, doesn't mean I don't have a clue"