Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Ares is the same way; works very well 90% of the time, but has a bad day every couple of weeks. It's usually if I have to miss riding for more than a day or two, especially when he doesn't get turned out. Yesterday he had a bad day like that because they started feeding and he knew it, and was ****ed that he couldn't go eat dinner, so everything was geared towards attempting to steer back to his stall.... very similar to your horse wanting to go back to his buddies.
If it's simply excess energy, you can generally ride it out of him. Ares responds much better after loping a few laps around the arena to take the edge off.
If it's bratty behavior because he wants to do something else, that's different. What works best for Ares is to let him know he is NOT going to get to go back, that he's accomplishing nothing. I'll start working on forehand spins or doing short serpentine patterns with plenty of direction changes, stuff where he has to pay attention since the next cue is unpredictable. Ground work definitely helps.
Moving him from one arena to the other often helps too; he seems to realize that he didn't accomplish anything, and settles down some.