They call it anecdotal evidence, stories about events or actions related by others, but not proven to be fact, not filmed or otherwise recorded objectively. After months of hearing bits of this and that about Dar's pissy antics at the barn -- broken rails, wrecked tank heaters, aggression over the fence -- all the while faced with only the same young doofus when I'm there, I finally got a clean, short glimpse of his inner jerk. He's been pushy at the gate, unhappy at being kept alone in a paddock. When he's brought in for the night, he's pushy at the barn door. I always ask him to back up and wait while I slide the door open. Then I ask him to wait another moment before releasing him to step through the doorway and into his stall. He always obeys me, but on Monday night, he snaked bared teeth loosely in my direction. Surprise! And yet, he only reminded me of one of our cats, Possum. "You did not just do that," I said, and backed him all the way to his paddock gate. No feeling of fear or not fear moved me; he was simply out of line. It was nothing personal.
Impatience: Let me go in.
Frustration: Why are you training me just now?
Belligerence: I've been on my own, you know. I can take care of myself.
Somehow I absolutely get where he is. I saw it in that instant. It's time to start defining reality for Dar.