I just use my horse for trail riding only. i have 2 problems that i would like to fix.1. he wont stand still when i stop. 2. when i lead him he wants to walk ahead of me. do you have any pointers to help me with these problems or have a book that covers this?
Many behaviors such as fidgeting during saddling, surging ahead while leading, walking off while mounting, moving around at the standstill, etc. are helped by immediately backing your horse up. Don’t do this in anger, but do adopt a strong, assertive attitude and fix the image of him backing firmly in your mind. Start with gentle pressure on the reins or lead rope and escalate as needed to get him started moving. Hold that level of pressure until he’s gone ten steps, then release it, and praise him. Then go back to whatever you were doing. If he makes the mistake again, and he probably will, repeat. Remain businesslike in your attitude, not emotional. You don’t want him to feel threatened in any way. However, you do want him to realize that there is a negative consequence every time for that behavior.
Backing reminds the horse that you are leader and gets him thinking about his feet rather than the undesirable behavior he was exhibiting. In nature, a horse very seldom backs up. He may take a step or two (usually at the request of a more dominant horse) then he goes forward or to one side.
Backing puts a horse out of position to flee predators and creates a feeling of vulnerability in the horse’s mind. When he backs up at your request, it reinforces his role as the follower in your relationship. In other words, it reminds him that he must respect you. When you maintain a neutral or businesslike attitude, it assures the horse that you are not going to hurt him and works on building his trust.
There are no “magic bullets” in training horses, but backing, lateral flexion, and disengaging the hindquarters seem to help in almost any problem situation.