We've had our mare about 2 1/2 years now and she has recently (past couple of months) started to pin her ears at feeding time. This is totally new behavior as she has never done anything like this before. There are two things that have changed about the same time that the pinning started. First is that one of the two neighbor horses passed away and was buried in their pasture. Our horse lives alone but the two pastures share a fence and the horse that passed was particularly fond of our horse. She would hang out at the fence and visit our horse daily. The surviving horse is becoming attached to our mare now, but she isn't crazy about him - as a matter of fact she charged the fence at him the other day at feeding time. Our horse is not the least bit herd bound and never seemed too concerned with the neighbors - never fussed if they were gone for the day and didn't care when they returned so we didn't think that she'd be effected by the event but maybe she was.
Second, we have had some schedule changes and we haven't been riding as much. Now with winter coming I doubt we will be able to ride like we were over the summer. When we do ride (1-2x per week lately) she is great and seems to enjoy it. We will also try and take her out for a walk at least once a week as well. We do ground work 2-3x per week and she is great - follows and responds well and is happy about it.
Could this behavior be cause by either or both of the above changes?