Some of you might have read my threads about my gelding Luca's disrespect towards me and others. I tried nearly everything, and he did get a bit better, but he would still approach me with pinned ears whenever I went to see him. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought that this behaviour might have been caused by the TB gelding we looked after for a lady who didn't have the time and space for him (her grass was low and she had just had a baby). Fleet. I have written on here about him, too. He is a sweet but crazy thing, and was the ultimate boss of the herd of three (Him, Luca and my sister's horse Syd). So I was thinking that maybe Luca was living under constant stress, because Fleet did bite and kick to keep his herd "under control".
A few weeks ago, Fleets owner called to tell us that her grass was back and her child was sleeping through the nights now. She now wanted to take Fleet back. She came over the next day, with a trailer, and took him. Our horses called for a few minutes, but then settled. I was a bit sad, we had Fleet for about a year, he was dear to my heart, but it was always clear that we would only look after him for just a little while. (well, one year isn't THAT short, but still.) The owner thanked us (she also paid for all of Fleet's feed and worming) and left. She told us that we could ride and visit Fleet whenever we liked.
She called us a few days later, telling us that Fleet had settled well. I was quite surprised, since Fleet was extremely herdbound. Now back to my horse, Luca. Now that Fleet is gone, he is like a different horse. Look at those improvements!
Calling for him by the paddock fence
Before: not coming when called, ignoring my calls.
Now: trotting/cantering to the fence, ears forward.
Him approaching me
Before: ears pinned, glaring at me.
Now: walking over calmly with ears forward, politely sniffing my hand
Me approaching him
Before: ears pinned, "throwing" his head towards me in a threatening manner
Now: looking up, sniffing my hand, looking at me as if to say "yes?"
It's as if he's saying "how may I help you?" instead of "what do you want..."
Anyway, he's improved so much, he's back to the horse I love and trust.
Oh, and trust me, when Fleet was still around and Luca was being a brat, I really tried everything. I disciplined him (it worked for about ten minutes before he'd be aggressive again), I got him checked by a vet, I tried different methods of training...in the end it just took a very dominant TB to be taken away and Luca transformed himself into a gentle, lovely horse.
One thing, though...Luca is still a bit grouchy towards people that he knows are nervous around him, like my sister, who is afraid to properly discipline him when he acts up. At least SHE has a kind, patient horse. :P
And that's all, I really wanted to share this with you guys!