The first thing to remember here is that he is 4. he is still a baby and he still has a baby mentality. It’s just like a kid who would rather go play than do his homework. I doubt it’s a pain issue or a training issue, it’s that he is young and he’s previously not had to work hard and he’s happy so long as he is doing what he wants to do, but gets fussy when you try to make him work like most young horses.
Young horses, just like old horses, are still required to do what you ask to the level you ask them to do it, they are just not expected to do it for as long. Elaborately reward any good behavior, even if it is one single step. He does one step in the arena to the level you want him to, hug him, pat him, tell him he is good and call it a day. Next time he is expected to take two good continuous steps before he is done, etc. until he learns what he is supposed to do and that you do expect him to do it.
Unlike us, horses aren’t expected to work their job 10 hours a day to be able to earn food, shelter, care, etc. They are expected to work 1 hour a day tops for these things. Take your time with him and praise him every chance you get, but don’t forget that he has to earn his keep too. Horses will do whatever you can think to ask them do to, as long as you ask them correctly and with patience.
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by rgalambos.