Just how old is this equine? You say two and then yearling.
She's just turned 3. Under the watchful eye of my 2 bosses, I was told that the horse is a filly/yearling up until the age of 5, at which point it "graduates" to the "adult stage" (mare/stallion/etc.).
And Cherie, thank you
. I know that by moving my feet first I lost rank over this pony and I'm working on getting it back with her. She's highly aggressive to the other horses; just recently she attacked a young mare that was standing about 3-5 feet away from her for apparently no reason. The mare (named Bit-O-Honey
) was simply relaxing not too far from our salt/mineral blocks and showed no signs of imposing behavior to receive the bites and chase that she got.
By "one of those people," I meant the other workers at the barn who have notoriously untied her for grooming/feet picking and forced her (not allowing her to learn balance) to stand for her feet being picked, and all the while a second worker holds her, twisting one of her ears or "twitching" her lip. My boss and I speculate that it was these actions that caused her to get so mean.
And the gelding, Prince
, started to act dangerously after we (grudgingly) accepted very young volunteers with minimal/uncoordinated horsemanship experience. And my
issue with these horses is that their owners (a livery) say that when they misbehave to slap their neck/point of shoulder and say NO!
; that was to avoid people taking disciplinary means into their own hands as the two girls did with this pony by twisting her ear and twitching her lip. As I said to my boss when we talked about it last night: "Most times you'd want to distract the horse, not cause it pain," simply because it would then associate such-and-such action with hurt. (Similar to as you said with the dressage whip.)
I thank you so
much for your detailed "break down," because I literally have no other help from her legal owners and the other two more experienced workers are so high on themselves they don't help anyone else out. They simply tell me to take a "pony paddle" (a large leather crop) and smack at her with it, which as you said isn't very affective. My boss even recently told me how driving a horse away from you to "meet up" helps with it learning respect and safety with you.
My boss is recovering from a recent case of Shingles and has had, literally, no time to work with any of the horses. I watched one trainer (it was on RFD-TV, I'm not sure if it was Chris Cox, Dennis Reis, Ken McNabb, or someone else) on the television who said that you act dramatically at certain points. He said something to the effect of, "when the horse acts silly, you act sillier." I don't know how true that is and I can't recall at this moment exactly what it does. (It very well could be stashed away in notes I've taken on these trainers.) tinyliny
, to answer your questions:
How does she react when the other horses enforce their dominance over her? Does she accept a pinned ear glance as enough and walk off, or does she fight back until she can't match the other horse?
There is one young mare (the aforementioned Bit-O-Honey) that she seems to challenge the most. With Bit, it would resort to an all-out brawl until one (usually the pony) walks away. When it comes to the other horses throwing some pinned-eared glares, she normally pins hers and walks away like a temper-tantrum-inflicted teenager.
How hard do the horses have to get to make her respect their space?
Most of our other horses, ranging from 10 on up, won't have to try very hard. For the most part she sticks with her little "herd" (containing 1 gelding, Bit, Bit's mother, and 2 other, older mares). The pony is the youngest of our entire 24-head herd.
I also apologize to all of you for my delayed response; I had computer issues for the past few weeks that, until today, went unsolved.