Something my 1 1/2 yr old gelding has started doing lately bothers me, but I'm not sure if I should do anything about it, or if I should do something about it, WHAT I should do about it.
Whenever I feed him I make a kissing sound and that is his cue to back away from the feeder so I can put the hay in. Then I make him stand there a few seconds before tapping the feeder which is his cue to come and eat. Well, maybe for the past month or so, when I kiss and ask him to back away he pins his ears. I keep kissing and making him back up and stand politely and all that (sometimes with a dressage whip in hand if he doesn't back off like he should) but basically he always backs away, but the ear pinning is new.
This is going to sound stupid, but it kind of hurts my feelings!
I know he is trying to move himself up in the pecking order, and I don't ever intend to back down from him, so if he ever really challenges me I will go at him with the dressage whip. I know he has some disrespect issues such as nipping when leading and such. I am doing the best I can with him. I guess I am just wondering if I should be doing something to correct the ear pinning or just ignore it?
I will also frequently "kiss" and make him leave his hay pile if I am out there, just to assert myself as top horse, and I know that must irritate him but again, I am trying to assert myself as dominant. He will pin his ears and walk away. Am I making things worse by messing with him at feeding time?
I don't know if I am making myself more dominant or just irritating the hell out of the horse.