The mare I have been working with everyday, even saddled and ridden her. No problem.
The yearling I will work with when I'm done. Walk her, work with verbal, ect. No problem.
The foal is 3 months. When I am done with the other two, I will "work" with him - I'll catch him, pet him, lift his feet, brush, ect ect. Most of the time I will work on walking up to him and catch him. He will normally run/walk away. Every time. OK, no problem. Until today....
Today I did my routine. When it came to Jake (foal) it went as follows....
Attempt 1 - ran away breifly. After some coaxing, Jake was caught and rewarded.
Attempt 2 - ran away breifly. After some coaxing, Jake was caught and rewarded.
Attempt 3 - ran away breifly. After some coaxing, Jake was caught and rewarded.
Attempt 4 - Stood and watched me approach, allowed me to catch him.
Attempt 5 - Stood and watched me approach, allowed me to catch him.
Attempt 6 - Came up to me as I was approaching him. Wanted to be petted and rewarded. As I backed away to begin attempt 7....he followed and "asked" to have his head and neck rubbed. Wouldn't leave me alone. He wasn't pushy, but just seemed to want attention. So far, I was OK with this... he's warming up to me. And then I noticed....
It seems Jake was "suffering" from a "condition". The only symptom besides wanting attention was a drooping, 5th appendature beneith him.
I walked away from him, and his "condition" improved. The barn owner and his son were observing this take place and found great humor in my new "friend", and were laughing it up at the sake of my embarrasment. Both of them went in by Jake later, and no "condition" was present. So...
Is this natural?
Isn't he a bit young for that "condition"?
Am I sending the wrong signals?
Do I need to be alarmed?
Or is this just something that happens to a male horse time to time?
Is he confused?