Reagan, join up made a complete difference! We've done a few parelli exercises and he ground ties, backs up, side steps, and is completely calm in the cross ties even without a halter. Our rides have been nothing but exceptional so far. Just thought I'd let you know!
you just got him so he probably just doesn't trust you yet. Start working with it now so it doesn't develop into a large problem. so join up like I previously stated. It teaches respect. Look up a video but I can give you the gist of it. It is best to do it in a round pen but an arena works too. You get a lunge whip or a lead rope and send him off so he's trotting or cantering on the rail. Move back (release the pressure) but when he slows down increase the pressure. Keep him moving, change directions. When he starts to show signs such as licking his lips and lowering his head, turn around. The goal is to get him to come to you as his leader. He should walk towards you (don't face him) and then when you walk, he should follow. If you turn around and he doesn't come to you, send him right back to the rail. Hope this helps!
Thank you, Reagan. I just got him last Friday so we haven't had a chance to really develop much of a relationship. I'm hoping he's just acting like this because he's excited about the new horses but I'm a little worried that might eventually not be the case. We did some perelli work in the crossties and that's been much better but when I take him out, it's still hard to keep him focused. I feed him twice a day (both taking him out by hand) and he's not super hard to catch but whenever he loses sight of the other horses I have to drag him to catch up and he cares more about them then he does his grain. It took 10 minutes to get him to eat yesterday and when his friends came up to the fence and he realized he wasn't alone he immediately was more calm but still looky -- in my opinion, this reaction is everything but a good thing because he doesn't see me as a substitute for them..do you think this is a permanent thing if it's not fixed now or just a reaction to a new place and new surroundings?
Do not put a chain on him. Don't use any gimmicks as these are only temporary fixes and won't solve the real issue. Your horse sounds buddy sour. Take him in the arena and do "join up" (there are video tutorials online) I did this with a mare I ride when she was unfocused and not paying attention. While riding him, love his feet. The instant his attention diverts from you and towards the other horses make him trot, canter, back up, pivot, circle, etc. When he's focused allow him to walk, this shows him that if he looks at the horses he's required to work and if he doesn't he is allowed to rest. He learns that it is easier to pay attention. Take him out on hacks and trails often. Is he in a pasture or a stall? I can't give you a clear answer without seeing the horse first. Another idea is to work him with another horse. Have a friend bring her horse into the arena and work your horse around him. Move him away and let him walk, then bring him to the other horse and make him work. (trot, canter, back up, pivot, circle around, etc) He will learn that it is easier to pay attention on you than focus on the other horse.
Hope this helps,