Will other horses kill or bite an injured horse?

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Will other horses kill or bite an injured horse?

This is a discussion on Will other horses kill or bite an injured horse? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Will a horse really injure another horse with a bite
  • Will horses fight to kill each other

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    03-30-2011, 12:18 AM
Will other horses kill or bite an injured horse?

I found a horse in a field near my house injured. There were about 6 other horses gathered around it and they were nipping at it, one actually put his leg in his mouth and they were nipping at his neck. I had to get a big tree branch to chase the other horses away so I could get to the injured horse. When I was able to get to it, it had a few bite marks on its neck but mostly wet hair. One was actually on its knees, kneeling down to the other horse---I know this horse was old and sick. Have you ever seen anything like this or do you have any idea if they were trying to help it get up or if they were hurting it?
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    03-30-2011, 10:41 AM
Horses CAN go after the older and/or sick animal. One of mine (which is mean in general and always looks for a chance) did it all the time in boarding barn. And you can't really stop it unless separating that horse.

However I don't quite understand what you try to describe. I mean, what do you mean by "putting leg in mouth"?
    03-31-2011, 12:41 AM

What I meant was the other horse was down and another horse was kneeling down and biting the injured horse on his legs and actually had the other horses leg in his mouth, like he was chewing on it. Have you ever seen a group of horses doing such a thing? This was about 6 horses that seemed to be picking on the sick one.
    03-31-2011, 12:46 AM
Yes, horses can kill other horses. Espeically if they feel like their 'territory' such as a pasture is being invaded and they don't accept any new members. This is why people need to be careful when introducing other horses with each other if one or both is known to be very dominate.
    03-31-2011, 01:35 AM
I know wild stallions will kill weak/sickly foals. But I have also seen horses try to help a downed horse up, resulting in bit marks along the downed mare's neck. It could go either way, but it's possible they were trying to get the horse up.
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    03-31-2011, 06:45 AM
Green Broke
I agree with ricci. How else do they try and help a fallen comrade up? They use what they have. Teeth and hooves. If they felt this animal was a threat to the herd they would simply leave it there and go far away from it so predators don't follow the herd but focus on the down horse. Instinct. This older horse must have had some kind of status in the herd that they would gather around it and try to get it up. Question,, what happened to this horse?
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    03-31-2011, 07:58 AM
What I am confused about is what you describe is you going into a field of horses that are not yours and chasing them with a stick. Is that really what you did?
    03-31-2011, 08:02 AM
Green Broke
Always, I was thinking the same thing but wow I think it would be hard to sit there and watch that. You know?
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    03-31-2011, 08:11 AM
What would have happened if the horses were fighting and her walking into it got her hurt?
    03-31-2011, 08:17 AM
Green Broke
I understand. I know that she waked into a danger zone. I just know if it were me, it would be very hard to watch that. You know? That's all I'm saying.
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