Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
My gelding (Dusty) was more aggressive when he was younger, and a natural horsmanship trainer actually worked with me about using a bag whip for general behavior purposes (probably why he is so great to handle in halter and saddle now), BUT why I didn't think to transfer this over to feed time, I don't know. I do occasionally get big and run him off when he is pinning during feeding time, but I have often ignored it - bad me. Funny thing is that I have been very aware of the dominance struggle he tries to have with humans because he can't dominate other horses - yet, I missed an obvious thing :)
I will definitely start carrying a bag whip - I don't think he will put up much struggle really because he is experienced with how to move off, turn and face ears forward with the bag.
Dusty is eight and has been going places since he was three, so if he hasn't begun being nasty off property, it doesn't seem like he will.
Now that I am thinking of it, my stallion, who is penned next to my aggressive toward humans gelding, has begun (this summer) pinning his ears at feeding also. His pins are not flat back like Dusty's, and there appears to be no aggression behind it (in his eyes or other body language), but it caught my attention because he is usually so sweet all the time. I think I will start the bag on him also to nip that right away. Could he have observed Dusty?
My stallion has also started pinning a bit during riding, but he has begun some intense training for reining, and the dynamics of our riding relationship have changed a lot (like I don't tolerate any of his lazy crap as I had before). I think he is unhappy at times with the workload in his new training program, but I think he will work through it. He also does it sometimes when I correct him from the ground for bad behavior. He doesn't look aggressive just unhappy. I keep riding or correcting as I was, and don't let the pinning bother me, but any hints or insight into this would be welcome, as I would like this to be a phase that passes rather than a new habit.
Sorry if I have stolen the thread with all my questions - what a great topic though! I hope my questions/situations apply to more than just me. Frog, it sounds like we share much of the same predicament. Hsharp, it sounds like your guy makes some association with you, whereas Dusty's attitude is more associated with home vs. away from home. I do agree with you that Dusty does much better when he is being worked on a regular basis.