I've noticed a marked increase in her confidence level. She leaves Irish to graze and doesn't seem to care when she's in the barn with me and he's outside.
Carmen is also listening much better and not so worried about what's going on around her. Yesterday I was lunging her before the rain started and it was quite windy. She was going along and then suddenly slammed on the brakes and ran backwards a few strides before stopping. She looked at me. I stood still.
'No' I said
'Something fluttered' she reported
'yes I know. It flutters a lot but if it comes in the ring I will take care of it'
and she trotted right back to work.
Now about her bid. I was doing my night time chores and her hay rack was empty. I was dealing with Irish first and this did not impress her. As I walked by I heard her snap her teeth at me from behind.
I stopped and looked at her.
you better not have done what I thing you've done
She looked at me ' wasn't me. It was probably Irish'
Irish 'do not bring me into this -I know better'
I stood there for a minute and she poked me with her nose- she didn't open her mouth but it was 'bite like' I responded immediately by sending her out of my space. She backed right off. I carried on with my tasks. This morning she tried to move me out of her space in the stall and I sent her off again.
I truly don't mind that she's testing boundaries. I look at it as part of her growth in self-confidence.
However, I am boss mare.
Period. I will not tolerate rudeness in anyone and that includes my horses and dogs. I prefer to respond to the mild cues so that it doesn't escalate. I find horses send a million signs before they escalate to something dangerous. Sometimes it's easy to miss. I may very well have missed a couple. The trick is to react quickly and then move on. I don't need to send her away and then cuddle her and nor do I need to over react with anger.
Tonight, her manners were perfect. I suspect that there might be one or two more tests that I don't intend to fail.