Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: West Central Illinois
• Horses: 0
I will agree with the majority of people who posted, the horses are either playing or establishing dominance.
Are these horses making contact when they kick?
If one horse is particularly agressive to the other, I would separate them. My instructors yearling Hawkeye is a very submissive horse, and his herd-mates took advantage of that. Annie and Joey would bite him and made contact on several occasions. I was cleaning out the run in shed one day and Annie wanted a drink. Hawkeye was "in her way", so she kicked and nailed him right on his left hock. My instructor decided to move Hawkeye to the other pasture that day, and has much less trouble with new herd mate, Monty.
If they aren't making contact, and they don't seem to be agressive (ear pinning, pawing, "intent to hurt" biting, tail swishing, etc.) I would leave them be. Horse play looks similar to fighting, but in reality, playing doesn't hurt either horse. Fighting is intended to hurt (usually just enough to say, "hey, I'm in charge, so do what I tell you".
And I'll be another advocate to take the halters off. Unless your horses are so difficult to catch it takes you two hours to actually get the halter on the horse, don't leave it on. (If this is the case, there are major training issues that need to be adressed.)
The only time I've ever seen somebody leave halters on horses was when a new horse was being introduced to a herd. All of the horses had halters left on in case the newbie needed to be removed from the pasture. All the horses were supervised by myself and my instructor. The halters were removed before we left.
Last edited by A knack for horses; 02-06-2011 at 02:11 PM.