Is he tricking you?

(“A new sheriff has come to town.”)

Periodically I meet new students who describe their horses as “fighting” with them. Admittedly this really does happen from time to time, but often when I see what they’re describing, I’m inclined to say, “Hey, you ain’t seen nuthin’!”

I’m not talking about real violence here or dangerous behavior. More often it’s just a horse who has had his own way for a long time, and when challenged, complains in a manner which he knows will cause his rider to back down and give him his way.

Standing up for your rights or reminding him that you are supposed to be higher on the pecking order than he is not being unkind. It’s just teaching him that a new sheriff has come to town. If you are patient in the way you stand up to his behaviors and show him there’s a reward waiting each time he yields to your (reasonable) demands, he will come to accept them.