Alpha gelding? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-23-2010, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Alpha gelding?

My gelding is a 5 year old RMH/Morgan cross. I have had him since birth. His mother was a very dominant alpha mare, but not the nasty sort. Of course, her dominant behavior when he was a baby was a model for Jack, but I have never come across such a dominant gelding. He is the only gelding in with 5 mares of varying ages(from 2 to 8), some are also quite dominant, but he is the one that seems to be the alpha. There is one mare he will back down from eventually, but she has to go flying at him backwards attempting to double barrel him to get it and even then he will come back to challenge her again within moments. I am very curious to know if anyone else has a gelding that rules the roost? Now, when he was gelded the vet told me that his testicles were huge for his age. They were descended at birth and stayed that way, the vet recommended gelding him early so at 6 months he was done. His testicles(according to the vet) at 6 months were the size of an 18 month old stud colt. That wouldn't have anything to do with his dominant behavior would it? I mean, it's been over 4 years! In the last few months he hasn't been as bad, but if in with a very submissive type horse he is pretty nasty and does a lot of bullying. I know there is not much that can be done with a horses behavior when at liberty in the herd, I am just curious if anyone else has seen this behavior out of a gelding before?
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-23-2010, 10:22 AM
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We have a draft cross gelding that also had a dominant Mare mother. He was gelded early too. We have had to separate very submissive horses out of our herd because he would chase them away from the hay even when we spread out the piles very far apart. Interesting enough although he is a big bully he is also the herd protector. If anything strange is going on he will herd the other horses away from the scary thing and stand in between the object and the other horses. He also has taken to parenting and schooling a young horse that was born on our farm. He is much more tolerant of the babies shenanigans. He was the worst at about four or five years of age. He is seven now and much easier to deal with. He is still definitely the boss and I have never encountered a horse that could dominate him. We have had to be very stern with our training because he constantly tests our dominance.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-23-2010, 11:06 AM
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I've got a 12 year old 15.2h gelding in with a 17h mare and a 9.2h mare. The gelding came in well after the other two but it only took him a week to become the alpha. He stays totally separate from the mares and will pin his ears if they come within 10' of him.

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post #4 of 14 Old 12-23-2010, 11:18 AM
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Soda is well known for his vicious behavior. The only horse he's gotten along with well (and that was after 9-10 months of biting/kicking) was my old mare Flame. He is downright nasty with other horses and will leave big holes in them from biting. Now he learned the joy of double-barrel kicks from Lily and has added that to his pasture behavior.

Of course he can't be kept totally alone either because he runs the fence and acts all crazylike.

Right now he is separated from my pony mare, Lily. This summer they will probably go out in the pasture together, but be separated at night in their separate paddocks.

According to his owner his mother was aggressive because she was small and had to defend herself. I'm assuming that he's learned the behavior from her. He's gotten a little better over the years, but not by much. Thankfully he's never tried anything against a person.

Honestly putting him in with another aggressive/dominant horse would probably lead to one of them (or both) being seriously injured.
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-23-2010, 11:49 AM
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I should have know there was something different about Lord (my bossy gelding) when I first met him. I rode his mother around a small paddock deciding if I would buy her and the week old colt. The whole time I was riding the little foal was jumping up trying to bite my leg and get me off his mother's back. Then my husband named him "Lord". That didn't help either because as we all know animals often grow into their names. You should see my dog my husband named Grendel he's a monster!
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-23-2010, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Whew, I am relieved to know that Jack isn't the only one! I have also had to be stern in my training with Jack, he never gets tired of testing me. I am starting to see a theme with the aggressive mothers though, apparently a dominant mare makes for dominant babies period.

Strangely enough, I have put Jack in with the most aggressive horses on the farm and except for one of his half sisters(that is kind of a nut, to be blunt, and is MEAN to other horses) he ends up buddies with them! Then they team up to pick on less dominant members. I put him in with the biggest strictest mare on the farm and they ended up eating hay out of the same pile. I am hoping that he will continue to mature and back off a bit like Snowkickers boy, he is JUST 5.

I am curious about the intelligence level of our geldings? We all love our babies, but we have to be honest and say that some are sharper than others. Jack is a problem solver, I swear he grows thumbs at night. I have to double and triple lock things to keep him contained. He has also let the entire herd out once or twice. He flips light switches in the run in if you don't hit the breaker, takes off his halter, unties himself, you name it he does it.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-23-2010, 04:59 PM
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Nope, Jack isn't the only one. Some horses are just naturally dominant. My guy Dobe is one of those and while he keeps it civil so long as nobody challenges him, if they pin their ears or squeal, then it's war. He even whips up on my Percheron gelding who is also dominant. He is only submissive to Dobe (who is about half his size) LOL.

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post #8 of 14 Old 12-30-2010, 11:56 AM
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I can't leave a halter on another horse if Lord is around. He takes them off. He is smart and learns super fast compared to the other horses I work with. When cleaning out his hooves he often lifts the next one before you ask him to. He can anticipate what you want from him. At the same time he is also always trying to play little games with you to make it more interesting for him. Like what happens if I'm a little naughty and step into her space, or if I just stand here instead of moving forward? My other boys are dumber but more obedient.
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-30-2010, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Oooh, Jack does that! She wants me to back straight, so I will back just a liiiitle to the left. Hee Hee, now when she tries again I am gonna back to the right. HAHAHAHAHA, now I will be perfect and then when she tells me to gait I am going to go as slow as I can!
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-30-2010, 12:06 PM
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I don't know that Soda's all that smart. Actually he is pretty smart unless he's scared. Then he's a complete and utter moron.

He's constantly lipping/mouthing on things and figures out what I'm trying to teach him pretty quickly. Oftentimes it only takes me positioning my body correctly for him to have it down pat. I don't leave halters on in the paddock and my gates are shut in such a way that he cannot undo them, so I don't know if he's "smart" in that sense.
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