So, as many of you know now, Aires was basically a stall pony for 18 months (from the time he was 6 months until I bought him at 2-years-old) and was exposed to nothing. This included hoses and water (except rain, which doesn't count). The first time we tried to hose him down, it was a complete rodeo. After the BO started training him, he'd get hosed down every time after his workout. He didn't really like it and would fidget and try to get away, or spook at the water, because OMG, it might eat him!
Fast forward to today. BO has been working with him intermittently, at best (total of five or six times in the past two months), and I haven't really seen a need to hose him off since he doesn't get extremely dirty and even when he rolls, it brushes right off. So today, the trainer at the stable saddled Aires up and rode him. Got him trotting and everything (said he has one of the smoothest trots she's EVER ridden
). Afterward, my friend decided to try to rinse off Aires because he sweat quite a bit (he's usually not a big sweater, but it was hot today). I was at work, so she was kind enough to take over while I couldn't be there. Anyway, she asked the BO to help her rinse off Aires because she is a little thing (5'3" and about 140lbs) and Aires is a big thing (15.2hh and probably in the neighborhood of 1200lbs now), and she can't hold him and manage the hose with the way he usually is (spins away from the water, etc).
So here she is holding the lead rope and ready for a rodeo. The BO turns the hose on and starts hosing down my horse. Does my horse fidget? No. Does my horse try to run away from the water that he is sure is going to eat him? Nope. Does he even blink an eye? NOPE! My friend said he was standing so calmly that she felt like she might as well not even be holding the lead rope. To top it off, the BO offered Aires not one, but THREE drinks from the hose and he accepted them, playing in the water the whole time! She said it was actually kind of hilarious, because the BO (who is a big old cowboy-type) was all "Oh, I'm sorry, baby. Did you want a drink?" and would offer Aires the hose.
So, what's the difference? Why is he a complete monster with us, yet stands perfectly for the BO? Mind you, he normally has impeccable ground manners (he even is extra careful around me right now because I'm in a walking cast) and is very respectful of me. I am not afraid of him and do not "expect" him to be a monster every time I try to rinse him off. I am not forceful with turning the hose on him and use the exact same approach the BO does (start spraying his hooves, then work my way up his legs, using my thumb to create a spray, rather than using a nozzle).
Keep in mind that, except for the BO, Aires does not like men...at all. I will admit that Aires and the BO do have a special bond, and Aires is the BO's favorite horse out of all the foals he's rescued over the years, but Aires and I have a special bond, too.
Sorry, this turned into more of a vent/rant than it did a question. lol My friend and I are maybe going to try tomorrow to give Aires a full bath (with scary soap and everything!) if the trainer gets done riding him early enough tomorrow, so I'll let you know how it went...if it went.