But why the fear? Could be that she is worried that you are not acting like a confident leader for her, and she thinks she has to make decisions....
Biggest mistake I made with my last horse, big red mare, was trying to be her buddy. Turned out she wasn’t into having buddies, her life was about lead, or be led, and she would prefer to lead to be honest!
I’ve been meaning to meet the lady owned her before her current owner, to figure out if there is an answer.
I do know Aria is less spooky/aggressive around me than she was around her owner, or around the one trainer I’ve seen her work with.
(The trainer claimed she “could have been killed” when aria spooked at a lawn mower. But I’ve never seen her freak out that badly. In fact, Aria never spooks at all w me anymore.)
I also know that Aria’s “moment of fame” at the ranch was when some other trainer was doing a session with her and she jumped the fence on the corral. In the process, Aria snagged a leg and crashed to the ground. Could have died and freaked everyone out.
Personally, I just think she’s naturally timid, and has been subjected to too many different training methods by too many different people. She got passed around, pushed around, and then left in a field for 2 years. Which was fine with her. Her shtick was not about leading OR following, but getting all those scary humans to leave her alone!
I may not be the most experienced horsepeeson, but doing to same thing with the same person every day seems to have made a huge difference. Aria’s much, much calmer now. Still unsure sometimes. But she looks to me for direction, which is big.
Anyway, yeah. There may be a better leader for her out there in the world, but there doesn’t appear to be one on the island. As a therapy horse for me, she does just fine. But I sure won’t be training her for any rodeos!