My horse has some "space issues" with other horses. If another horse gets too close, he'll pin his ears and try to bite. He’s fine at a walk, but at a trot he'll try to bite, and at a canter he'll go so far as to lunge out at other horses he passes. It isn’t bad when he's turned out, but he still doesn't like horses coming too close.
When we're out on the trails, he's perfectly fine until he's too close behind another horse or until another horse actually brushes up against him. My riding instructor has told me to just focus on going forward instead of on what might happen. She also has me ride at different distances from horses next to me, slowly moving closer as my horse relaxes. This has worked wonderfully for him, but I was wondering if you could offer any further advice. When he lunges out at horses, he puts every ounce of his strength into it, and I'm afraid he'll really hurt someone if I ever lose control of him.
Thank you for your question, Rebekah. The behavior your horse exhibits is not that unusual, though I’m sure that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier for you to deal with! Your riding instructor is giving you great advice. I would continue with her suggestions and also try the following:
Begin with your horse in a halter and lead. Have a friend walk another horse about 15 feet perpendicular to your horse. If he responds by pinning his ears, etc., ignore it and continue to have the friend walk back and forth. If he does not pin his earsand chances are, at that distance he will notreward him with a tasty treat, and walk him away from the other horse. Repeat this, getting closer and closer slowly over time. Once he gets the game, begin again, this time on his back. Good luck!