what to do - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 6 Old 08-24-2012, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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what to do

I've had my mare for a month now and I have her in a lg stall were the owners turn her out with another mare three times a week. When she is turned out she is fed with the other mare. It has gone well untill today. I went to get my mare out and the other horse was chaseing her around and was not letting her come over to me. I finally had to hit the horse on the butt with my lead line ( not hard) to get it away from my horse then once I get my horse out I see bite marks and nips all over her. Plus she is only 13.3 hands. I wonder if I should tell them not to turn them out together anymore or if Im just over reacting and there just being horses and getting used to eachother still. Well any advice would be great thanks

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post #2 of 6 Old 08-24-2012, 06:07 AM
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You might very well be overreacting. When horses are turned out together, then biting, nipping, kicking is quite natural to them, especially when their hierarchy has not yet been fully settled. This sometimes takes more time if the horses are stalled overnight and don't get the chance to live together in a herd environment 24/7. Don't cut your mare off from the company of other horses, they will sort everything out by themselves.

Of course, if the other horse is persistently and overly violent, inflicting serious injuries on your horse, etc., you might consider turning your mare out with some other horse.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-24-2012, 10:54 AM
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Something has off set their chain of command recently if the problem are just starting now, or now they're finally convinced they'll see a lot of each other and the other mare is asserting dominance. Give it a few days to settle itself and if it doesn't then bring your concerns to the bo. As long as she's still getting to eat and drink and isn't maimed then it's just natural heard mentality.

Believe it or not it's the lead mare in a heard that makes all the decisions, even the stallion follows her lead because she's the one that takes care of the heard.

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post #4 of 6 Old 08-24-2012, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by sheenaschlytter View Post
Ive had my mare for a month now and I have her in a lg stall were the owners turn her out with another mare three times a week. When she is turned out she is fed with the other mare. It has gone well untill today. I went to get my mare out and the other horse was chaseing her around and was not letting her come over to me. I finally had to hit the horse on the butt with my lead line ( not hard) to get it away from my horse then once I get my horse out I see bite marks and nips all over her. Plus she is only 13.3 hands. I wonder if I should tell them not to turn them out together anymore or if Im just over reacting and there just being horses and getting used to eachother still. Well any advice would be great thanks
every time the "herd" is turned out there will be hierarchy established. If your mare challenges position in any way (in horse language)(she probably will time to time especially if she is youngish) the lead mare will put her in her place again. Lots of things can affect the order of things as pointed out in the post above...ex. Heat cycles, other new horses near by, order of turn out........ my lead mare is the last of 6 to be turned out daily...she runs around near every other horse turning her rear to them, sometimes with a cow kick in their direction (every day)...in their language she is saying "I'm in charge" never do the other horses challenge her authority and seconds later peace in the herd. BTW size has nothing to do with hierarchy in a herd

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post #5 of 6 Old 08-24-2012, 12:38 PM
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Nips are normal. My horse is the dominant mare in her "herd" of three as she is the strongest. The other mare is older, but not in as good a shape as her. The other horse is a gelding. Unless she is getting really beat up, then she should be fine.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-25-2012, 08:29 PM
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If they are only turned out together 3x a week they probably have to restablish the pecking order every time... your mare may be feeling more secure at the barn and more comfortable challenging the other mare a bit.. hence the nips. My boy is bottom of the pecking order... always seems to have nips all over his shoulders... but when I am there, the 3 guys are always standing side by side peacefully... unless your mare is losing weight, she probably is getting enough food, and maybe you just caught them at a bitchy time! Keep an eye on her weight.. that should tell you if she is being kept away from the food frequently...
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