Scared or is it because he is new? Or both? HELP please!

by Jackie

I just bought my newest horse, Bullet. He is a 16 year old Quarter horse but he has a lot of get up and go to him, which is good because he is my barrel racing horse. But anyways, I took him out on a trail ride yesterday and he would not listen to me at all.

I made him do what I wanted him to do but what would have taken 45 minutes on Dodge (who's walk is way slower than Bullets so it probably should have taken less than that) took 2 hours. He kept turning around and refusing to go forward. When we got back home I rode him in the ring and he was back to his perfect, well behaved self.

I thought it was maybe because I haven't developed a very strong bond with him yet(I have had him for 4 days now) but my grandpa says it is because he doesn't know who is boss yet?

My grandpa doesn't know much about horses but this is a reasonably point right? I figure that it is and could be explaining his behavior, as he was acting as though he was barn sour and kept trying to put his head down to eat.

So does anyone have any ideas on how I can show Bullet that i am the boss so that I can ride him outside of the ring? I think I am not going to go on any more trail rides with him until he gets acclimated to his new home, but how can I show him I am in charge?

My dad said that maybe I should stop giving him treats and kisses until he understands that I am in charge? Is this reasonable(My dad also doesn't know much about horses, that's why I just want to make sure with you guys).

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Aug 13, 2012
Hi Jackie
by: Unicorn

It sounds like Bullet is a bit herd-bound (or barn sour). As you don't mention him being very spooked on the trail, I think he is being more stubborn than scared. Taking away treats and kisses might not necessarily prove to him that you're the boss, it's discipline that usually keeps a horse in line and discipline doesn't mean beating him up. Just be firm - as it sounds like you were, having worked on him for two hours, and very well done for not giving up. Don't let him get his own way. Many horsemen say that who's the boss depends on who's moving whose feet. If Bullet makes you move, he's being boss. If you tell Bullet where to go, you're being boss.
If he is exceptionally dead to your legs on the trail you can get a crop or a wip-wop to back up your leg aids.
Please note, though, that I'm no professional - just a keen amateur. It's always best to consult a knowledgeable horseman if you can. And always wear a helmet!

Good luck and happy riding

Aug 07, 2012
your horse
by: reina

It may be because the trail isn't familiar and there might of been something dangerous. he was trying to protect you from.

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