Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Florida, the sunshine state.
When he wants to get scared and take off like he did when they cantered up to you, pull him into circles instead of straight forward. He's scared, and he needs to get it out of his system, but he needs to be as uncomfortable as possible for the wrong behavior. Same with wanting to catch up to the pack, circles! He is new to the other horses, he wants to be in their herd, and he doesn't want to be the lowest man on the totem pole. All the behaviors you described lead to that simple thing. The people you were trail riding with should understand common horse behavior, and been courteous of that to your horse and you. I have a very young gelding, and when the other horses are cued to canter, he decides he wants to join. As they fade into the distance, he's running in circles. :) Can't buck or rear when bent into the circles either, yay! My gelding also is a nipper, he will stretch his neck out as far as possible to nip the butt in front of him. I hate it, but it's just who he is, he's not being mean. He's very very very playful. I take that into consideration and keep out of mouths reach whenever possible (or we stop and back up a few feet). He does it to me too when I'm cleaning his pen, he will trot up and nip me and trot away. Never bites hard, he will just grab my shirt (never skin) and give it a little tug. This usually means he wants to play soccer, and it consumes the rest of my day because he has bountiful energy like a puppy.