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Ok. Asking for some advice. I have a green horse. He is gentle and seems to trust me. we have not known each other too long but he is easy to catch, lets me touch all over him, pick up his feet, spray his face with fly spray, lead him through loud/noisy areas, etc. He has about 40ish rides between two different trainers. I trust him!! He is not spooky or flighty at all, just green, I never feel like he is going to freak out.. ever!!! . When we come to a challenge like crossing water, he trusts me to get him through the obstacle .. sometimes on the ground and sometimes in saddle.
However, when we are working in saddle, he is super distracted!! by other horses and energy. It's like he isn't there at all about 50% of the time. He will shoulder towards them and even pull through turns to go the opposite way, towards the pasture or barn or horses. Today he was just randomly stopping and refusing to move forward until about 30 consistent seconds of kicking and kissing . He was making decisions for us at this point. I do not like kicking him like that at all . I know this has something to do with the fact that he's challenging me since we are new to eachother. I'm not extremely experienced. I have ridden many different horses and I guide trail rides but I have NEVER taken a lesson in my life. I'm 28 and have ridden western exclusively since childhood.
Should I get spurs ?? I have never used spurs on any horse but he is ignoring my kicking/kissing and I think the last trainer lightly used his spurs on him.
I do feel like we have a good relationship when he is paying attention, which is why I have been lunging him before rides. On the ground and especially in saddle, he is looking around, tripping on objects, totally disconnected. I have tried riding him In circles to bring him back to focus on our ride. Any other suggestions?? I can't afford a third trainer..... Especially in Colorado. I want to move forward with his training on my own if possible.
 

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Is he distractable with the other trainers? How old is he? young horses, like young humans , can be easily distracted with outside activity. These things you are describing are they occuring inside an arena only?

What if you actually JOINED him in the thing he is thinking about, and took the initiative to literally TAKE him over to that area, and sat with him while until it became obvious that he is bored. Then turn away and get him to do something that is YOUR choice. When a horse feels that you are going WITH them from time to time, doing what they find really engaging, they can be more connected with you.

Also, if you decide to ask for something and the horse is ignoring you, don't spend 30 seconds clicking and kicking. Do something unexpected after a bit that gets his attention away from being locked somewhere 'out there'. And, like I said, if you once start asking for movement, don't stop until you get it, and don't spend all day getting to 'demand', on the 'ask, tell , demand" scale. A balance of allowing the horse, neah, JOINING the horse on his explorations, and requiring him to go with you on your own , is a good way to build a team , IMO.
 
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