Despite her prior aggression issues, so far she hasn't been a problem - my daughter was a bit concerned that some of her prior behaviors might reemerge when she was handled by new people. She tends to suddenly pin her ears when food is in the vicinity, and sometimes when you're petting her face when she's loose - one minute the ears are up and her expression is pleasant, and the next minute the ears are flat. When she does this I hiss and step towards her to have her move away, and that's working fine. I've been able to adjust her blanket and pick her feet without a problem. This evening I'm going to groom her, and I expect she'll be fine with that. All these little things were things that it was impossible to do with her before her ulcer problem was addressed and my daughter worked with her to get her to accept being handled again. In some ways, I think the ear pinning is just a left-over reflex rather than a behavior with much intent behind it, but I'm continuing to treat it as if it were intentional and being vigilant about consistently insisting on good behavior.
It's snowing a bit today, but one day soon I want to do some in-hand backing and lateral work with her in the bridle - my daughter hasn't done much lateral work with her and it might be entertaining for Miranda and I while riding isn't possible.
Fritz continues to fret - stall walking and some continued weaving. I was racking my brains to find anything that has changed in his routine that might have made him anxious and set off the stereotypical behaviors - the pacing and weaving - that he's exhibited in the past when anxious. The only thing that I can think of that has changed is that we increased his Purina Senior because he was losing weight. And then it occurred to me - horses that are getting too many available carbs can develop anxiety, and I've also observed that in horses who are prone to stereotypical behaviors like cribbing and weaving, feeding them something that is high-carb - even a small treat - can trigger the stereotypical behavior. A number of horses have come to our barn with stereotypical behaviors, and the behaviors have been reduced or have gone away completely, I think in part because we don't feed high-energy feeds. The fact that Fritz started being more anxious - he can be nervous ordinarily but this is much more noticeable - and redeveloped a stereotypical behavior when nothing else had changed, makes me suspect the feed.
So today, after talking to his owner, we're starting a test. Today he'll only be getting our CPI Equi-Balancer pellets - which is essentially just vitamins and minerals and is low-carb. No oats, Purina Senior, cocosoya or supplements. I'd like to see if over the next several days if the anxiety is reduced and the stereotypical behaviors disappear. If he improves, we'll know it's the feed. Then I'll add one thing at a time back in and watch for changes.