We bought Pride in 1998 from Beeston horsemarket. He was skin and bones, had a temper on him, he bit, he kicked, he had been beaten black and blue with a yard brush. He was defensivly agressive, I.e if he didnt trust you he struck first so you couldnt hurt him. He had major issues with men and children.
Mum only bought him because he was a very quality pony that there might be a chance to rehabilitate.
In the first 2 weeks of owning him he put a very good friend of ours in hospital after she went in his stable with a yard brush to tidy his bed up, he put mum in hospital after kick caused internal bleeding. I ended up with stitches where he took a chunk out of me.
Pride has a home for life with us and over the many years we have gotten him to trust us, he is now happy that no one will attack him, can be trusted around men and around supervised kids. He no longer attacks first, infact he hasnt kicked or bitten anyone in the last 8 years. He has competed with me at quite a high level ridden and inhand. He has been polite to male judges who ran thier hands over him and he has taught disabled riders to ride, he has taught kids all about ponies and given them thier first experiance in the show ring.
Infact he has become a very content perfectly normal pony with a heart of gold. I can even take a yard brush in his stable now
However I have always been 100% aware that his trust is incredibly fragile and not 100% invested, one wrong move could set us back years.
Today I had a break through with him. Now with all my horses I concider the ultimate display of trust is for them to stay lieing down when I am in the stable/field with them.
Harvey was doing this within 3 years, stan took all of 6 months before he would let me walk up to him in the field whilst he was lieing down (infact when I did that he stayed lieing down, shoved his head in my lap and demanded petting). The arab was a couple of years.
Dispite our massive strides with building trust over the years I have never even seen Pride lie down let alone be allowed anywhere near him when lieing down.
Tonight, not only was he lieing down in the stables, he let me aproach him, stroke him, go back into the house for a camera, take several pictures and then return to the house. He did not get up at all. Infact I only went into his stable to check him because I have never seen him lie down and was worried he was ill.
I'm feeling rather elated tonight!
Here is the best of the pictures I took.