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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

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        11-25-2013, 12:27 PM
      #11
    Green Broke
    I might be able to off some insight, based on two of my experiences --- IF I can explain things so they make sense to more than the neighborhood JackA**

    Three of my horses have been together a minimum of 17-1/2 years. The strong Alpha and the Passive leader (happily second-in-command) have been together 20+ years. They were all geldings when I bought them.

    I bought a long two year old colt in 2004. I kept him in a separate pasture until after I was able to get the vet here to geld him. I gave him a few more weeks of over-the-fence conversation, until he healed from the castration.

    Everyone seemed to get along, over the fence but I still sensed something amiss with my strong alpha leader who, by 2006, was 19 years old.

    I picked a nice quiet warm full of peaceful sunshine day to put Sultan in with the three old guys.

    While things weren't peaceful, things weren't out of control ---- then all of a sudden they would get out of control and either the Alpha or horse #3 would be chasing the colt trying for all their worth to run him thru the fence We have 23 acres so he had plenty of room to turn until I could get to him on the 4-wheeler.

    I took to keeping him separated on the days I had to work and it was literally MONTHS before there was unsettled peace in the pasture. I bought Sultan in February and it was probably August before I felt I could breath when all of them were pastured together.

    I studied them every day, trying to figure out the personality conflict. My best un-educated guess was that Sultan, the new kid, had somewhat of a dominant personality and while he wasn't really fighting my Alpha for total leadership, I would see him picking at my Alpha, safely testing the waters.

    When that happened my third in line (who was & still is the heir apparent to leadership because horse #2 doesn't want it), would go into Holy Fits and viciously tear after the colt. It was a toss up who was more agile of the two and it was a comedy to watch as long as the fence wasn't part of the game.

    I lost Sultan as a coming 4 yo to a freak pasture accident on a rainy day. It was about two weeks after the race horse, Barbaro's accident, when Sultan fell with a shattered front leg. Every bone between his ankle and knee was splintered. He is still here, below the barn, waiting for the others to join him someday.

    Hang in there, this is really is going to apply to your horses

    On to the next #4 Horse, also a TWH, that I got sucked into buying by a friend who needed a little more cash to get her roof fixed.

    Joker came to live with us about four months after Sultan's passing. He was the last horse in the pecking order at my friend's farm and has stayed the last horse on my farm. Joker has no desire whatsoever to climb over someone for herd leadership. He is perfectly content to let everyone else tell him what to do in an emergency.

    The day I brought him home, I put him in the little pasture in front of the house so I could watch everyone introduce themselves and talk.

    Something about my alpha's body language and way of talking made me think he actually liked and would quickly accept Joker. My horses always come in at night, so everyone had stall time to get acquainted and the very next day I turned Joker out with everyone.

    To my astonishment there was no squealing, no kicking, no nothing, except "it's time to head for pasture, you stay in the back and do what we say".

    That was seven years ago and things have stayed peaceful, except for those times Horse #3 decides his bullying self wants to make trouble; it's just who he is. He just seems driven to steal someone's lunch money a few times a month.

    My point to that long, drawn out story, is that I'm pretty sure it's your new horse sending vibes to your alpha that the alpha isn't appreciative of.

    Sooner or later they will come to terms but these are probably going to be two horses that will always need watched, so nobody gets hurt.

    IMHO, it would not be a good thing to take either of them on a week's horse back vacation without the other. I'd bet money they would be right back to square one when it comes to fighting.

    I hope that all made sense and is of some help
    tinyliny and dbarabians like this.
         
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        11-25-2013, 02:50 PM
      #12
    Foal
    Celeste I do take this situation very serious; serious enough to carry a side arm when I'm in the field with my Colt. I respect Mr. Dominate Stud but I will not hesitate to protect my Colt should the Stud come thru the fence and attempts to attack my Colt. That same Stud killed another stud a year ago on his side of the fence with a vicious bite to the neck. I have talked to the owner and he just said not to worry, they just getting to know one another. Old man Bird is about 79 or 80 and has been raising horses all his life but he is getting to the point health wise where as he can't spend much time with them except for feeding. His boy comes by every so often to help out. But this is the only life Old man Bird knows. And I respect that. As far as cutting a stud, Old Man Bird told me, Once a Stud Always a Stud. He told me last year when the other Stud died of the neck bite, he went out that morning and had a talk with that stud and the stud told him what to do. So Old Man Bird shot him in the head twice, the first shot put him down but he told me to always shoot twice, to make sure they dead. Then he took him in the back of his property and buried him with his backhoe on a hill.
         
        11-25-2013, 02:53 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Walkinthewalk I think I understand where you coming from. Sorta sounds like something Old Man Bird might tell me. But still, a hot wire across the top of the fence? Think it might help? Or just piss him off and he comes on over anyways?
    Thanks
         
        11-25-2013, 06:22 PM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WindTree    
    Walkinthewalk I think I understand where you coming from. Sorta sounds like something Old Man Bird might tell me. But still, a hot wire across the top of the fence? Think it might help? Or just piss him off and he comes on over anyways?
    Thanks
    If he's already made a habit of going over the fence, that's a tough call. I once had a QH/Arab cross mare that was tough as nails and would often push right thru an electric top wire if she decided she wanted to eat grass in the other pasture. She never fought with anyone - just would make up her mind THAT pasture was hers for the taking that day and she'd bull dog thru the electric fence if we didn't make sure to keep the ground soaked where the grounding bar was.

    She would test that fence all the time - lol lol If it sat her down on her butt, she left it alone for the day; if not? Well there she went into the other pasture - lol lol lol

    I also don't know what I would do as I have also seen what a hot wire does to legs when it gets wrapped around one or two of them; not the mare, above; she was far too clever for leg injuries.

    If he hasn't succeeded in going over, I might put up a strand to where his nose can easily get juiced. Make sure your ground wire is on a bar that goes a couple feet into the ground and keep the ground like mud. The wetter the ground bar is, the more current goes thru the hot wire.
         
        11-25-2013, 07:37 PM
      #15
    Foal
    Thank Ya...... Well he aint come thru yet so that's just what ill do. And just like you said it. The reason he aint come thru is because when my Colts out there so am I. I even took me a lawn chair and put out there and I just sat there most of the day. Every time that stud come up I chased him off. Otherwise my Colts in tha stall. But you do make me think about legs. I don't want no harm come to any of them but if I don't do something now im afraid of what may happen. I do got another field so soon as I can, Im going to put up another fence and let him graze and exercise over there. That will put a field between the stud and my colt. I just don't got a barn over there but I will build a lean to. And I will have to get water over there. But will still take him back to the barn stall at night for now. And I know come early spring when all them studs mares come in heat more often, its really going to get rowdy.
    Thanks!
         
        11-28-2013, 09:34 AM
      #16
    Foal
    For now I am going to leave Danny out during the day with Marquis (the grumpy one) and Danny out at night with Roux. This will give Marquis and Roux a little time apart so they aren't so obsessed with each other and try to make a new friend. I found a way to make a paddock that won't cost much and will allow access to my third stall so they can all 3 be out and even if weather is bad they will all have shelter. This will allow for more time for Marquis to learn to tolerate Danny. I don't think Marquis can hate Danny forever!!.....at least I hope not! Good luck to everyone else going through these issues!
         
        12-19-2013, 07:40 PM
      #17
    Foal
    Update: It's been a few weeks and yes I got the hot wire up and old Hank has been zapped a few times. He comes up to the fence and runs it but he don't want no part of that wire. My Colt stays out all day and I still stall him at night. They really seem to be less interested in each other. But I still keep my guard up. My Colt did show out the other day. He went to the fence, Hank came up and they had a few words and my Colt did lower his head and moved his jaws back and forth. Then they smelled each others nose again and Hank stomped his feet and jerked his head back and yelped and trotted off. My Colt tuned around ran over to my Mammoth Jenny about thirty yards off and reared up on her rearend. She actually backed up on him but he is not tall enough to do anything. Then he got down bucked a few times and did some very very fast fancy turns and stopping and then ran around the pasture a few times. Hank watched all this commotion and I think my Colt was letting Hank know that his day is coming and soon. I checked his balls but they don't seem to have dropped yet. I can feel maybe just one little bidy small one up high but still I think it's just a little early. I bought my Colt at a nearby University and I was by there recently and the Lady that handles the Horse Unit told me they had dropped before I picked him up. But I think maybe she's wrong. Maybe not. I'm not sure. He will be 7 months the 28th of this month. Still debating on whether to cut him or not. He has a strong blood line on both sides with genes from High Brow Cat/This Cats Smart and Freckles Playboy. Anyway I feel much much better about his safety but still all could change in the coming months.
         

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