My kind, steady, dependable, sweet lesson moose is a closet Hulk.
There was a foal born at the barn a week ago and apparently Lou lost his marbles over it. Violently.
I had to lead him into the barn through a different door last night to tack him up and it took a good portion of my lesson to try and smush the brain back into his noggin as it exploded out of his ears. Mom and baby were turned out in a small paddock and every time we turned the corner in the arena facing that paddock, Louie craned his neck to stare at the colt. On a plus, he was wired for sound and quite forward. My trainer joked that she wishes he walked that way all the time. It was 86 degrees and he was like a coiled spring. Aside from the occasional screaming and death glares, we did manage to put some good work in and he was pretty well-behaved under saddle, all things considered.
Even with the baby-killing lust, I was grateful to have been riding Lou last night. It was another one of those completely chaotic evenings at the barn: The farrier was there; lots of people hacking; ridiculously hot for early May; the group lesson after mine unloading from their trailer; a saddlebred mare going ape-shit in her paddock over who knows what- and all this in plain view of the outdoor arena. It was pandemonium and a little frustrating, if I am honest. But I still felt like I had a somewhat productive lesson, and I never felt unsafe.
I am not trying to make light of the situation- it can potentially be very dangerous. This hidden aggressive side caught me by surprise but after a little googling on the matter it seems it is not uncommon for geldings to attack foals. It is another reminder of how powerful natural instinct is. Take double precautions. You never really know how a particular horse is going to react to a new baby. Once the baby gets a little older the aggression usually subsides. I am kinda hoping that happens sooner rather than later.