Here is the pecking order for as long as we have had these four together.
1. Old TWH gelding 26yrs, top dog
2. QH mare, 13yrs,
3. QH mare, 14yrs,
4. Paint mare, 19yrs (last)
These four have all been together for over 3yrs., on the same property since we brought home the #2 mare above. As a matter of fact our paint mare is the sweetest horse we have, most docile, just exceptional disposition.
Last week, while putting # 1 & 2 mares back in pasture after riding, our paint is waiting at the gate as we are putting them up and I slip off the bridle as always and Skip saunters into the pasture. Immediately, the paint gets all up in her business as if she is challenging her. She has NEVER done this.
Another day a gate was opened to allow access to the interior pasture. (they have to go to a back gate (maybe 200 yds) and come back up front to be fed.
When Skip (normally the #2 mare) started to the back gate, our Paint mare, Scooter cut her off. Skip stopped, then started again and Scooter backed up and threatened to kick. I as amazed!!
Scooter, the paint, has always been the horse with the scraps, or bite marks and always the low girl on the ladder. Since we have only had horses about seven years, I have never seen this. Has my baby gotten tired of being the outcast? Can someone give me some insight on this behavior?
I imagine if you brought a new horse into the group there would be a change of hierarchy, but not in an established group.
I want to think she just got fed up with being the lowest one.