possible abuse case?..help needed.
Most of you know i've recently started looking after a 9 year old Saddlebred Appaloosa mare.
I was originally only exercising her until she was sold, but i'm now going to be taking her on full loan
(Not buying her, but paying for her rent, food & everything else.) once I can get a job.
Anyway, getting to the point.
She's a real sweetheart, admittedly I did misunderstand her at first and thought she was going to be an absolute horror. Not true.
I have noticed she's an extremely nervous horse though. She wasnt too sure about me for the first couple of days, she constantly kept her eyes on me to see where I was and what I was doing around her. She settled down eventually and is now alot more relaxed around me.
A few days ago I thought I would do some 'desensitizing' with her, now I realised she was scared of whips, but I didnt realise she was scared to this extreme:
I took her in the lunging paddock, and took a schooling whip with me.
I showed it to her and she sniffed it. She was a little unsure about it.
She let me touch her with it, she tensed up, but she let me..everywhere until I got to her neck.. her head came up and she backed up a little.. I kept the whip there until she settled down, then moved it further up her neck.. her head went up again but this time her eyes started rolling and she shot backwards faster than I knew was possible.. I dropped the whip and waiting for her to calm down, then approached her. She was snorting at me and kept flinching every time I touched her.. has she been abused in the past? I understand some horses are just naturally nervous of whips etc, but Lilys reaction just seemed a little extreme..
What should I do to help her? I've never dealt with a horse like this, so as much help as possible is needed.