Pasture Aggression
 
 

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Pasture Aggression

This is a discussion on Pasture Aggression within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse aggression in the pasture
  • Aggressive horse behavior in pasture

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    11-24-2013, 06:36 AM
  #1
Foal
Pasture Aggression

Hello Everyone! I built my own barn 3 years ago and while I am a 30 year horsewoman...I am learning many interesting things when you only have 2 horses! It started with a buddy sour horse who finally had to be sold. I have had two together now for a year and they are great. Attached at the hip but both are able to be ridden individually with no problems. I have a third stall and recently my friend bought a gelding (my two are geldings as well) and moved him here. His name is Danny. Everyone got to meet in stalls next to each other. Turnout is fine with Danny and my horse Roux. However, my older horse (23!) seems to think he can only have one friend, and is very, very aggressive towards Danny. Whether it is just the two of them out, or all three of them out, Marquis wants to chase, bite, kick. I have 8 acres of turnout and my husband says let them sort it out. I agree to a point but the chase continues too often for my comfort. So now I am separating Roux and Marquis to see if I can break up this bond a bit. Roux and Danny out at night. Marquis and Danny out during the day. Separate fields would be great but expensive especially with having to get an additional shelter. Has anyone with only two horses had this much trouble introducing a third????
     
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    11-24-2013, 07:34 AM
  #2
Foal
I'm in the same boat, only I introduced a mare to a herd of two geldings. My boy decided he was alpha over all and tries to kill my mom's 33 year old gelding every chance he gets. In my case the aggression is not going away even after a year and I can't chance that they will work it out. The older guy can't take it anymore.

Thankfully I have separate pastures. The older boy will live out his remaining days in his own adjoining pasture.

Sorry I don't have more advice for your situation. It's too bad your existing setup couldn't be divided. I'm interested to see what other advice you receive.
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    11-24-2013, 10:14 AM
  #3
Foal
I don't have a lot of experience in this matter but what I've seen as new horses have been introduced in the pasture where I board is they will work it out themselves. It has taken as little as a few hours to a few weeks. Sometimes it get pretty ugly and they need to be separated for a while.

Key
     
    11-24-2013, 10:42 AM
  #4
Trained
When a new horse is introduced into one of the herds here we turn them loose after a couple of days and allow them to sort it out.
The longest it has taken is nearly 3 weeks before things settle down and that was with a yearling who was sent to be trained and weaned. After 60 days at the trainers even her dam would not allow the filly near her.
It took 3 weeks before the filly could work her way back into the herd and another 3 weeks before she could graze of or beside her dam.
Those horses are doing what horses do in a herd environment establishing the pecking order and enforcing it.
Mine are not stalled so if you do stall them at night or remove one for a day or two they will start the process all over again.
It might be hard to watch but the only wounds I have seen here are superficial. Shalom
     
    11-24-2013, 12:43 PM
  #5
Foal
Thanks everyone. It has been 3 weeks already :( I'm going with my gut and trying to keep my original two apart for awhile in the hopes that my older guy will realize he is either alone or with the new guy. So make friends! The aggressive older guy is out with the new guy during the day so at least Danny can see well if a big chase entails. At night Danny is out with Roux, who is nice to him. Who knows...when all 3 are together eventually it may get ugly again but I hope not! I'm kind of worried to hear that swimminchikin had no luck after a year! In bigger herds it seems to work itself out better.
     
    11-24-2013, 07:59 PM
  #6
Foal
I just went through the same thing. My mare and gelding have been together (but in separate pastures at boarding facilities) since he was born. 11 years later we finally bought our own farm last year and they have been here together since Feb. They became attached at the hip although my gelding has always remained alpha.

Last month we got a companion pony mare so that if I have one out vs the other, the horse left behind would still have a buddy. My gelding hated the pony. We even aced him the first day they were fully together so he couldn't run after her and had to get used to her. Everything seemed *ok* and she had a few nips here and there after a week, but nothing major.

He kept keeping my other mare away from her though and started protecting the field. We went out one day for a few hours, came back and the pony was standing in a corner of the field. After 15 mins she was still there so I went and got her. There was evidence that she had gone down (mud on her hip) and he grabbed her by the crest of her neck. Thank goodness he didn't do worse.

For the past 3 weeks now he's been separated in his own field and the two girls are together. They like each other, he seems very happy and content that he doesn't need to protect anyone anymore and all is well. I only have 4.22 acres, but it's laid out very well so they all have room. I do want to build another shelter at some point, but until then he can use a paddock that has one on bad days.

On a positive note, him and the pony have been nuzzling and grooming over the fence so it may just be that my boy needs more time getting to know her and see her there before introducing. They were over the fence for a week prior to me putting her in with them, but that may not have been long enough for him. Maybe it's the same with your boy? Maybe he just needs more time to adjust with him on the other side.
     
    11-24-2013, 08:52 PM
  #7
Green Broke
It will take as long as it takes. Some horses have no issues from the start. Some will seem to take forever. We introduced a horse to our herd in September. The herd didn't accept him, or at least didn't stop picking on him, until February when we introduced 2 more horses.

We introduced a 6 month old weanling in the summer and he was fine from the beginning.
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    11-24-2013, 09:34 PM
  #8
Trained
Usually they will sort things out just so they have plenty of space. I did have a mare that was very aggressive and very big. She ended up kicking the shoulder of another horse so severely that the horse required surgery. I put her in with another horse, and she did the same thing to him. I had to keep her separated. Eventually I trade that horse. The new owner had horses that were more her size and she did fine.
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    11-25-2013, 11:27 AM
  #9
Foal
I have a similar problem too. I have an idea but not sure it will work for you or me. So I would also like some advice and it may be beneficial for both of us. I just got a 5 1/2 month Stud Colt, Registered. I also have a 12 year old Mammoth Jenny in the same 5 acre field. And a big barn. I have another field behind this one, just a little smaller. Sometimes I open the gate and let them access that field too. My north fence runs the entire length for both fields. On the north side of my fence, there are 14 horses/donkeys. 2 or 3 geldings, 3 donkeys, mares and one big bad 16h+ 1100 lb stud saddlehorse. He rules that field and leads the posse. When I let my stud colt out of the barn for exercise and he goes near that fence, the big stud aggressively runs to the fence and actually starts trying to stamp the bottom of the fence down with his hoofs and leans well into it. My colt don't understand the problem and he approaches the stud. Yesterday the stud snapped his teeth like a bear trap, missing my studs mouth by inches. I am afraid the stud will tear the fence down and kill my colt. I'm thinking of installing a hot wire on the fence. Any ideas??? For now, I have to stay in the field with my colt and run the stud away from the fence but I do not intimidate him much at all.
Thanks
     
    11-25-2013, 11:44 AM
  #10
Trained
I have had the neighbor's stud break into my pasture and almost kill a colt of mine. I would take that situation very seriously.
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