Originally Posted by Nutty Saddler
Everyone - and every horse has a different solution .
I had a 3 yr old KWPN stallion who simply had to be shown who was in charge and it was real easy - all we did was tie him up in his box when he was ' bad ' and ignore him for 1/2 hour.
The 3 yr old anglo-arab gelding was completly different - when he came to me I was the only one who was allowed anywhere near him , and I had to carry a big stick for self preservation , I don't agree with beating a horse up , but after he shouldered me onto the floor and ran me over steps had to be taken.
In the end it took about 15 mins. We were trying to have a lunge session and as in your case he kept facing me off and charging at me . I decided that enough was enough and with a really long lunge whip and line proceeded to hit him on his front end ( shoulders , chest and legs ) untill he moved away .
After about 15 mins of continued ' pressure ' from myself a change came over him and he decided that he wasn't the boss after all . Now he can be handled by everyone.
All I would say is that if you get into a situation where you are having a ' fight ' with your horse the important thing is to not give in untill you have won . Any submission on your part will only make things worse.
Great post Nutty Saddler. It doesn't sound so much like a miscommunication problem to me as it sounds like he is challenging you the way he would another herd member for rank. At the point you are at right now, he thinks he is winning and is trying to exert his authority over you. I also take a more natural approach to training rather than the traditional western "beat them until they submit" training tactics. I may be a little more harsh with my horses than some people and I am sure that there are lots of people that would say that I abuse my horses because I do give them a pop or a yank every now and then when they need it. A little snippet of advise that my Dad gave me that he learned from decades of working with horses many of which were considered "problem" horses.
"If the horse is afraid, then work with him and show him that he has nothing to fear from you and he can depend on you for support. Never punish a horse for spooking or being scared because it will only make the problem worse. If the horse is aggressive or spoiled, often there will come a point when the only choice is you or him. Many times, that means hurting him before he hurts you. Although, once he stops the undesirable action, then you must stop the reprimand."
Sometimes, you do have to show a horse that even though it is a partnership, you are still the majority stockholder and make all the decisions. An agressive horse is dangerous to everyone and the longer the actions go on, the harder they will be to break.
When I got my gray mustang, he was a 3 year old stud that had never been touched except when he was put in a squeeze chute to brand and vaccinate him. The people that adopted him had very little horse sense and everytime they would go into the pen with him, he would start by fleeing. When he figured out that he couldn't get away, he became agressive and started charging them. They enforced the habit by running out of the pen every time he did it. Before long, his flight instinct in that situation disappeared and he would stay on the fight. It was very touch and go for a while when I first got him and there were some times that I really had to hurt him to get him to stop charging. When he figured out that I wasn't going to run and that I was the alpha, he relaxed and his training went without a hitch from then on.
That being said, it is true that not every method works for every horse but if you are not equipped to deal with this problem, I suggest that you find someone who is because this is a VERY big problem that needs to be dealt with NOW before you get hurt.