A bit of a frustrating and confusing weekend. I know horses will test to be sure you're still the one in charge. But this weekend, out of nowhere, it seemed like Izzy's behavior reverted back to the stuff I really didn't like about her two years ago when we met.
Things started on Friday. Was at the barn for a volunteer training, and Isabel's "neighbor," Reba was taken out for horse leader practice. Isabel about lost it in her stall- for almost two hours, I heard her calling and calling for Reba, shaking her buckets, just generally making a racket. Now, when she first came to the barn a couple of years ago, was horribly herd bound and couldn't be anywhere alone. After a month or so, she got over it, and it's been forever since I've seen her act that way. I wrote it off as an isolated incident, the schedule was weird, a bunch of horses got pulled out of their stalls to be worked after feeding, etc.
Then, Saturday, went to ride. Brought Isabel up from the field, put her on the same cross-ties she always goes on to groom and tack, and she was dancing all over, refused to stand, kept craning her neck around as far as she could to try to see the horses behind her out in the pasture. She was terrible for grooming/tacking- again, behavior she used to show years ago. She absolutely refused to stand for mounting, I had to try to get her to stand 4 or 5 times before I could scramble on. This is something she was terrible about years ago (may have even been my first post on the forum!!) but it's been a long time since she's given me a problem. During our ride, she was really on edge, would randomly call out to other horses (she couldn't see any horses, but she would nicker every time a person walked by). She was also spooking at everything in the arena, a pole in a new place, a new sign taped on the wall, she would just get bug-eyed, go all counter bent, and lose it. I did a million circles, direction changes, etc. It took forever for her to settle. And just as she did, of course, snow slid off the roof!! Not our best ride. At the end, I made her stand for mounting 4-5 times, and while none were perfect, she was better than she had been.
Sunday, went out to get her, even though she was first to come in, she was happy to come in from the pasture because I got her around feeding time. Fussy about mounting again. Had another terrible ride where she just refused to concentrate and was gawking all over the arena at everything. Practiced mounting again at the end, still not great, but I did have someone to help me by holding her head so she stood a little better.
I really just don't know where this change in behavior came from. The weather did warm up suddenly over the weekend, and the schedule was a little weird, but I hate to make excuses. The fact is, this is stuff she used to do years ago and hasn't pulled in a long time. On the upside, I do feel much more confident in dealing with it now, but it doesn't mean I like it. And the fact that she pulled stuff 3 days in a row makes me worried that I haven't addressed it properly if she continued to push. We'll see what this week is like.
Here is miss grumpy pants in the nasty, foggy Sunday mist- the pasture was a soggy mess, with January temperatures up in the high 40s melting the snow far too soon: