Originally Posted by OrangishPinkishBlue View Post
The horses have a fenced in 20 acre pasture, and get a coffee can full of grain
What do you feed the grain for? Does he get a ration balancer or such for nutrition? Magnesium deficiency is common and can cause 'behavioural' problems, for eg.
Sounds like your parents are quite experienced, tho I don't know what PTSD means. Have you/they thought of 'clicker training'? Great principles for teaching 'manners' to 'rude' horses.
We worked with Whiskey from sun up to sun down for weeks and the only thing we 'broke through' with was him not eating the saddle....
At first, he is completely fine with it, then something causes him to just switch and he begins trying to gain control of his head and starts stomping
I would suggest short, easy sessions of minutes at first, rather than hours. This will be easier for him, but also have you breaking things down to what you think you can achieve in such a short time. I'd do lots more groundwork than it sounds you have(not assuming, just going on what you've written). Ensure that the horse isn't just resigned about something but confidently accepting - be that in desensitising or yielding. Including saddled(also don't discount saddle fit/pain issues) & with something in the saddle, such as a feed bag of hay or such, that will move about a bit. Also 'leading' him from beside, in the position of a rider. I'd want him pretty confident & accepting on the ground before I'd consider riding.
When your mum first gets on him, I would suggest she gets straight back down - as it sounds like she's done with prior steps, & do this heaps - can be in between other stuff she's doing at the time, rather than a Big Thing to focus on. Then just sit for slightly longer, etc. The aim is to get down *before* the horse gets upset. What happens when he tries to roll? Does he 'win' with that behaviour?
Why do we lunge him? We were told that lunging teaches the horse to listen to your commands and watch for your signals and looks to you as the 'dominate' horse so they know what to do next.
Yes, different people lunge for different reasons. Using it as part of training is what I use it for too, to teach/reinforce the horse for responding to me at a distance. I teach a horse to yield to me in a variety of ways - eg. Yielding forward, backwards, turns, etc, with fingers, bodylanguage, a stick or rope, etc. Then once they're good at all that up close, I ask them to do it on a gradually longer lead, until it's 'lunging'.
As for what we want out of him, we just want to be able to ride him. We want him to enjoy spending time with us and him trust us without getting so angry.
Whether his behaviour is due to him saying 'you & who's army' or if it's due to insecurity/fear, I'd treat it slightly differently - firmer if he's being 'bossy' for eg, but I'm not good at explaining the differences. But ultimately, regardless of his behaviour(assuming he's of sound mind...), what he needs is someone he can trust & respect to lead(not dominate) him. Finding ways to make the Right behaviour as easy as possible for him(like breaking it down to 'baby steps') & be reinforced, both positively(reward) & negatively(removal of 'pressure'). And you need to find ways of avoiding him even practicing his 'Wrong' behaviour wherever possible & ensure it consistently doesn't work for him if/when he does get in first.
Regardless of the commitment you may have to the horse and the experience of your parents, I do think it sounds like he may be a very difficult, dangerous character & I don't think there's any shame in anyone admitting he's too much for them. Safety must always be the major consideration, or everyone will suffer.