Jake Starts Kindergarten

Jake turned one year old on June 9. The nice thing about having a youngster is that their time is well spent growing and playing and they don't place a lot of demand on my training time. Until now. At one year old Jake is becoming a bit of a young punk. He has a swagger in his rubber-legged stride that comes from more than just being three inches lower in the withers than the butt. Up until now he's respectfully held his own with his Uncle Cody and mother, Tatti, dishing out a few head butts but backing off when he was told.
Lately though he has taken to a bit of terrorism. It's our senior pony, old Blue, who's been taking the brunt of it. He took great joy in herding her around, never hurting her but keeping her moving. This past week I've noticed though that he's become a little more relentless, not respecting her requests to back off. When I saw her kick and squeal at him and he kept on tormenting her I knew it was time the punk got a job.
Blue got moved to another paddock and Jake got enrolled in Horse Basics Kindergarten.
I don't know how much of his cockiness has to do with our new foal being born, but I have noticed that Tatti has noticeably become more 'motherly' again towards Jake since Spike arrived on May 29. She calls to Jake more and doesn't want to leave him, looking for him all the time. That's something I've taken into consideration with Jake's schooling, and we'll be using Cody as a buddy horse wherever possible to help Tatti 'wean' from her son.
What's Jake learning in school? 
It's Kindergarten: he's learning his manners. A lot of what he's doing isn't 'new': he's been doing a little bit here and there all his young life so far. He's doing well with his leading from his once a week of coming in, getting groomed, picking up his feet, and tying in the grooming area. I'm glad to have that solid base from which to start.
He needs to lead outside now, and we've been going over a few trail obstacles in the yard, bridges, gate and poles, which is nothing new since he's been grazing around them ever since his splay-legged baby grass eating started. We're working on personal space while leading. He loves to throw his weight at you in challenge, much like a teenager in the school yard. Once I can get a bit of consistency and respect on that issue, his colty biting habit will not be an issue. He gets a spanking if he bites but I'd much rather he just keep his distance, since a correction that isn't timely or hard enough is only a challenge to a young punk, accelerating the bad behaviour instead of extinguishing it. We're also discussing things like mouthing the lead rope or Tatti's reins when he's being ponied, since they're not very useful when they're between his teeth and I may need them in a hurry.
Jake loads on the trailer like an old pro, and with Cody as his mentor we trailered around the block today. He's been playing in and around the trailer since he was a little kid. I had to close it up because he'd get in there and try to rip the padding out. All of our other horses trailer and load well, so it's not a big deal to him.
We've also been enjoying his company on the trail, ponying him off Tatti. He's learning how to not chew on the saddle, not eat Tatti's reins, and not bite my leg. I carry a short crop to define my personal space and I don't hesitate to use it if he gets pushy. On the trail he has to keep up a good pace beside us and in the bush he has to go single file behind us, on a longer rope, without getting wrapped around trees. He's negotiating the trail well - brush and branches, going over logs, and up and down hills. The only time he gets in trouble is when he has a deer fly biting his neck and he rams Tatti like he would in the field to brush it off. He's quick and merciless about deer flies. Ouch.
When will he graduate from Kindergarten? I like to call things learned when they have done them ten times and gotten better each time, so I guess it depends on how much time I invest.  At this stage I need to have a human helper around, especially for the trailering, so I'll do the best I can and call in favours from my friends. Any takers?

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