New horse hazing or overly aggressive welcome?
 
 

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New horse hazing or overly aggressive welcome?

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  • What is hazing with horses
  • What is hazing a horse

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    08-13-2012, 10:18 PM
  #1
Foal
New horse hazing or overly aggressive welcome?

On Tuesday we brought a new horse home to join the herd. The ottb and quarter pony have not given the new qh a very warm welcome. I knew there would be dominance establishing but the ottb took it way too far. He hasn't turned to kicking but was biting the new guy bloody. I don't want to separate them but it looks like I may need to I bought ottb a grazing muzzle. He was convinced he was suffocating and would surely die as soon as I put it on him. Started hyperventilating, rolling, moaning, kicking legs in the air on his back. He's a head case drama queen by nature. After I spent some one on one with him he eventually believed me that he wasn't dying. So all went well for a couple days. They left the new guy alone and all was peaceful... Until I tried taking Hannibal Lector's face mask off today. I got super excited b/c all was fine. Then I threw them out some hay. In separate piles, far away from each other. Then the chasing and biting started up again so I realized ottb was not reformed and gave him his creepy muzzle back. Ottb doesn't keep weight well and restricting his grazing is not a good answer to this. I guess I just wondered if anybody had a similar issue and if muzzling worked eventually? Thanks for any input! Like I wrote, I don't want to separate them and really don't have the means to without dumping more $than I have right now into sectioning off the 4.5 acre pasture... But I may have no choice
     
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    08-13-2012, 10:55 PM
  #2
Weanling
Was the OTTB the dominant horse out of your two original horses?

Generally in larger herds, the lead horse should boss the new one a bit, but some horses (at least in my experience) take it too far. I have one mare who goes nuts with new horses - wants to beat them black and blue, keep them as far away from her buddies as possible, loses her mind completely in the pasture and barely eats or rests while she's trying to keep her eye on the new guy at all times. As soon as you put a 'real' lead horse in the mix, though, that horse straightens everybody right out: puts the new horse in its place, but also keeps the obsessive mare from getting too aggressive and ridiculous. I really don't know why the mare does it - she's the sweetest thing around people, and even around other 'established' herd members, but she just goes loony with new horses.

If you don't have a mediating 'boss' horse, you can step in and do the job.
     
    08-13-2012, 10:59 PM
  #3
Foal
I'm still not sure who the boss of the original two is. The pony sometimes seems to be and then it flops... Those two are completely sickening though. They won't go more than five feet of each other.
     
    08-14-2012, 01:19 AM
  #4
Weanling
I wouldnt generally turn a new horse out with the herd straight away, I prefer to let them get to know each other with the safety of a fence in between for awhile. That said people often do it with no problems.

Do you have any electric tape that you can put up and make the new guy his own area? That way they can get used to each other and the new horse wont get bitten to shreds. If the bullying keeps up I can't really think of any other way to stop it.
Good luck!

     
    08-14-2012, 01:20 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Is the pony a mare? I've had trouble before with a gelding-gelding-mare mix; in this instance I had two geldings together who were fine until I added a pony mare and stuff hit the fan then I tell you; I had to separate them.

If you can wait it out, with nobody pegging off from blood loss in the meantime, your herd should eventually settle. This may take a couple of weeks or more depending on how determined everyone is. There will likely always be the occasional squabble but with less violence once the pecking order is established.

With regard to feeding hay, I always put out at least one more pile of hay than I have horses (eg three horses then four piles of hay). This seems to set up a less competitive atmosphere and gives the lowest one in the pecking order amble opportunity to eat.
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    08-14-2012, 01:29 AM
  #6
Foal
When I introduced my new mare to my gelding and mare, im pretty sure if I had not separated them, one of the mares would have run until one dropped dead. Old mare chased new mare relentlessly. New mare would not stand up.for herself and they chased like that for two hours. I finally decided it wasn't going to be easy like my last two introductions. I put up some temporary electric fence for about a week. Then after the squealing at the fence stopped, I took it down. New mare learned to stand up to old mare and they're best friends now. It takes time. My suggestion is temporary fence. If you have electric fence, You can make a small square off of your existing fence anywhere, using cheap elec fence tape. And put new horse in it. Doesn't have to be huge.
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    08-14-2012, 04:37 AM
  #7
Green Broke
To me, it's pretty normal to have a bit of biting.

If any strange horse comes near my mare she'll kick them with both back legs. No messing around with biting. I wish she just bit.

It all usually settles down after a couple of weeks.

I wouldn't muzzle a horse because of aggression. A stiff canvas rug should stop to worst of it. You have to let them sort it out. The new horse has to learn his place and he can't really do that if you're muzzling the other horse.

If it's really stressing out the new horse I'd put them in paddocks with a shared fence line, and gradually introduce them.
     
    08-14-2012, 05:09 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Size of the horse doesn't make it the lead horse. From what I've seen, the lead horse is not the aggressive one. It has been one lower in ranking, trying to keep its position. When we introduced a coworker's horse to our herd, the lead horse, our oldest mare, walked over to him, turned and gave him both back hooves to the chest and walked away. She really hasn't done anything since to him. However, our youngest mare constantly is pinning her ears at him and chases him off. I've seen it in other herds to.

Setting up a temporary fence is a good idea just until they get more used to each other.

As for the canvas rug idea, I've seen those ripped to shreds in one day. I don't know what it is about that canvas material, but they did not like it. In that same pasture/turnout, the nylon ones were left alone.
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    08-14-2012, 05:23 AM
  #9
Weanling
I can understand not wanting to spend more $ than you have to but you may end up spending more than the cost of some temporary fencing on vet bills if the bullying gets really nasty
     
    08-14-2012, 05:52 AM
  #10
Weanling
Horses can be strange, I seperated my sister's gelding out with electric because the second in command couldn't handle the pressure and ran him ragged. Then after about a month we put them all in together and everything was fine. The new horse needed time to get used to all the goings on so he could stand up for himself. My lead horse just has to look or maybe pin his ears to get the response he is looking for.

Just a side story I have this little haflinger and the second in command (or at least thinks he is) was chasing him off the food after about 15 mins (hafie is very stubborn and keeps coming back) my lead horse chased the second off and the hafie got down to eating, he wouldn't let the second come back in for at least another 15 mins and then all was well. He is a good leader.

Like a above poster said put out one extra pile the ottb should figure out its a waste of time.

I know its stressful I got sick of fences and now all are together and they get along but it does take time.
     

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