Faith - problems arising.
Faith to date, has been very level headed and calm for a 2 year old filly.
You can read her story in my past posts, I don't have the link handy. She had a rough past we know nothing about.
After vet and farrier visits, she is estimated to be probably "barely" 2!
Anyway, she saw the farrier yesterday. This did not go well at all. Now, I had been working with her, picking up her feet. She had NO Idea what to do or how to balance at first. I was always able to handle her legs, she let me take care of her injuries, never made much of a fuss. Most of the time I took care of her bad leg without having her tied. She had never once tried to kick me or displayed any unwanted behavior. She did refuse to pick up her feet for the longest time, but I had her picking up her front feet just fine within a few weeks.
Just hours before the farrier comes yesterday, my SO informed me that Faith had tried to cowkick him the day before. I was quite shocked, honestly. I asked what he had been doing, and he said he was brushing her. He said he was brushing down her back end, to her legs, and she kicked out at him and pinned her ears back. I can handle her back legs, but she does *not* really know how to balance herself while her back legs are lifted, yet. This was quite shocking to me, but I thought maybe it was a fluke, a fly biting her, or something.
The farrier comes, all was going great until we came to Faith. I told him I had no idea if she'd ever been trimmed, but I had been handling her feet. She came out of her stall fine, said hello to him, accepted him just fine. She was relaxed, head down, not at all nervous. She sniffed his tools, then settled in. He approached her front leg, and as soon as he touched her, she grunted (almost a squeal but not quite), jumped up in the air, and kicked out "up" at his head with her back leg. I corrected her with a firm voice and a jerk on her rope halter, and she took a deep breath and once again relaxed within seconds. He took a moment to pat her, and then ran his hands down her leg slowly. When he went to pick it up, she jumped straight into the air and flew forward down the aisle, kicking the entire way. She was pretty hell bent on hurting somebody, and it took me a moment to gain control with my 5'1 130 lb self.
We got her settled again, and broke out the rope. She was FINE with picking up all of her feet with the rope. Every one. When he went to pick up her leg again, she tried to kick him, again. And this is not a warning kick or anything, this is a "Don't touch my leg or i'm going to kick your face in" kick.
Eventually after much time and patience (I love my farrier!) - we got her front feet trimmed.
There was no chance of doing the back.
Now, while he was sitting there with me, I picked up all of her feet. Every last one, without a single sign of her being uncomfortable at all.
I'm thinking one of two things here, being that she also attempted to kick my SO when he was simply brushing her back legs.
1) She is extremely sensitive to her legs being handed due to everything that has happened to her (she has scars all over, especially her back and front right legs, the right front being the one that was most injured when she came into my possession). The right leg is the one he was trying to do first, and it's her "bad" leg that is now 97% healed. Maybe she is comfortable with me, because i've been caring for her and she trusts me.
2) She doesn't like men. Perhaps she associates men in some way to "pain" from her injuries.
For the hell of it this morning, I had my SO try to pick up her feet. She pinned her ears and jumped straight into the air but didn't try to kick him. I proceeded to pick up all of her feet.
This is a VERY sweet mare in general. She is calm all the time, not much rattles her or scares her, so i'm having difficulty making sense of this. My SO can handle her fine, when i'm at work he takes her to and from the pasture without difficulty, brushes her, cares for her. My farrier, knowing her background, was trying to be gentle with her, but what ended up working in the end, was the final kick... when she kicked, he jabbed a forefinger into her shoulder pretty hard. Not a punch or slap, but a deep lingering "push" with a resounding "NO!" (He proceeded to say something like "You respect ME!" too lol). After that, he was able to use the ROPE to get her to pick up her legs, and then was able to get under her and trim them. But the back was a no go.
Thoughts? What more can I do when I am able to pick up her feet? Subject my SO (who isn't 100% confident around horses to begin with) to risking being kicked to get her used to men picking up her feet?
"Animals are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole."