Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Western New York
I have been reading this entire thread and not commenting, but Hoofpic I agree with the others. Your mare has your number and is being blatantly disrespectful.
You asked why she pinned her ears when you told her to back up. She pins them because she didn't want to do it!!! I would've kept backing her up until she stopped resisting, then she gets to relax.
Stop worrying about her feelings and if she respects you and if you have a good bond. You know how you get a good bond with a horse? Being a firm and consistent LEADER. My horses know what is acceptable and not acceptable around me, they know they will get reprimanded if they step out of line, but they still respect me, they still seek me out when I come into the pasture. My mare likes to pull faces some times, and all I have to do is give her a sharp look and she cuts it out, I call it the equivalent of me "pinning my ears" back at her.
She pins her ears at you, you need to reprimand her, either a tug on the lead rope, a sharp "aaahhhhh!" noise, a sharp look at her, even a step towards her with a sharp look if necessary. She keeps pinning them and acting nasty, you back her up hard and fast, keep her backing until she submits (head down, relaxes her ears, backing easily to your command). Then let her stand and relax, don't talk to her, don't pet her, just let her stand. Then resume with what you're doing. I wouldn't worry about teaching her to ground tie yet, you need her respect first.
And to the sandals thing, good grief, if I was your trainer you would either have found boots that you could wear comfortably and were safe for riding, or you wouldn't be riding until you did. What if the horse you're riding spooks and you loose your balance and fall off and your foot slides into the stirrup? There's nothing keeping your feet from sliding through the stirrups and getting hung up. I've been dragged by a horse once with my foot caught up in a stirrup, its not a pleasant experience.
I've had smashed toes/feet before that were swollen and uncomfortable to get into my boots, if its that bad you can't get a shoe on it, you probably shouldn't be riding anyway.