I mostly agree with Doe, particularly on the first two points. I do not think any horse is out to be mean. They react regarding instincts. They do mirror the owners and there are a lot of stupid and angry people in the world. MHFoundation - I would imagine that the stallion mentioned had a motive for being "mean". For one, he was taken out of the environment he was meant to live in (herd). As I always say, "What was the horse doing out in the pasture before the humans walked up?..." Was he cooped up in a barn 24/7? Did he have a hormone imbalance or thyroid issue, pain, previous improper handling etc...? Cause and effect like Doe was saying. Something caused him to act that way, no matter how small it was. And keeping him a breeding stallion was stupid on the owners part. I mean, come on, if someone handled you with a log chain would you be kind enough not to remove a finger here and there? Sounds like a two way street in that story and the 1100 pound animal with a walnut sized brain, no logical reasoning capability and too much testosterone was NOT going to "be the bigger of the two".
That said I have a wonderful gelding here who is very intuitive and quick to react. I am selective with who rides or handles him as he can quickly become "a problem". While many other people might disagree, I've left him be as he has every right to use his instincts regarding people and how they treat him. (I am sure he is only escalated by my lack of tolerance and anti-socialism that he sees, again with horses mirroring the owner) I had a friend who always carried a nasty attitude around horses, she loved to work with them but she needed to learn to control her anger and that always irritated me. If she came near him she was sure to be bit, kicked or ran out of his fence. We had a "know it all" cowboy farrier show up last month and asked if we needed a farrier. I declined but this gelding came over and lounged at him over the gate. To be honest, I didn't like the guy either. The gelding is also great with polite kids with "barn manners". However if there is a bratty, loud or misbehaving kid he will lounge at them. Before I knew he had this quality, as a yearling, he picked a five year old up by the hood of his jacket and tossed him over the fence (the kids fine, he thought it was fun) I didn't think it was fun though! Obviously, given the nature of the horse and the ever changing moods in some kids, the two are kept separate. But when he reacted I was about to swat the boy myself. His short fuse and gut sense for people seems linked to mine. Riding wise he is similar. If you're not paying attention to him, he notices and is off doing something else. If you're angry you might as well not even bother, he's up for a fight and you will not win. He is a great horse to teach the men who "man handle" horses, I will say that. He also loves to pick on a farrier with a short fuse but again, he sums you up before you've walked up to him.
So all in all, yes. He is intentionally "mean". He formed a decision based on his instincts to react and react how he saw fit, "mean". But no, he is never mean for "no reason" or " for the fun of it". I always see fault in the person he is reacting to. He always has every right to react and I have not discouraged him from this, if anything I'm sure I've promoted it some how as lets just say, if I'm not out there no one is stealing my horses with him around :)
Last edited by New_image; 06-28-2011 at 10:07 AM.