She Lunged at a KID!
I bought Vexy mostly as a companion for Zanna in August last year. She was 14 months old and when we put her on the trailer, she had never had a halter on and was still at her dam's side running on 35 acres with over a dozen other mares. Her first night at my place, she tore down her stall door and destroyed the gate on the barn, and tromped half a mile through the woods after taking down the fence. With that rough start to our relationship (she learned to lead with both of us picking our way through dense pine forest at 3am) I have taken pains all along the way to tread that fine line between firm and friendly. I had gotten to the point where I could just walk up to her in the pasture and put her halter on without issue. I've even begun working her with the saddle on, putting the bridle under her halter during work sessions and making all kinds of great progress with her training.
Well, a few weeks ago, my fiance mentioned that she tried to bite him when he was grooming her. Not really sure he knew what he was talking about or thinking maybe she was hunting for treats, I went out to her stall and tried to recreate what he told me happened. She pinned her ears, but not much else so I brushed it off as exaggeration. A few nights later, I was out in the barn with him at feeding time and while I was grooming Zanna, he was grooming Vexy and he said she did it again. So I went over to her stall to watch what she did and sure enough, when he brushed her girth area just behind her elbow, she pinned her ears and snaked her head back to bite at him! To his credit, he did not step back, he popped her shoulder and pushed her head away. (he is not a horse person, he just likes to brush them lol)
Well, since then it has just gotten worse little by little no matter what I do. She has kicked out at us in the pasture. She bit me when I fed one morning. She has become unruly and hopeless during training sessions. Today was the final straw. We were in the pasture, me, my fiance and his 9yo son, and she lunged, ears pinned, teeth bared full attack mode straight for the boy! I can only thank all our guardian angels that I was standing in just the perfect spot that I was able to step into her path and turn her aside. I didn't even have to touch her, just stepped into her path and squared my shoulders and she backed off.
I've been over her with a fine tooth comb. She has no injuries that I can find. No heat, no swelling and nothing to indicate a pull or strain. She acts annoyed with me, but gets aggressive with others. We don't have anyone that lives nearby that could be attacking or antagonizing them. For that matter, she is in the pasture with Zanna and she is just fine. I have never seen a horse change like this. I don't why she has suddenly flipped out. For now I have banned anyone from messing with her but me, including feeding and turn out. She is just going to have to deal with my erratic work schedule since I don't trust her not to take my fiance's hand off or kick his teeth in out of pique.
Has anyone ever seen a horse do this? And do you have any suggestions for what to do about it? I'm trying really hard to give her the benefit of a doubt, but even if I do get this issue fixed, I'm selling her. Going after the kid is just too much for me to forgive.