While there are possibilities that you may have been duped, horse was sedated when you met her before moving for eg, I wouldn't necessarily think this was out of the ordinary behaviour at all and that she's not a baby is irrelevant IMO.
I certainly don't agree with Shrop. I think her problems with you are likely precisely because you asked too much & didn't consider her feelings. Whether or not you think she 'should' 'behave', she's not, so that's irrelevant too, except in that it implies she is then deserving of punishment for 'should know better', which I disagree with.
I don't think there's enough info here to do anything more than put forward some possibilities of the details, so don't take below as a judgement, just what could have been happening in her head...
Consider her experience. Firstly there is no info about prior experiences, except for you riding her in a village. For all we know, this could have been the environment she was born in & she's never been into a foreign environment before you moved her. Moving is often pretty stressful for a horse anyway, to leave her secure, known environment(& probably friends & trusted people). She could have been so 'perfect' to begin with because she was 'shell shocked'.
You only spent a few days 'fussing' & I don't know what that means to you, whether you spent time just hanging out with her, boosting her attitude of you with positive reinforcement/reward &/or starting to prove to her you were trustworthy(that takes more than a couple of days & is not unconditional), or whether you did stuff to her that she didn't enjoy(eg. Does she truly love being brushed, or could she just be obediently enduring it?). I wouldn't expect the horse to have developed much of a relationship with you at all yet, but first impressions count & fearful ones stick, so if they weren't that great experiences with you, that's what she's got to build on so far.
Then you rode her. While of course I don't know what her bodylanguage & personality is, I think bucking you off as you mounted was likely a fear &/or pain based reaction. She also would have given you prior signals to show she was worried/upset/going to blow, which you either didn't recognise or ignored. So you managed to get on & ride her, when she was obviously bothered by the idea.
So next time she didn't want a bar of you or your games? I note the comment about the electric fence, which could be a cause/contribution to the prob. *If the fence is connected, it DOES make a noise, or the horse can otherwise sense it, regardless of whether you can or not. Perhaps she's not experienced an electric fence before, so doesn't know what to expect &/or the wire goes across the gate(even if you take it down, she's already associated it with that area), &/or perhaps you haven't turned it off & it's pulsing close to the gate you're asking her to go through, and of course she doesn't trust you yet, which can persuade horses to do something they think is dangerous.
So you got some helpers in, to force her to 'face her fears' and go through the gate. Of course sometimes it's more important to force the issue than to take the time it takes, such as for vet care or some such. But I don't think confrontations are generally the best option, especially where fearful behaviour is concerned. I think that would have just served to set back any trust you may have earned from her.
She's not used to a stable & you put her in one. I would have avoided this, until firstly you'd earned her trust, then been careful & considerate of her feelings, introducing her to that environment as gradually as necessary. Of course, last time you asked her to go through a gateway, it was scary & you forced her to do it anyway, so she is very reluctant to allow herself into that situation again.
So... I'd forget riding & doing unnecessary 'stuff' to her for the time being unless she truly likes it(hint: approach her & do it loose in the paddock, giving her every chance to leave) & focus on building a good, trusting relationship with her first & foremost. When you feel you've got a good enough thing going generally, then I'd considerately, gradually and non-confrontationally introduce her to & ask her for other things, places, etc.
Last edited by loosie; 06-22-2012 at 04:41 AM.