Too funny. I've only found two horses in 21 years that Arthur gets along with. Unfortunately the MFT passed away several years ago, but he's best buds with our miniature mare now. Everyone else is seen through pinned-back ears.
If it gets really bad, you could put him in an adjoining pasture to the herd so he still has companionship without being able to dish out the kicks.
Also, now he has this huge scrape on his shoulder. It took his hair off! Right down to the skin, and I think some of the skin peeled off too! He is not bleeding, though. The barn owner (she loves him, which is a good thing considering how badly he is behaving at the moment) says that this scrape is "nothing". She wasn't dismissing my concerns, but putting them into perspective, but I still feel like OMG My baby!! All scraped up!!!
At the risk of injecting common sense into this (like, why bother, given all this histrionic drama?) what's the best way to treat an injury like this?
Unless he spends some time with other horses, this is going to continue to happen. Every time new horses are turned out, they need to establish the pecking order. Horses talk with their hooves and their teeth.
As far as treating the scrape, if it's just hair missing - let it be. If the hide is a bit wrinkled, some ointment will keep it soft while the hair grows back.
Sorry "mom" but the pasture bruises are part of horse ownership!
This is why, in part, I now have 2 horses instead of 3. I had a mare and gelding who got along OK at first, but WOW! Things went downhill, and they would keep a look out for a chance to attack the other. I wasn't riding enough to exercise all three, and was tired of constantly trying to keep those two separate.
I voted to keep the mare, but the rest of the family voted to keep the gelding. The mare is now living about 2 miles away, gets ridden almost daily and gets along fine with her two new corral-mates. And a year of riding later, the gelding is an awesome horse, so it all worked out. But as a new horse owner, I had no idea that they could develop hatred like that!
Some horses just don't play nice with others. You shouldn't feel embarrassed -- it's not your child who is beating up other children. It is, after all, a horse. Some horses can acquire social skills by being turned out in a herd with a clear, stable hierarchy and a strong alpha who can set boundaries and won't take any sh*t. Some never will, no matter who or what you turn them out with, and will always be a danger to themselves and others, therefore requiring individual turn-out.
This is Beauseant, our 6 yr. Old OTTB whose report card Looks like this:
Plays well with others: F
The guy we bought him from had to turn him out with cows, because he kept fighting with the herd's alpha.....a HUGE, chunky paint STALLION!! Apparently Beau wouldn't accept his place in the herd and the fighting continued day by day.....our boy took a heck of a beating. Beau kept coming at the Stallion, challenging him....he refused to back down, despite being horribly beaten. When we bought him he had at least 30 severe bites in various stages of healing....most on his neck and some so exensive I didn't think the hair would regrow. I was brushing flaking scabs off of him for six weeks after we bought him.
Finally, fearing for his life, the guy put him in with cows.
After we bought him, he was moved into a herd of 8 mares and geldings. Before the month was out he was supreme ruler and dictator of the herd. When we would go to get him in the field,, we never had problems with any of the other horses crowding us or even coming near us....NO ONE approached him....or anyone near him. When we put him back out with the herd after riding, he would herd the herd.....around and around the pasture he would herd them, with the expertise of a boarder collie.
At his second farm, the BO thought that HER OTTB could teach my OTTB a lesson, and put a stop to his bullying. I warned her of Beau's past record of fighting. But she didn't listen, she acted like it was a game. So she threw our boy into a herd of four OTTB geldings.....I was frantic. He waltzed in there like a ballet dancer, running and rearing ....he picked up the heavy solid wood jump pole in his mouth and tossed it aside. Then he walked up to the alpha....and the alpha caved in. He followed Beau around like a puppy dog. A few days later The BO went into the arena to play ball with her horse and Beau. Beau was very interested in playing, but her horse refused to even approach her when beau was in the arena. He literally went and stood in a corner.
So, she later put him in with her young and wild OTTB....they seemed to be getting along, both were young OTTBs, and full of energy and roughhousing and the next minute there was a ruckus. No one saw what started it, but the hooves were flying. Her horse ended up with a nasty laceration across his cannon bone. And she said "that THING" ( Beau) was never allowed anywhere near any of her horses ever again.
Now we keep our horses at a private farm and he and Epona are the only two horses on the property.....and he bullies her somethng fierce. She's got quite a few bites on her, minor ones....but still......he chases her and bites her waaaay more than we like. Luckily, we do have the option to put them in seperate pastures if the need arises.....
He chases the chickens out of his field, tries to squash the property owner's dogs, and just last week threw a terrible fit when 6 deer wandered into HIS pasture.....he chased them off......all fire and brimstone. Putting on quite a show, rearing, bucking and kicking.....
OP, has your horse ever been randomly injured by another horse? I ask because I had a similar situation with my old gelding. He was younger (I think four?) and was turned out with this mare. They had been turned out together for months with absolutely no problems. Then one day, completely out of the blue, Dakota's owner went to turn him out and the mare spun around and kicked him in the neck for absolutely no reason (at least not any reason that anyone could figure out). The mare was wearing rear shoes and ended up slicing open Dakota's jugular vein. Luckily his owner was standing right there, halter in hand, and had the sense to grab the wound and hold it closed. With her other hand, she called the vet and told them to get there NOW because her hand was the only thing keeping Dakota from bleeding out. As a result of that incident, Dakota has a 5" long, 1.5" wide divot in his neck and he absolutely cannot be turned out with other horses. Even through the fence he will often try to get another horse before it gets him.
Not saying your horse has necessarily had a life-threatening injury caused by another horse, but I wonder if maybe he had a fairly traumatizing experience involving another horse and so he has that "I'm going to get you before you get me" attitude that Dakota does.