I have a 19 year old ASB mare that I've owned for about 2 1/2 years; she is a retired lesson horse and used primarily as a trail and pleasure horse. Until November she was kept in a stall for 1/2 the day and turned out for the remainder, then in November I moved her to 24 hour turnout (for financial and health reasons mainly). Since she has gone to 24 hour turnout she has developed a serious problem about being caught. She's never been one to come running when called, but she's always stood quietly to have her halter put on and led out of the field. Now, she turns her butt, pins her ears, and snaps when you approach with a halter or even just a lead. I'm currently in graduate school and also working part time, so I only make it to the barn about 4 days a week, and usually only ride 1-2 days a week. Once she's finally caught and in the barn she's a doll.
One factor that I think may be contributing to this less-than-desirable behavior is the way the barn owner/full time caretaker treats her. Every morning she goes out to the pasture, brings her in and feeds her (she comes in to eat so the barn owner can pick her feet and check her over for anything amiss), then goes back out to her pasture until its time for the evening feeding. At this point she gets fed in the field on a fence feeder. The problem with this whole routine is my horse is NEVER phyically caught and a halter put on her. The owner opens the gate and my horse makes her way up to the barn, eats loose in the arena, wanders back to the pasture when she wants, and eats loose in the evening as well.
I seriously think my horse has developed a complete lack of respect based on her new routine. Thoughts/opinions/recommendations? Thanks in advance!