I'm considering sponsoring a 13 year old TB/WB jumper who has been out
of training for quite some time. He seems to have a good head about
him -- after standing in his stall for 2 weeks straight he didn't
bolt, rear or buck once under saddle after only 20 minutes of lunging.
He needs lots of flat work right now, getting him to balance up and
work on the bit. I'm taking this one thing at a time though, to see
how receptive this horse is to training. However, I'm not very
learned in training stable manners and I could use some advice. He
has two very annoying habits right now:
1) When standing in a cross tie the horse is continually moving, side
to side, forward and backwards. He also twirls the tip of his tongue
around and looks like he's trying to get food out of one of his lower
back molars during the entire tacking-up experience. At first I
thought he was playing with the bit, but he does the same thing with a
halter on. I think some of it is due to excess energy -- but it also
seems as though some of it is due to nervousness and a discomfort
associated with just standing.
He expects to be repremanded for moving, as his owner will frequently
smack him on his belly and say "STAND". But the results of the
repremand only lasts for a moment, then it's back to
Intuitively I would say getting this horse to relax at the cross-tie
would be the best solution -- but I'm not quite sure how to do this.
2) When leading this horse (he's a big 16.1 HH), he will push me
over. When I push his head to the right, suggesting that he move
away from me, he bends his neck and continues pushing me with his left
shoulder. Pushing him off me with almost all my might is hardly
effective as the horse barely responds. It's almost like he doesn't
feel me pushing him.
I don't know if carrying a crop and smacking him hard with it each
time he pushes on me is the right thing to do. I'd rather see what
other methods are available.
Thanks in advance for your suggestions ...