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need advice

This is a discussion on need advice within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        03-07-2013, 10:49 PM
      #1
    Foal
    need advice

    After 18 years of being horseless, I know have 3 horses. Basically all rescues. The one mare and the gelding we have had for 8 months and 6 months respectively. The mare has always been of an Alpha mare personality and would boss all the other horses she was herded with previously and bossed the old gelding we got 6 months ago. Just this past weekend, we purchased another gelding who is about 3 1/2 years old. He left our other gelding alone, but kept challenging our mare for dominance. In the past week, it looks like he has won as he chases her away when we feed them until he gets his food first. Now, she doesn't seem happy about him, but seems calmer in a way. I know this is probably a stupid question, but I have never had three horses before. I only had one when I was growing up and we boarded a pony for a few months, but never was able to see herd dynamics in action. Is this normal? Will they eventually work it out amongst themselves? I really would like for the mare to calm down as she always seems to be on high alert and can be a real pain to work with, yet I want her to be happy as well, or am I just anthropomorphizing them? I really don't want to have to rehome the new gelding as I can see he has already had a rough start in life from the scar on his face and neck like someone has either lassoed him, bridled him tightly, or whipped him. They are not biting or kicking at each other, he just lays his ears back and walks towards the mare and she walks off. If we try to feed her first, he will chase her away from it, but won't bother the older gelding.
         
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        03-07-2013, 10:57 PM
      #2
    Yearling
    Yes. It's normal. They will establish a pecking order and the herd will settle down and function as a herd.
         
        03-07-2013, 11:02 PM
      #3
    Started
    Yes it is normal, as long as no one is beating the crap out of the other, after a week or two. Like you noticed they kind of settled down now, and that's a good thing. I am kind of a stickler about this. I don't like seeing horses beat up each other for food. We have a mare boarded at our place that is nasty. She will walk over to the other horses and just kick the snot out of them. For no reason other than she is bored. (her owner does nothing with her, and I think the horse has more energy than it knows what to do with) If I were you (if you feed hay) put it in a few piles that way if the gelding chases the mare she will still have food and vice versa. I like to put a pile or two more than I have horses. In your case 4 or 5 piles of hay. That's just something I like to do
    jannette likes this.
         
        03-07-2013, 11:03 PM
      #4
    Banned
    I know an ol gal that when her dominant mare got too mean, and unruly, she'd throw her stud out with them, to (show her whos boss) calm her down-- its a good thing really-- mares just don't know when theyre being too mean to the herd-- a stud, or dominant gelding will always be the highest ranking horse, then a mare will be the second, in a herd of horses.
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        03-07-2013, 11:10 PM
      #5
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Casey02    
    Yes it is normal, as long as no one is beating the crap out of the other, after a week or two. Like you noticed they kind of settled down now, and that's a good thing. I am kind of a stickler about this. I don't like seeing horses beat up each other for food. We have a mare boarded at our place that is nasty. She will walk over to the other horses and just kick the snot out of them. For no reason other than she is bored. (her owner does nothing with her, and I think the horse has more energy than it knows what to do with) If I were you (if you feed hay) put it in a few piles that way if the gelding chases the mare she will still have food and vice versa. I like to put a pile or two more than I have horses. In your case 4 or 5 piles of hay. That's just something I like to do
    Luckily, we haven't seen that happen, he just walks over to her with his ears pinned and takes her bowl and she moves to his bowl. I do put out several piles of hay and they don't seem to mess with each other as much over the hay it is at sweet feed and grain time that they mess with one another.
    Thunderspark likes this.
         
        03-07-2013, 11:11 PM
      #6
    Foal
    Meanwhile, the 20 year old gelding seems to be laughing at the "young" pups...
    Thunderspark likes this.
         
        03-07-2013, 11:46 PM
      #7
    Trained
    Toto around here the mares reign supreme. No stallion or gelding bosses my two dominate mares. In fact the stallion is pretty lack around any mare. No gelding however may approach his pen without a challenge.
    OP they will settle down and I would spread their feed at least 20 feet apart. Shalom
         
        03-07-2013, 11:47 PM
      #8
    Banned
    Perfectly normal.

    Some horses can't figure it out, but that's rare and not what's happening in your case. With some horses they never stop fighting and they get hurt, but as yours is just pinning ears and the mare is responding - it's perfectly normal.

    In fact it sounds like it will do your mare good, once she accepts it. She doesn't have to be on high alert anymore, your new horse has it covered.
         
        03-07-2013, 11:53 PM
      #9
    Banned
    Lol, don't tell our gelding that-- he might be a little over dominant.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    dbarabians likes this.
         
        03-07-2013, 11:57 PM
      #10
    Foal
    Thanks everyone. I figured it was all normal, but my husband kept getting worried saying our mare didn't look happy with the new comer....I think she looks more relaxed personally!
    Thunderspark likes this.
         

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