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Old 08-12-2011, 09:59 PM  
Long Yearling
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Help! My sweet horse is a BULLY!

Today when I went to see my horse after work I was told by my BO that my horse wounded another horse! The other horse is fine, apparently my horse chased him in the pasture and fought with him, giving him a 6in long horizontal laceration on his chest and a few bite marks on his rump and shoulder.

This is the second time my horse was seen bullying this horse, the last time it happened I was told my horse was "trying to kill" this other horse by cornering him and striking out at him. I am heartbroken that he actually hurt this horse!! Why would he go after just this particular horse? They are both TWH geldings, my horse is 1/2 the age of the other. They have ridden together a few times w/o issues, besides the occasional warning kicks to each other if they follow too close to each other. The only thing I can think of is this other gelding os turned out in a paddock with two mares--one is is sister and the other a new mare that came about 6 weeks ago.
My horse was only allowed with my friend's horse who followed me to this barn last fall. Her horse was the most aggressive horse there, he fought with everyone, and my horse spent most of his time with Charlie (my friend's horse) just trying to stay out of Charlie's way. Well, my friend has moved her horse to another barn (long story) since last Sunday...it's been pretty peaceful until today when this happened. Is my horse trying to take Charlie's place as leader? Or is he fighting this other horse over the two mares? He was never permitted to be with anyone else but Charlie before, now my BO is trying to see who to put him with, and who gets along with who...

PLEASE share some insight into this behavior!
Thanks
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:49 PM  
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Are the two geldings and the two mares in the same pasture?
Some geldings will become possessive of mares, esp in the cycling season, and it is quite common for them to try and chase other geldings off
Some people do not turn geldings and mare out together. I do, but know my horses.
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:25 AM  
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Twice I've seen nice horses just take a dislike to another horse. In the end they were just not kept together.
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:43 PM  
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Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
Are the two geldings and the two mares in the same pasture?
Some geldings will become possessive of mares, esp in the cycling season, and it is quite common for them to try and chase other geldings off
Some people do not turn geldings and mare out together. I do, but know my horses.

No. All 4 horses have their own outdoor stalls...the gelding is put out with his sister and now with a newer mare. My horse was never really put in with any other horses but Charlie (the aggressive one who is now gone to a new barn). So, my horse never really socialized with all the other horses.

This gelding was always put with his mother (relocated to a new barn a few months ago) and his sister...now he is put with the two mares. My horse is alpha but never showed aggression like this before!
I guess the only thing to do, like my BO and Dreamcleaner says, is to keep these two separated. Like I said, they are fine going out on trail together...I'm just bummed bc I know my BO was trying to give my horse a chance to mix with some of the others now, since Charlie is gone, and then this happens on the first day...
I feel terrible for that other horse! My horse charges his stall when I take him out of his own stall and this poor horse goes out to his run to get away form him!! Is there anything I can do to stop this behavior? I REALLY want him to get along with everybody!
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:44 PM  
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Twice I've seen nice horses just take a dislike to another horse. In the end they were just not kept together.

What makes horses dislike each other?
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:58 PM  
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Horses have personalities just like people. Some horses just rub other horses the wrong way. I know. I have one of those. When I had two geldings and two mares together, things were smooth, because one gelding sort of took one mare and the other gelding took the other. Then the two geldings would rough house, and mark each other up, but never really viciously.

When I ride AJ with other horses, they always keep an ear on him. He just gives off an ornery aura, though he is never allowed to bite or kick them. He is just.... annoying.

One of your statements that concerns me is when you say your geldings kick at each other if one to gets too close, while being ridden. That is a huge red flag to me. You should never deliberately let your horse get too close to another. BUT if it happens, there should not be any kicking going on.

As to sharing a pasture, they just might not be able to do that.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:00 PM  
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While some horses might dis like each other, what is truly happening in most cases is that they are just being horses
Horses will always establish where they belong in a herd. Once that is established, the outward huge aggression hardly ever occurs
Horses need to learn social skills by living with other horses, in an area large enough that those lower down horses won't get cornered or run through a fence
When a new horse is introduced in a herd, very often it is the horses that are lower down that act the most aggressive towards that horse, as the dominant horses are sure of their position, while the lower down ones don't want to loose the position that they have
If your horse were at my place,he would be turned out with my field of geldings
Our ex stallion, that I sold several years ago, came back to board here
On the first few days, he would put a run on any of the other geldings that even came near to the fenceline of the mare field. He even put one gelding over a rail at the stock waterer. The gelding group would always wait until Cody was gone, to come up for water, for those first few days.
Now, that order has been sorted out, Cody hangs out with the other geldings. He is still the boss, but no longer acts very aggressive. He has made his point, and the herd has established order
Your horse needs to be put out with a bunch of geldings, with some that are alpha to him, or you can always keep him separate.
By putting him in each night, he just feels he has to re establish his dominence every morning when first turned out together.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:18 PM  
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If he charges stalls while your leading at him, you need to first establish dominance and respect between him and you. My horses know when I enter the pasture or I'm leading anyone, that I'm in charge and that it's not acceptable to act like that in anyway!
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:45 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
While some horses might dis like each other, what is truly happening in most cases is that they are just being horses
Horses will always establish where they belong in a herd. Once that is established, the outward huge aggression hardly ever occurs
Horses need to learn social skills by living with other horses, in an area large enough that those lower down horses won't get cornered or run through a fence
When a new horse is introduced in a herd, very often it is the horses that are lower down that act the most aggressive towards that horse, as the dominant horses are sure of their position, while the lower down ones don't want to loose the position that they have
If your horse were at my place,he would be turned out with my field of geldings
Our ex stallion, that I sold several years ago, came back to board here
On the first few days, he would put a run on any of the other geldings that even came near to the fenceline of the mare field. He even put one gelding over a rail at the stock waterer. The gelding group would always wait until Cody was gone, to come up for water, for those first few days.
Now, that order has been sorted out, Cody hangs out with the other geldings. He is still the boss, but no longer acts very aggressive. He has made his point, and the herd has established order
Your horse needs to be put out with a bunch of geldings, with some that are alpha to him, or you can always keep him separate.
By putting him in each night, he just feels he has to re establish his dominence every morning when first turned out together.
thanks Smilie. It's fascinating the way you explain horses behavior! What you say makes so much sense! I agree, I think part of the problem is he was never allowed to be in a group of geldings at this barn. He was only turned out with Charlie, and then more recently, a 4 yr old paint mare and a mini he gets along with.
At my former barn he was just thrown in with the herd ( I did not know any better ) and was so submissive and passive i worried about him..but with each new horse and each passing month he became very dominant, but not to the point of actually fighting.
My BO thinks he needs to be put out with her two lead mares--big draft horses--she says they will teach him how to behave (?)

BTW--the gash the other horse had on his chest was not caused by my horse, it was caused by a broken pipe near the automatic waterer where the scuffle was. the bite marks WERE caused by my horse He's doing just fine but these two horses will not be turned out together.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:49 PM  
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Originally Posted by heckyes17 View Post
If he charges stalls while your leading at him, you need to first establish dominance and respect between him and you. My horses know when I enter the pasture or I'm leading anyone, that I'm in charge and that it's not acceptable to act like that in anyway!
My fault--I don't usually put him on a lead rope when I let him out of his stall...I usually let him roam a little, it's an enclosed area where all the stalls front gates are. I am starting to put him on a lead now though--he does very well when I lead
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:53 PM  
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Originally Posted by singing tree View Post
Horses have personalities just like people. Some horses just rub other horses the wrong way. I know. I have one of those. When I had two geldings and two mares together, things were smooth, because one gelding sort of took one mare and the other gelding took the other. Then the two geldings would rough house, and mark each other up, but never really viciously.

When I ride AJ with other horses, they always keep an ear on him. He just gives off an ornery aura, though he is never allowed to bite or kick them. He is just.... annoying.

One of your statements that concerns me is when you say your geldings kick at each other if one to gets too close, while being ridden. That is a huge red flag to me. You should never deliberately let your horse get too close to another. BUT if it happens, there should not be any kicking going on.

As to sharing a pasture, they just might not be able to do that.
we're working on not following too closely...he likes to be right on top of the lead horse--depending on who it is...we're working on riding side by side
My BO says my horse is the youngest gelding at her barn and trying to assert his dominance...some of this behavior is his personality but I am positive he learned some of this from always being kept with that aggressive horse who is now gone.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:54 PM  
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Your horse sounds just like mine! He's totally fine with all gelding, even if you throw just 1 mare in the field, but more then 1 mare and he goes a little crazy and will fight with other geldings. But that is because he was a stallion for a little longer then I had hoped (gotta love crypts).

He may never be able to be in a mixed herd. See if putting him out with the 2 draft mares help or not
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:44 AM  
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While I agree most horses 99.9% of the time work it out. It can happen that they just won't. The one case, my gf/s standard and my tb. My poor tb was covered in war wounds, hair missing, losing weight. We rode them together, we worked them together in the round pen. Nothing worked.

Also, I would like to point out some running room definitely helps. Allowing the horses to put distance between them.

It does quite often work itself out. But, especially when it is two different owners, one gets angry and the other is racked with guilt, although it's not like you can control it. If someone is at risk to get hurt, I still say just separate. If in considered opinion that is not likely, then try to let them work it.
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