Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
I'm going to assume that the most likely culprit is the mare she's being boarded with.
If she was always by herself or with like-minded horses that were not aggressive, this is going to be a big change for her. She was taking from a passive enviroment and and tossed into one where she is suddenly being demanded about and the aggressive control of the other mare is stressing her out.
In order to keep some of her confidence, she is asserting herself over you, playing the lead mare as the other mare does with her. Unfortnatley, even though it is stress behaviour, you need to get on this before she really does take it too far. Biting is a pure malicious act and something that I just will NOT accept, no matter what the conditions.
If you can seperate them, I think that would be best. It might only take a few days without being bullied before she comes around again. If you can't, I would suggest going back to your basic ground work.
'Round pen' is excellent for this. Take her in, chase her away. Keep her moving until she's ASKING you to stop, not when she decides to stop. Work on moving her hindquarter away from you, becoming soft in the halter again and dropping her head to give you control. Take her for a walk on the road or through a field. Anything that gives you control, but won't stress her out.
She's stressed and frustrated, but needs to learn there are other ways to deal with rather than taking it out on you or your husband.
Be assertive, but be gentle about it. She knows you're her friend even though she's acting out, and needs to be remidened that while you are her friend, you are also the lead mare. Just not the old nasty crabby one.
Also, if you catch those kids bugging her, or even hear about it, I'd go up to them and tell them if they ever bug your horse again you'll beat them within an inch of their lives. Okay, don't say EXCATLY that, but I'd make it clear that she is completely off limits.