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Horse Behavior and Training

I've tried everything in a gentle way... and still my horse will not do as I ask

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Help, I bought Romeo a gypsy vanner from a couple that could not train him. Romeo ruled at their house. They couldn't even walk him on a lead properly. So my trainer and I have done exactly as Monty does. In fact my trainer is the one that told me about Monty. We have the dualy halter from day one. We started him in the round pen exactly as Monty does. It has been 5 months. My trainer is old school and is of the mind set that if not trained properly they can hurt you. Because Romeo has been spoiled by humans his whole life with treats etc he does not fear humans or respect them. Not that I want hime to fear me, but I am trying to be his leader.  when I try to establish the leadership role without force or whips he literally will stand there when I ask him to back up. Even my trainer, even another trainer. I've asked them to work with Romeo the way Monty does. Everyone is at a loss. Romeo is only 4 so it's not that he's that old. I have my trainer 3 times a week. We work with him the best we can but it's really hard, because he is so stubborn. He will not do anything we ask of him. Is my trainer qualified? She has been working with horses for over 40 years. So yes I have a very experienced trainer.  He's never turned to charge, and seems sweet but a couple times recently when I walk out and he comes to greet me he trys to nip at me. It's not in an agressive way it's more like a playful way but still I feel this could escalate.   I used my whip to get him to back away from me. He tossed his head and moved away but then in the next few minutes he's right in my space again. He's incredibly sweet and does not have a mean bone in his body. Sadly he was never trained properly in his early years and now even after 5 months of training he still will not back up when we ask him to. We do have him under saddle, and he is coming along ok but it's the day to day walking him on a lead rope, getting him to understand to not walk behind me to the point of stepping on me, nipping me. I don't want him to fear me to the point he won't come to greet me, but also he does need to respect my boundaries and he doesn't.  I would love to know, if he needs continued round pen work? We tried just walking him around the property. He will not listen unless we correct him strongly. And that is hard for me to do because I do not believe in force, or violence. Not sure what to do at this point. 
JoHewittVINTA
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Hi tlsalon3 & welcome to the Uni. Firstly, I believe you believe what you say is true. However, you do not use the phrases, like Join up, to lead me to believe you have done everything right by Romeo. Do you have use of a roundpen? Have you successfully done Join up? Please, describe how Romeo reacted to Join up. Have you performed Join up on successive days with Romeo? Have you used long lines to drive him in a balanced format in the roundpen? If you have done EVERYTHING as you suggest & Romeo is still resisting your attention then he is a most remarkable equine. He is denying his own language, he is defying a proven training format & it is unlikely Romeo is progressing under saddle in an acceptable way. We are here to help you & Romeo reach a mutual understanding that, with the trust that comes with using Monty's methods, leads to an incredible trust based relationship- like the one I enjoy with my 4 guys, Humphrey, Kirk, Max & Miss Moley. Kirk went through every stage of becoming a riding horse with NOT ONE SINGLE negative sign - ears remained forward, no jinxing, no messing around, no bucking! Saddle was accepted like he was born for it. If anything, he has been proud to be given the opportunity to prove himself as a riding horse. PERHAPS you are doing yourself short. If you study the lessons on the Uni you will see where you have missed the opportunity with Romeo & will be able to backtrack to put right that shortfall. I firmly believe you & Romeo have a golden future together, if you can just find that crucial key - possibly your trainer, given their years of experience, has missed the vital point of the Dually halter - it is not a dragging device & needs to be used with a light touch on your line. I wish you & Romeo well on your journey of discovery. Cheers, Jo.
tlsalon3
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Thank you so much for your comment. As we speak I am continuing my lessons online. Yes I do have a round pen. We try to do as Monty demonstrates. Romeo does not like to be told to trot and canter. Tosses his head and sometimes kicks toward us. We do not punish that behavior, we just keep him moving. We look for the signs... the lowering of the head, the ears and chewing, he will join up but there have been times he hesitates. More with my trainer than me. I feel like he joins up with me really well. I do not mind starting from square 1 with Romeo. I have incredible patience. I am re watching all the videos again to see where I can improve. My question is do you think I should just practice join up with him for awhile? Can you do join up to much? You mentioned the Dually halter and said it is not a dragging device. I agree and we try to lead properly and not drag him. He does so many things really well, but we cannot get him to back out of our space. He literally stands there like a brick wall even after a round pen join up session. If we just simply walk him from point A to point B.  And at some point ask him to back up. He will not move his feet.He literally will stand there like a wall.  We thought maybe it's his tail being a gypsy its very long so we braid it so he won't step on it. Nope it is not that. He just refuses to back up. I know this sounds crazy and sounds like we do not know what we are doing. Like I said my trainer has trained sooo many horses and she even said she is at a loss and she suggested writing to Monty. I joined the online course to help me with this horse. He is the sweetest and I refuse to let anyone use brut force. I thank you and will re watch everything, and to recap can you do too many round pen sessions?
As far as the saddle. He has never pinned his ears, he has never bucked. People describe him as lazy and just doesn't want to trot or canter. I really appreciate your comment, and welcome your suggestions. 
JoHewittVINTA
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Hi. The purpose of Join up is to form trust between horse & human so, yes, once the trust is fully formed it becomes a redundant conversation ( after about 6 fully successful sessions ). However, I think Romeo hasn't gone away enough yet. My Humphrey is an Irish cob & I had already built some trust with him before we tried Join up. He just stood. So, Monty advises using plastic to cause the horse to 'go away'. Plastic carrier bag on stick had no real effect, no matter how much I vigorously waved it so Monty says we need to engineer the situation to cause the horse to CHOOSE the right thing to do. I got a plastic sack, horse feed sack & flicked it - like getting the wrinkles out of bed sheets before hanging them on the line. It made a strong snapping sound & yes, Humphrey moved away, a lot. I think Romeo regards humans as 'of little consequence'. You need to get his attention, you need him to vigorously go away, then, when you reduce the pressure to give you the ear, the smaller circle, lowered head & licking & chewing. Then you can get a good Join up & Follow up. When you do, be very generous with the rubbing - this weeks lesson emphatically shows the importance of trainer generosity. Hope you find this useful. Cheers, Jo.
tlsalon3
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Thank you Jo, I re watched join up and the dualy halter. I discovered my halter was to loose and I will try something to get him to go away. Appreciate all your comments!! Romeo is doing so much better!!!
JoHewittVINTA
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That's good to hear. So, hopefully you get progress but if you hit 'another bump in the road' you know you can get support here to see you both through it. Good luck & stay in touch. Cheers, Jo.