Hi! I have an 15.2hh 8 year old Paint gelding. He's high spirited and has had some trouble listening to his rider. He does great in the round pen and when someone is leading him, but when I try to take him out on the trails by himself, he gets balky. If I ride him in a field, he pays zero attention to me and just tries to graze the entire time. I ride him Western, mostly bareback, and his previous owner was a lady who didn't work with him much because he was too big for her. How can I get him to respect me not only when I'm leading him, but also when I'm on him? Evvi.
The questions you ask are not easy to answer in this forum, as it would take some time to address each problem. However in general being a more interesting leader for him and getting his trust and respect seem to be of utmost importance.
I highly recommend learning more about Natural Horsemanship to help him focus with interest, trust and respect. Giving him some tasks he can accomplish from the ground will help you both create leadership skills that will be of great value in the saddle. I know this is a bit vague but the details are many. In my program I teach how to “Create a Safe Space” which is about creating spatial awareness and respect for your personal “bubble” or safe space. This is done by moving the horse back or away with clear body language using phases of pressure the horse can understand. This in turn creates interest, trust and respect.
As far a riding him in a pasture of grass, it is important to establish “No Eating Rules” on the ground that will transfer to his back. Using a cue on the shoulder to let him know this is not the time to eat, then transferring that same cue to his back when you ride.
Centered Riding skills will help you with balance and grounding so you can be more affective in the saddle.
I hope this is helpful. You have brought up some good questions that do not have short simple answers.
I’m sure he would be fun to work with and I wish you the best.
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