Lucy was a HUGE brat during our ride on Monday. Long story short, there was another horse being ridden in the ring when I was in there. Lucy has made it quite clear she hates this particular horse. She pins her ears at him and gives him a nasty look whenever he's around. We were coexisting fine until she randomly flew backward at him from a standstill with the intent to kick him...WHILE I was riding!!!!
The long version:
Lucy is stalled next to a chestnut QH in the barn and she absolutely despises him. She barely missed kicking him when he got too close to her hind end while out on a trail ride, and since then she has had it out for him.
As I said, Lucy and this QH were giving each other the stink eye the entire time we were riding on Monday night. She reacted when he picked up the canter, and every time he would pass her, though he gave her a wide berth, she pinned her ears flat against her head and got visibly upset. Finally I just chose to stand in the middle of the ring while the girl riding him cantered. Well, everything was ok until she got around the far corner where we were standing. Lucy tracked him with her head/eyes as he rounded the corner, and when he got closer to her she pinned her ears and RAN backwards at him, legs flailing and everything. He responded by spinning around so his hindquarters were aiming right at her. I yelled "NO!" and yanked her head around in a one-rein stop hoping to get some control of her hindquarters so she couldn't kick him. It was really scary. They didn't make contact but I was so shaken up that I made Lucy do a few more minutes of work so she didn't think she could act like that and then be done, and then I took her back to the barn. I was really mad at her but I was completely at a loss as to how to show her that, short of beating the you-know-what out of her, which obviously wouldn't be constructive.
Her dinner was waiting in her stall and again, I didn't want to just put her away and let her think she could eat dinner after acting like that, so I made her stand in her stall with her dinner right there and I did ground work with her. She was so good and so quiet and obedient. The aggression had completely disappeared and she had a soft look in her eye.
I am lucky that my friend whom I board with is really excellent at working horses on the ground and establishing boundaries. She's an excellent rider, too, but I really admire her skills working with horses in hand.
Here's a video, showing my friend working with Lucy first, and then I give it a shot halfway through:
Just compare Lucy's body language in the beginning to the video to how she is acting when my friend's part ends. She's actually trying to do what my friend wants, instead of automatically tossing her the equine bird before my friend even finishes the request.
I hope this ground work will translate to having a better handle on Lucy's feet under saddle. I also hope she never tries to attack another horse with me on board again.