Hey guys! I thought we had a "Horse Behavior" forum of sorts, but we don't so im not sure where this goes, lol.
Anyways.. Charity, my yearling filly (will be one year old on the 28th), does not baby face. I picked her up on the first of February and I have never seen her once do this behavior.
Baby Face = When a foal raises its lips slightly and pulls its lips back then sort of slaps its gums. Its a submissive "im a baby, don't hurt me" face.
When she first arrived, I walked Joey, Dreamer, and Rain by her. When Dreamer walked by, his ears were forward and he was very interested, and she pinned her ears and raised her head, extending her nose as if to say "Yeah, im young, wannafightaboutit?" Rain acted the same way that Dreamer did.. and evoked the same response.
When Joey walked by, he pinned his ears hard core and even showed a little tooth. She did exactly what she did to the other two, pinned her ears, extended her nose forward and acted like she wanted to pick a fight.
Then.. turn out day came. I put her out first, then added Dreamer (the most passive). He walked over to her, acting inquisitive, not aggressive, and she lunged and tried to bite him. He spun around and ran. Then Rain came out. She came in, and walked to Charity ears pinned and Charity reflected the same facial expression. Then Rain turned to chase her and Charity ran, ears still fully pinned. Finally, Joey came out. He (and Miakoda) are the most aggressive horses I own. Joey walked up to her, pinned his ears, and went to bite her, and she turned around and double barreled him in the chest. He then bit her hind quarter and took a lovely sample of flesh and hair out, which sent her running.
Now, she doesn't hang out with anyone, but the other horses don't like her. They won't hurt her or chase her anymore, but they don't want to hang with her. If for whatever reason one strays close, she pins her ears and acts aggressive again.
EVERY youngun i've owned or handled has baby faced in their youth. Most until they are about 2. Some never lose it. Poor Admiral.. when I would wash his face he would baby face at me.
This is the same horse that has the missing muscle mass on her barrel from an early injury (Vet is coming out tomorrow for my coggins stuff, and she'll give me the definitive answer).. maybe that caused her to grow up quick? I'm sure there are many horses out there who have never baby faced.. but this is the first one I've seen personally. This sounds silly, but could a hard youth evoke dominant features in a horse? She had a really crappy life so far, is that why she is so grumpy with the other horses? Sort of telling them "Leave me alone. You have no idea how hard my life has been."
With people, she is terrified. She is always more scared than angry whenever someone approaches her. Poor little thing =/
I dunno guys, this one sort of has me stumped. And ideas? Is she going to end up being a super dominant little filly? LOL
Thanks so much!