Yearling- Pateince and pushiness
Back in May I bought an Impressive bred yearling quarter horse. He is already 15 hh and muscular. He was still nursing when I bought him, which caused for some serious problems when we moved him, and he was in a pasture with his mother and 4 other mares, who all coddled him as well. So when we brought him to our barn, he had a lot of trouble adjusting to the new horses who came up and pushed him around and whatnot.
But being here for almost 3 months he has now settled in and taken the role of the na´ve baby of the bunch. He knows which horses he should leave alone, but he bothers them anyway. He knows nobody has forgotten about him and we aren't going to leave him out in the pasture to starve, but if he's the last horse left in the pasture when we take the horses in one by one to feed, he still runs around like a maniac, charging the gate trying to get out.
My other mare I bought as a 3 year old and trained myself. She is a hot-blooded mess, but she was just smart, high strung and dominant. My new yearling just seems to live in his own little world. He is very lazy and strong-willed. And very pushy. But not with horses, with people.
I free lunge him in the round pen. I started off using a Parelli carrot stick, but he would not canter. I would kiss and kiss and swing the string at him, eventually hitting him with the string, and then he'd just start kicking at me. So then I went and found a longer lunge whip and taped a plastic bag to the end. This ended the kicking and got him to canter for a while. But now he is no longer intimidated by the bag, and has gone back to kicking at me when I use it. And if he doesn't do that, he pins his ears back and runs around the round pen as fast as he can and slams into the walls and wont stop until he's satisfied that he's made his point.
As I said earlier, he has pretty bad separation anxiety, and I know that to fix this he has to be separated, but he acts so mindlessly ramming himself into the gates and rearing up at them to try to get over, that it's just not safe to try. And unfortunately since we have to get him out of the pasture first for safety reasons, he boldly walks up to the gate and just stands there and won't back off, even when I use the bag on the end of the lunge whip that sends all the other horses running away. He just doesn't back down. But he doesn't act aggressively. He just acts very na´ve about it.
When leading he is very impatient. I use a 4 knot rope halter on him, and it doesn't seem to phase him much when he wants something. Yesterday my dad went to get him out of his stall, and because my dad wasn't putting the halter on fast enough he started pawing at him and nearly striking my dad's legs. If he gets too far ahead when walking, I try to stop him, but he walks past me until the rope pulls him back around to face me. He also occasionally finds a nice patch of dirt when being led and likes to lie down and roll, despite the person on the end of the lead rope.
As I said, I trained my other mare from a 3 year old so she was a little more mature in some ways, and not in others. What I'm interested to know is what he will outgrow as he matures, and what will he not? My mare used to hate being tied, but she is now 7 and does not give me any problems. It just took time. Don't get me wrong, he is very smart with a lot of potential. I would just like to know if this phase is just a "baby thing", or bad behavior his previous owners let him get away with.