Im trying to brake my horse of bad habits. When I try and lunge him he stops, turns his butt toward me and kicks out. How to do I get him to stop doing that?


Another thing he does is when I get on him he humps his back and acts like hes going to buck, he wount do anything I ask him to he just turns his head and backs up into things. How do I get him to quit and to do as I ask. I know its going to take a lot of work but I dont know how to fix it. I need some Advice on how to fix him. Can anyone help?

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Hi Meghan,
I suggest that you read all the stuff on the Body Language group (
Ellen Ofstad has A LOT of good stuff of the horse's body language with a lot of videos. This will give you a place to start so you can learn what your horse is trying to say to you and she shows how to cope with some of the problems.
My horse did the backing up thing when I first got him. Not at the beginning of the ride, but when we approached things he was unsure about, or if he just didn't "feel" like going down a certain trail. There are some videos on the web by people like clinton anderson who discuss this problem. It can be dangerous under some circumstances, so yes you need a helmet, but really you need some direct help. I have got him partly over it, or rather have certain procedures which he has learned means I am not going to let him get away with it, then he relents. In general it involves using small signals llike leg aids, before using other signals like light tapping from the crop, and no pressure from the reins. Sometimes flexing the neck left and right, and or doing circles until they cooperate can help. It goes without saying that whatever you do, you must remain calm , confident, and firmly but gently persistent. He may also get worse before he gets better if he is ready for a battle, and sees you are ready to persistently go to the mat to get what you want. So he may go from backing up to bolting or bucking. If you are tensing up, quite possibly your body signals are getting mixed, or inconsistent, which is why it helps to have someone guide you. I would also caution you against some trainers who take this kind of problem and use really heavy handed methods that I personally think are overkill, even if they do "retrain" the horse. Best approach if you don't want to risk injury doing this on his back is better ground training, and as you can see he is already trying to run the show on the ground. You can't exactly stop them from doing bad things, you have to retrain them to get in the habit of doing the right thing, reward that in small steps even if they do it for a short period of time, and then build on that. Starting back at square one seems counterproductive, but you will make better progress overall. An uncooperative horse is not a safe ride, so you need to get him working for you first. He needs to be gently and systematically dethroned through systematic training.
It also goes without saying to get physical causes eliminated like back pain, poor saddle fit, teeth,tenderfootedness, and even diet before expecting training or riding to work. My guy needed alfalfa eliminated, and even spring grasses made him cantankerous and less cooperative.Also in his case, he was difficult to fit to a saddle, so I went with a treeless and we were both more comfortable. I also rode once a lovely young filly who worked well for me for several months, and then went ballistic when her owner started graining her.
He is speaking to you, So I ask you, what is he saying? Sounds like he's really not impressed with the way things are being done. So, Does his saddle fit and not cause discomfort to him, is he confused, is your body telling him something other than what you intend? So the research begins, as does the education. Remember he is not a machine, he thinks, makes choices and decisions, has preferences, feels emotions, etc. So begin researching some basics, Carolyn Resnick's waterhole rituals, Ellen Ofstad, target/clicker training, to name a couple. The two of you need to get to know each other a little better is my guess, and that happens on the ground in a quiet space with no agenda or schedule, spend time together, become friends and remember friends LISTEN to EACH OTHER, he is giving you all the answers already, and "the horse is never wrong":)


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