Yesterday I went on a ride down the road with Lacey, just the two of us and she was perfect. A little too "lets go!" for my taste but perfect.
Today I went on a ride with her down that same road only this time I was taking my brother on a ride too so there was another horse. And guess how Lacey behaved? Like a total wack job.
She would not go straight, jigging all over the road, and she kept stopping and starting to back up. I started telling her to back up and she actually reared a few times (after we backed 10 or so full steps which was probably more than I've had her back up in a long time, I admit), not like little mini rears but like big ones. She hasn't reared in over 3 months!!! So I started making her bring her head back to my leg and she started nuzzling my leg like "oh get me out of here please!" I ended up having my brother walk his horse away in the direction we were going and then making Lacey stay still until I told her to go. And she was fine until we got in front again. Then she started stopping again. I ended up just having her back one step on my command then having my bro go in front and then we followed him for about 10 steps then turned around and went home. Guess what? She was fine leading going home. Grrrrrrr.
I do not know what is up with my pony this time. She was fine leading (neck reining no less) for hours at the hemophilia camp we helped at, on old logging roads, paved roads and gravel roads covered in coyote poo, cougar poo and the poo of other various scary carnivorous animals. She even led crossing bridges that the other horses refused to cross until she did. She also didn't hardly spook at all when a huge flock of quail came shooting out of the bushes right in front of us. I know she's not afraid of leading. And I mean seriously, yesterday when I rode her on the road, alone no less, she seriously wanted to walk up to a freaking coyote and say hello.
I just want to slap her upside the head and give her the what for about how ponies that have started behaving well need to continue to behave well under all circumstances if they want to be loved (I'll always love her, no worries.)
I know I need to take her out on the road more to maybe desensitize her to it (if she's scared) because I know that her previous owners had some pretty nasty encounters with her on the road and I'm thinking I may just start taking her for walks in hand because I'll have more control that way.
But what causes her to be fine on actually scary trails where she's all *insert manly vice here* "I can handle this, did you think I could not? Show me some actually tough trails, if you do not, I, Lacey the Wonder Pony will create one for you" but to fall apart when she's asked to go on the road by home with other horses?
I'm not even sure if she's actually scared, I don't want to assume that she's just doing this to get to me because horses don't think that way but still. I'm pretty sure I'm not doing anything different except for direct reining because on the road she wants to GO so I have to hold her back while at camp she was happy to plod along.
Any ideas? She was in heat beginning of last week and the end of the week before so I'm pretty sure it wasn't just one of "those" days. And anyway, she just gets spooky when she's in heat, not recalcitrant.