Is my mare "herd bound"? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-26-2011, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Beautiful rural NSW, AUSTRALIA
Posts: 163
• Horses: 2
Question Is my mare "herd bound"?

So... Piper (7 yo thoroughbred mare) joined my aged arab x stockhorse mare, Sienna, a couple of months ago. Best thing I ever did. It's beautiful to watch them being horses together. My old girl has been given a new lease on life, galloping and bucking with her friend in the paddock, complete with flagged tail. They live out 24/7 on 5 acres of lush pasture at the back of my house.

A few things have suggested to me that Piper may be herd bound... or Sienna bound to be more precise. She:
(a) jumped 5' fence into house yard where Sienna was grazing;
(b) calls when led out (onto road) and rushes to get back to Sienna;
(c) gallops and bucks along the fenceline when Sienna is led out;
(d) pulls free from tie, and gallops to find Sienna if she is out of sight/sound and today she broke my last clip on lead rope.

She is friendly, easy to catch, very willing (much more than Sienna has ever been) and will stand tied as long as Sienna is within sight/sound. If she thinks Sienna "is gone" she seems to panic, break free, call, gallop etc. Once she has re-joined Sienna she will generally just stand with her, kinda panting but fine to be led back and re-tied.

I'm concerned that if leading out is a bit of a problem now, then riding out in the future is going to be a BIG problem and what about when Sienna is no longer with us?

Do you think Piper is herd bound?
Any ideas on working through it?

Thanks for reading.

No matter what road I travel, I'm going home and if I'm riding a horse I am halfway there.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-26-2011, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 69
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Hi - Piper is DEFINATELY herd/sienna bound. And yes its probably going to get worse, not better, unless you start working to overcome it. Try some of these articles for tips :)

ASPCA - Virtual Pet Behaviorist - Horses Who Are Herd Bound and Buddy Sour

Herd Bound Horse - Fixing a Common Problem | Parelli | Parelli

Herd Bound Behavior
simplysouthern is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 07-26-2011, 05:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Goat Country with Tia
Posts: 1,977
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Ohhh yeah. Sounds exactly like my horses. Relana is "girls" bound, and Relan is herd bound lol. Relan doesn't like to leave his ladies(:

"The hand should be a filter, not a plug or an open faucet."
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-28-2011, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Beautiful rural NSW, AUSTRALIA
Posts: 163
• Horses: 2
Talking She is already much better...

and less Sienna bound after only ONE day of directed training to correct it.

Those links you gave me were great. Thank you so much for providing them. I read them last night and went out today with a firm plan of being the capable, assertive leader Piper deserves and just did everything as normal (caught her, tied her, fed her, groomed her etc) then led her away (out of sight from Sienna) for a quiet handgraze.

Piper did not call to Sienna once and when she spooked at a truck coming over the wooden bridge, she spooked in place, looked to me and then rested her head against my shoulder before going back to grazing. Yesterday that would have sent her hurtling towards Sienna at top speed.

We still have a way to go but I feel confident that we can work through it. And it is ME who has to change, to be the leader in every situation and Piper will follow willingly. I could have slapped myself upside the head for thinking Piper had a problem when it was me allowing this (unpleasant) thing to happen.

Live and learn.

No matter what road I travel, I'm going home and if I'm riding a horse I am halfway there.
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