Friday I got out of work early so I could bring Baby L to M's to work on his rearing when I lead him in from turnout. I feel the rearing is in reaction to me correcting his bad behavior. He simply does not respect me.
M saddled and bridled him and we went in the round pen. M showed me some things on a long lead to practice with him such as moving out of my space, backing, etc. I was directed to be clear and ask once, if he doesn't respond then he gets corrected. The first time I corrected him he kicked at me. Then he reared. I was glad he did so M could see the behaviors I was dealing with at home. He respects M so he doesn't behave this way with him. I spent more time working with him and eventually he was responding to me first time I asked. M then had me lay L down. We did this once before at the beginning of our breaking. Again it was gentle and done safely. I rubbed on him and talked to him and just like the first time he was calm and unconcerned. I asked him to get up and we let him be done for the day. I was thrilled with how everything went and thought for sure I had a reformed baby.
Saturday morning as I led Baby L in from his paddock he reared again and ripped the lead rope from my grip. He tore around like an idiot and refused to be caught, kicking at me if I came close. I had to open the gate to the barn and let him run to his stall. Even in his stall he would turn his butt to me. I eventually got a hold of the lead rope and I led him to my small sand paddock. I worked with him as M showed me in the round pen. After getting my point across with him that rearing and kicking would not be tolerated, he promptly moved in whichever direction I asked including backing. I patted him and took him to his stall. I then took his breakfast away and let him cool under the fan in his stall for about an hour. When I checked back he was cool and calm so I gave him his breakfast.
I then made a trip to Tractor Supply as I figured they would have the same long thick cotton lead rope like I used at M's. I bought a 20 foot one so that should he rear again at least I have enough line that it doesn't just rip from my hands.
Sunday and Monday mornings he led in without incident. I am sure to pat him as we walk since he is being good. It's a start. My husband is not happy with Baby L and thinks I need to get rid of him ASAP. I'm not going to give up. It is not L's fault that his breeder just turned him out with the herd for 3 years of his life and didn't teach him how to be a good citizen. Handling babies is soooo important. Just like a toddler they will test limits, talk back, throw tantrums, etc and unless they are taught that these are unacceptable behaviors you soon have a 1200 lb horse that acts like an a**hole. What I don't want is a 4, 5, or 6 year old horse that acts like this so we have to fix this now.