Another forum member picked up on, in my Jazzed Horse thread, that my horse is fine for my daughter but not for me. She suggested that he might be *having sport* with me.
I took a good look at our relationship with that idea in mind and concluded that YES!! I have let him *get away with* a lot of stuff. For me, the stuff wasn't a problem in and of itself. But the way HE processed what he was allowed to do was entirely different that what I was processing. The things that I was patient with, went along with, thought were *cute* were all things that he interpreted as the pecking order between us...with him on the top! Everything from his behavior tacking up to leading to the mounting block to riding. He never did anything dangerous..he would stop and refusing to approach the mounting block until he was ready...but for him it was control over the situation.
So it makes sense that he has no respect for me while riding either. When I got him I was over joyed to have a safe horse that would pack me around with style. I didn't know how to ride; he learned that with me, he could do pretty much what he pleased.
Yesterday I rode him just walk and jog. I want to be fair in NOW asserting my authority...and I am completely capable of doing that! I decided that our lesson for the day would be walking at the tempo I choose and steering where I want to go...no more niggling at me to go back to the gate! It took a full 30 minutes for him to get the idea, to relax and give me a nice walk. He eventually quit rushing so much at the jog, although that was harder because it was GO! where the walk was more halting.
Also, I led him to the mounting block carrying one of my driving whips. When I felt him slow, I reached back and gave him just a touch to keep him moving with me...didn't require a smack or hitting him. He didn't offer any resistance to that. I walked him a bit while tightening the cinch and when we got to the mounting block he stood perfectly still (instead of moving just.out.of.reach) and didn't move off until I told him to.
I tend to be a *whatever* kind of person...you do your thing, I'll do mine. Becoming consistent is going to be very hard FOR ME! But he's too nice a horse, beautiful and beautifully gaited to let him go to pot.
I thank everyone for their input...you never know which of your suggestions will be The One!
Last edited by ezduzit; Jan. 18, 2013 at 03:09 PM.