Originally Posted by ohtheseathesand View Post
Hi guys, I recently started leasing a new horse less than a month ago. He's a great horse, and we work really well together once we're in the ring. However, his last owner really let him get away with anything, so he came to me with a ton of bad habits and manners. I've been trying to fix them for a while with no real success, so I thought that I'd see if any of you had suggestions.
1) He's always chewing on things, and ridiculously food-orientated. When he's in the cross-ties he tries to eat those, or the lead rope or my sleeve as I'm leading him. If there is hay anywhere in the vicinity, he'll do his best to drag whoever is leading him over to it, and it's nearly impossible to stop him. Once he's been given a treat he'll harass the person who gave it to him, sticking his nose in their pockets or nibbling at their hand. I've started to always feed him treats in a bucket as opposed to by hand to see if that helps at all, but there hasn't been much progress.
2) He refuses to stand while I'm tightening his girth before getting on. Even if I walk him up to a wall, he still tries to walk away. I keep pulling him back into place again and again until I can finally get the girth tightened, but every time I ride he continues to do it.
3) This one is probably the worst. Whenever someone tries to mount him, even from a mounting block, he bolts. If I walk him up to a wall so he can't go forward, he'll just back up as fast as he can. It's really dangerous for the both of us, as the mounting area is filled with potentially dangerous equipment if he happened to trip on something, and for others in the arena with high-strung horses. I've again tried to have someone hold him while I mount, but often no one is available
4) This is slightly unrelated, since it's not a bad habit, but I've been having lots of trouble getting him to bend. He's not very flexible, and I've been doing tons of circles and figure eights and stuff that haven't seemed to help.
1. Stop giving him treats of any kind, bucket or no bucket. Do not hand feed him anything. Period. If he tries to chew on your sleeve while being handled, give him an elbow in the face. As for him dragging you around diving for hay, you need to use a stud chain run through the halter, and give a good yank on it every time he tries to pull on you. He'll figure it out soon if you are consistent.
You need to teach him to respect your space, right now he's a big spoiled obnoxious brat.
2,3,and 4 are all related: you need to go back to basic groundwork with this horse. Roundpen work from the beginning, walk, trot, canter, reverse and who on command. Teach him to ground tie.
As for the bending/flexibility issues, have him checked by a vet, chiro/massage therapist.
The majority of problems with this horse as you have described are behavioral issues which need to be fixed. Posted via Mobile Device