Horse Dominance
 
 

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Horse Dominance

This is a discussion on Horse Dominance within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Change in herd dominance
  • How is dominance decided in the pasture

 
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    11-04-2011, 11:29 PM
  #1
Foal
Horse Dominance

My husband and I have two quarter horses -- a gelding and a mare -- about the same age. The mare has always been the dominant of the two; however, just recently he has taken over and is now the boss. We don't understand the sudden change. She is due to foal in March. Could that have any bearing on this behavior change in the both of them? Thanks for any insight you can give.
     
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    11-04-2011, 11:49 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
HOw very interesting. Perhaps she has backed off in some sort of instictual avoidance of dangerous conflict? I have no idea the reason, but it's interesting .
     
    11-05-2011, 12:40 AM
  #3
Showing
It very well could be. I have one mare who is very dominant and while a great ride, a lot of horse normally but when she is bred she is much more subservient to the herd and more mellow under saddle.
     
    11-05-2011, 12:45 AM
  #4
Green Broke
-With hormonal changes the mare may have become the submissive horse. If that's the case she'll probably take it back after delivering.

-You didn't mention age, two things can happen there. First is the gelding has reached a level of maturity that he's decided it's time to be boss. Second, as they get older it's possible for an alpha to lose their edge and another to take dominance.

-Sometimes they'll swap back and forth. Have friends who had two horses that swapped the top swap every other week (talk about a perpetually stirred up pasture).
     
    11-05-2011, 12:36 PM
  #5
Foal
Thank you all for your responses. Darrin, they are both around 9 yrs. HF, she, too, is the unpredictable one on a ride, but has really mellowed since bred. I think you all are right in that she has backed off so he took the lead. It's a strange sight to see. She's always been so bossy, now he shows her where she can and cannot be. She was the resident horse for a year before I bought him. They got along from the get-go, but she showed him real quick that she was the CEO.
     

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