I made a mistake, one that has shaken my confidence a bit. It took almost 20 mins for me to settle down after it happened, I haven't been this rattled in a very long time. On Saturday I picked up the new boarder, he is a 7 yr old paint gelding. He is about 200lbs overweight and hasn't had much done with him over the past couple of years. His owner is RB4 and she wants to start riding him to determine if she wants to keep him or sell him and since I have an indoor arena and she likes riding with me, she came here. He is pretty pushy and has almost no, well I take that back. He has no ground manners. He doesn't see people as the boss and assumes he is the boss and has no qualms about taking that responsibility. He also doesn't back off of pressure or respect space of any kind. We had a little bit of an issue getting him on the trailer and a heck of a time getting off of the trailer, he refused to back up/off and eventually he had to turn around to get him off of the trailer. Not that bad in the grand scheme of things, I have dealt with much worse.
He is getting along pretty well with the boys and seems to have pulled rank on the App, something I am quite surprised and happy with. The App needed knocked down a few notches IMO. I brought the new horse in Saturday night and threw him a flake of hay to go with his slow feed hay net so he didn't get frustrated for his food as he learned how to use the slow feeder. He appeared to have taken every piece of that hay and walked it through all of his bedding, grrr. He was also a handful when I took the donkey out Sunday AM, screaming his head off, kicking the stall, etc. I brought him out next and he screamed his head off and ran around the pasture until I brought the App and the TWH out. Grrr. Last night he came in without too much issue and seemed... at least more settled than the previous night. I didn't throw him loose hay lol. During night check I top off water and pick out stalls. When I went to clean his stall, he charged me as he appeared to want out of his stall. If it wasn't for the pitchfork I had in my hand, as I was cleaning up his pee spot in front of the stall gate, he would have ran me over and taken out my wheelbarrow. Fortunately he stayed in his stall, unfortunately my pitchfork didn't survive the ordeal as the top snapped when it hit his shoulder. Luckily I have replacement heads I guess. This morning his stall was in fairly decent condition considering the previous morning and he acted up a little less today when I took the donkey out.
I went to halter him and bring him out next and he kept taking his head back into the stall so I couldn't halter him. After a half dozen tries I went into the stall and tried to halter him and he went to the back of the stall. I locked the gate (Best idea of the morning) and tried to halter him, he turned his butt to me so I slapped him with the lead rope, he kicked out at me a couple of times. I went back to the gate and he turned and faced me, I threw his lead over his neck and went to put his halter on, he half reared and backed up so we were both in the back of the stall and he then suddenly bolted forward. I moved from the left back corner of the stall to the right back corner as I was suddenly right behind his hind legs and waited for a moment. He seriously considered trying to jump over the stall gate which is a little over 4 feet off of the ground. I went to the front left corner of the stall to try to get him to back off of the gate and put the lead rope back on his neck and he swung his haunches and pinned me in the corner. He hit the gate and and backed almost into me three times, each time I braced hard expecting to have the &*%! kicked out of me. I was in an extremely vulnerable position and absolutely should have known better.
After what seemed like 10 minutes but was probably only about 30 seconds he turned around and went to the rear of his stall so I immediately went to the front right corner so I had the gate behind me and faced him. This time he let me throw his lead rope over his neck and then I put his halter on. I grabbed my dressage whip and walked him out to the pasture without any further issues but it took turning the other 2 horses out and 2.5 clean stalls later before I had stopped shaking. I know better, I shouldn't have allowed myself to get in such a dangerous position. I easily could have been very seriously hurt by this horse, perhaps I have been drawn into complacency with horses that respect people and space. Lesson learned though, this horse will be handled carefully and we will start some sessions to get him to respect me. When I emailed the owner to tell her she said she was surprised as he is "easy going" but gave her permission for me to work with him. My other other choice is to ask them to leave and I don't want to do that. Not yet anyway.