Lest you begin to think I'm one of those people who will see no wrong in their horse, let me tell you Tonka was a bad boy today! I was trimming his feet and he kept swatting me with his tail. This was most definitely not an accidental swish as he swatted at flies. It was very pointed. He'd rather not let me play with his feet, thank you very much. He got in big trouble. First I just politely let him know that I knew what he was up to and didn't approve, but he stepped up the challenge by swishing every time I got after him, so he was pretty much constantly going swish swish swish. He worked a lot of circles, backed a lot, etc, until he would stand and at least not make contact. He was still halfheartedly swishing in my direction, but I decided to give him that, but no contact. Got fronts done and almost finished the hinds when he started up again. He'd try to take his foot away and swat me right in the face at the same time. By that point I just wanted to finish, I wanted to have fun with my horse, not have an all-out war, so I just told him "hey" and "quit" to let him know I knew what was up, and it wasn't going to stop me trimming. He stopped, but I'm pretty sure the battle is not completely won.
I do wonder now if he'd rather do all the circling and backing and hard work than have his hooves picked up. It kind of seemed like it. Understandable too, since with only three feet he's not in control of his own body, but with all four he's still capable of moving, even if he does have to move where and how hard I tell him to. So next time maybe I'll ignore him and see if he just gives it up. I'd rather get along anyway, I hate having to get after him! I can't choose not to discipline him if it's going to make things worse though.