I have a 13yo OTTB mare that I just got back in Jan. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't an impulse buy and that she isn't a whole lotta horse for a novice - but done is done and my philosophy is there's no way around but through. So I'm working on building a relationship with her, just doing ground work and spending time with her right now.
I think she's warming up, but with her personality it's hard to tell. She doesn't care for me petting her nor for grooming - she walks off if she can. But at the same time she comes to me, most of the time without being called, and when I walk around the field she stays right next to me. Then I put a halter on and suddenly she wants to lead or, as she's begun doing the last couple of times, dips her head and pushes against my hip to knock me off balance.
Just seems like mixed signals to me. I know she's challenging me at times and I don't let her get away with it, but I also want her to choose to be compliant rather than forcing it all the time.
How do you find the balance? Could she be trying to tell me something and I'm just not getting it?