Lily did much better outside last night, although she did stand at the gate and look reproachfully at me as I left the barn. This morning, after breakfast, when I took Maisie out of the barn on the way to pick up Lily, Lily did her bolt to the gate, screaming and head snaking (a mare frustration or anger gesture, often used to signal other horses to move away). I spent a few minutes with her in the paddock, asking her to step away from me with a hand gesture, and once I haltered her I rubbed her face and neck and asked her to drop her head - and keep it there - and step back when asked. She did all those things well, and wasn't aggressive (no bite threats), so we led out. She was forward but well-behaved on the way to the pasture.
One thing I find useful with horses that are nervous or fidgety is to show them ways that they can self-calm. This can be useful in all sorts of circumstances - I want my horses to be able to calm themselves down (I can't do it for them) when they spook on the trail, for example. One way I do this is with ground tying. If a horse can learn to ground tie, he or she can learn to self- calm. The way I teach ground tying is by making it easy. If the horse stays still, nothing happens - I keep grooming or whatever else I am doing, and the horse isn't asked to do anything. If the horse moves, or does something else I don't want - like biting or pawing - I ask the horse to move in a circle around me until the horse offers to stop, then I drop the rope and continue doing whatever it was I was doing. When I'm teaching this, I don't care if the horse ends up back where it was, I just want it to stop moving. At a later stage, once the horse understands what I want, I might ask the horse to stay in one spot. Most horses pick this up very quickly.
This afternoon, since the weather will be nice and I can groom outside, I'm going to work with Lily on this, to remind her that she can self-calm - she used to know how to ground tie but could use a refresher course.