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Grab a lunge line and a lunge whip, and work the crap out of him. Lots of changing directions and lots of changing gaits....when you control his feet, you control the horse.

Also work on ground work. If he gets pushy while walking on a lead rope, throw your elbow into his shoulder to get him to move over and remind him its your space. If he starts walking into you (say you're standing in front of him) back him up, and if he won't back up on cue, MAKE him do so....use very "big" body language (square shoulders, stand tall, be deliberate in where you're stepping) and get into his space, swing your lead rope at his chest, wave your hands, whatever it takes for him to move. Don't let him rub his head on you, swing his butt at you, or pin his ears when you try to touch him. Work on yielding his hindquarters and forequarters away from you, as well as side passing.

Those are just the basics. Giving us more info will help us get more specific :)
 

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All you have to do is force him to do something. It can be as easy as walking him in a tight circle or as difficult as lunging him for a half an hour. It depends on how much convincing he needs... but making him do something you want him to do will take care of it 90% of the time.
 

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I do lunge him for about 10 minutes before I ride, but when I get on and start riding to a certain area, he starts backing up to try to turn around to go back to the barn. Also, when I am cantering or trotting him, he canters/trots sideways and I have to pull his head around to make him go back to the area. This is very irritating to do every 5-10 minutes. I can't enjoy my ride when he is doing this
 

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I don't boss anything.
I suggest and lead.
I teach and help.
I spend time with them and build trust.
I listen.
 

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I do lunge him for about 10 minutes before I ride, but when I get on and start riding to a certain area, he starts backing up to try to turn around to go back to the barn. Also, when I am cantering or trotting him, he canters/trots sideways and I have to pull his head around to make him go back to the area. This is very irritating to do every 5-10 minutes. I can't enjoy my ride when he is doing this
So he's gate/barn sour?
 

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I had pretty much the same problems you do with my 10 year old. Honestly, I just got tired of it, ditched the 'lunge/groundwork/start-from-the-beginning' method, got on and rode him like the devil for a good hour or so. I cantered, galloped, chased him up down and under everything. No begging, no pleading, just flat out ride-'em-till-they-lick. Keep it changing constantly, get your adrenaline up, scream, holler, and yell. Be the alpha!


Before:
Refused, herd sour, barn sour, reared, bucked, cowhopped, went every which way, ignored commands, etc.

After:
Listened. Obeyed leads. Eager and willing to go out and let out those long legs. Happy. Riding finally enjoyable again.


Sometimes, you gotta ditch the plead-and-beg. Sometimes you just gotta take your boot and stick it right in his behind.
 

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I like to put things simply, so that's what I'll do. Make your horse be the one to move their feet and not you. The horse that is above the other in the pasture is the one that can make the other one move. Use this same idea when trying to build a leadership role. One key to remember when you apply pressure, make it non-emotional and very business like with very quick release timing. But not too quick to where you fail to follow through. And yes you do need to be "boss". Why some people try to make that term negative I don't know but it is wrong to do so. A good boss has leadership skills, a plan, and a system and process for becoming successful and helping his employees to become successful, because if his employees succeed, he succeeds. What is so negative about that?
 

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^^Thats what I was going to suggest if its just an issue of being sour, just ride them no-nonsense like twogeldings said. My guy was HORRIBLY gate sour, so I just started paying attention to where in the arena and along the rails he started to fight....I'd re-cue him as a reminder "hey, i'm not done yet" and keep on working him.
 

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let me guess... parelli.


OP- I agree with PaytonSidesHorsemanship. Think about how horses communicate naturally and build off of that.

Not in your wildest dreams!
I do not work with the Parelli program at all.
I like to ride too much.
 

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As alot of you say, "leadership". Very important. This horse sounds to me like he doesnt trust your judgement. Very important also is trust. I have learned that when you have a "barn sour, buddy sour, gate sour" horse, work that animal around the area he/she wants to be. If you work them in or around the area they want to be and then take them away from that area for a "rest", they learn that the area they thought was "safe and relaxing" isnt anymore. I had to do this with my mare when I first started riding her. If your horse is in your space or over crowding you, make it an uncomfortable space so they will learn to trust themselves (confidence). Backing them up if they get to close is a great idea. Only when you say its ok to be in your space are they to be allowed in. I do or would use a crop or stick as an extension of my arm for extra help. This is not a tool to be misused. It would be as if I were the dominant horse and if the other horse got to close, I would bite... hence the crop. Not repeated, just one good clip. As for the side stepping when he trots/canters, start working him with leg pressure. If he side steps to the left, use leg pressure to the right and vice a versa. But this will take time for him to get used to if he doesnt know leg pressure. Do it while walking/standing. A little pressure and as soon as he moves away from it reward it with no pressure. Eventually, when you are able to trot/canter you can use this to help guide his body straight. I hope this helps.
 

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Originally Posted by Marecare
I don't boss anything.
I suggest and lead.
I teach and help.
I spend time with them and build trust.
I listen.



let me guess... parelli.


OP- I agree with PaytonSidesHorsemanship. Think about how horses communicate naturally and build off of that.
Marecare is right. Parelli is NOT the only technique that will use non force to achieve something.

I do much like marecare

Unless you have a very dumb horse (and there are some out there) then anticipating what the horse will do (assuming you listened to him/her during previous riding sessions) and blocking that behaviour usually works very well.


I know what my horse is going to do by just a change in ear position, or a slight attempt to put any part of his body where I don't want it. He gets a " ah ah" warning first to let him know that I know what he is going to do. He then has the option of behaving or suffer the consequences.

Over time obedience has simply been the easier course and horses are nortorious for taking the easier course when allowed to.

Physical force is not necessary when you can mentally overpower them with anticipation and fair corrections.
 

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I do not work with the Parelli program at all.
I like to ride too much.
I laughed when I read that.


If you set your horse up to succeed then there will be no need to show it who's boss. If you prepare your horse to respond to your feel and you learn to read your horses fell then you can head off the bad behavior before it ever gets a start. Real confidence is what horses respond to and no amount of lunging or false bravado is going to substitute for it.
 

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Marecare is right. Parelli is NOT the only technique that will use non force to achieve something.

I do much like marecare

Unless you have a very dumb horse (and there are some out there) then anticipating what the horse will do (assuming you listened to him/her during previous riding sessions) and blocking that behaviour usually works very well.


I know what my horse is going to do by just a change in ear position, or a slight attempt to put any part of his body where I don't want it. He gets a " ah ah" warning first to let him know that I know what he is going to do. He then has the option of behaving or suffer the consequences.

Over time obedience has simply been the easier course and horses are nortorious for taking the easier course when allowed to.

Physical force is not necessary when you can mentally overpower them with anticipation and fair corrections.

Ohhh,
I like this so much that I just want to see it again!
Such good words Spyder.
 

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There is also the problem of focus. You need to stay focused on what you are asking the horse to do at any given moment and not change for anything, not even the barn burning down. Change your focus and you change your body. Change your body and you change your cue. At a clinic if a person says, "My horse keeps going to the gate." I reply, "What gate?" You need to get so focused you see nothing around you and nothing around you distracts you.

When you give 100% of your focus to the request at hand you will become consistent. When you become consistent you horse will become responsive.

So the horse goes where you don't want, counter move, be the leader by initiating the movement as was stated above, but stay focused. If he goes backward, back him through a shoulder and don't release until he does. He goes left, pick up and take the right shoulder, not the nose to the right. Be specific and stay with it until he does it.

Also, don't go in thinking, 'we'll just walk around,' go in there and do serpentine work, cone patterns, anything that forces you to focus on what you want him to do. As stated above, work him, but work his mind not just his body.
 

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There is also the problem of focus. You need to stay focused on what you are asking the horse to do at any given moment and not change for anything, not even the barn burning down. Change your focus and you change your body. Change your body and you change your cue. At a clinic if a person says, "My horse keeps going to the gate." I reply, "What gate?" You need to get so focused you see nothing around you and nothing around you distracts you.

When you give 100% of your focus to the request at hand you will become consistent. When you become consistent you horse will become responsive.

So the horse goes where you don't want, counter move, be the leader by initiating the movement as was stated above, but stay focused. If he goes backward, back him through a shoulder and don't release until he does. He goes left, pick up and take the right shoulder, not the nose to the right. Be specific and stay with it until he does it.

Also, don't go in thinking, 'we'll just walk around,' go in there and do serpentine work, cone patterns, anything that forces you to focus on what you want him to do. As stated above, work him, but work his mind not just his body.


Well said. If we are inconsistent as leaders we are ineffective. My horses have learned what to expect because I am very consistent with everything I do. The few times I have had problems, and they were pretty minor, was because my focus was not totally on what we were working on. Couldn't blame the horse, she/he saw an opportunity to quit working because my focus/energy was taking a time out.

Spyder said it so well, and it's very true. You should be able to feel your horse 'thinking' about a refusal before it actually occurs and head it off with a quick warning. For me its a growl saying the horses name. That usually nips it in the bud. Again, it's staying focused and in tune with your horse and what you want to accomplish.
 

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Not in your wildest dreams!
I do not work with the Parelli program at all.
I like to ride too much.
Ha! Love this statement! So true!

As for the OP's question. If you replace the phrase "showing him who's boss" with "be a good leader" that will go a long way toward fixing your problem. It sounds like your horse is looking for you to actively ride him and not just sit up there. From the time you get into the saddle, ride. Take up the rein slack, walk, trot, canter, change direction FREQUENTLY. Everything is to be done calmly. If your horse tenses up at the walk, then keep walking until you can move onto trotting calmly. Walk for 3 hours if you have to. Don't end the ride if your horse is being a goof. The reward for staying calm is to stop working. Use obstacles to walk around, poles to walk over, frequent halts and changes of direction until he's calm. Only then move onto trot while still intermixing walks and halts. If your horse doesn't know the one rein stop, use this opportunity to teach it to him. Most horses, once they know you know where the breaks are, the whole spin around and run home thing quickly disappears. Again it's just an issue of being an assertive and effective rider.
 

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Not to turn this thread, buuuuuut we Parelli people DO ride a lot ;)

I do not "show my horse who is boss." I lead him, but in some cases I also follow. Being a leader and being a boss are two different things IMO. My horse trusts and respects me, but I've never forced anything on him. I work with his nature. If he needs me to be assertive, I will be. If he needs me to back off and go slower because he is unconfident, I will. THAT'S showing the horse you are a good leader....not being forceful or running their butts around.
 

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like a lot of people said (VERY WELL SAID MARECARE AND SPYDER!) i dont boss my horse, i have a very dominant horse, but i dont boss her, haha we sorta more like, make desicions together, i have had people go..WHAT? you cant do that! but really, it works. :)
 
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