Today I decided to work with the Shetland colt, as the mare was still in a huff about me exploding on her after she tried to kick me. .... As I come up on her side so I can leave, she flattens her ears and clears the fence, hardly brushing it as she goes.
Wow, sounds like she is terrified of you! I wouldn't go 'exploding' anywhere near a horse who is reacting in fear, as that tends to make it worse, as you've now seen. Calm, non-confrontational approach is best.
I wish she was a normal, social horse so I could kick her butt. ...And if anyone has suggestions for gentling untouched ponies, I am open to them. [/QUOTE]
Um, she is a very normal horse, given her experiences, by the sounds of it. Why do you feel the desire to kick her butt because you got too close & so she escaped in fear?? I just don't get that at all.
Gentling unhandled, fearful horses... First & foremost, if you don't know how to go about it, find someone who does, to help you before more things go wrong.
I'd start out getting them used to me just being around them. Don't get confrontational & try to 'do' anything much or get close to them - ensure if you need to walk past they can get out of your way. Just find 'chores' to do in their vacinity & get them used to your presence first. Then I'd do something like your exercise of teaching the colt not to run away, but to learn to respond to your bodylanguage without fear. Be aware that as they've already had some fears confirmed, they'll naturally be more untrusting of you than an untouched horse would be.