2 Gelding Battling - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-10-2011, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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2 Gelding Battling

Hello,
So we have 2 geldings and a mare. We first got one of the geldings (Atlas), we had him for about 2 years and then we got the mare (Rosie), then 3 years after that we got the other gelding (Jack). Atlas and Rosie got along great and when we added Jack he was only 5 months old and Atlas was 15 years old.

As Jack has been growing he more and more is battling Atlas, not just biting or kicking, but rearing very high, bucking, chasing, biting and kicking. I am aware of why this is happening I know the typical dominance "who owns the herd" mentality, but I am getting worried that this is too much for Atlas, the now 19 year old 15h paint horse against Jack, the excitable 4 year old 16h Belgian cross Quarter Horse. Jack even picks up our jolly ball and hits Atlas with it (kind of funny to see, but not funny for Atlas).

We let Atlas do his own thing because he is 19 now. We love him and care for him, but he is not ridden nearly as much. Jack is at training right now, but when he comes back are we going to need to find a way to separate them? They are together in the day, but at night they are in their own stalls.
Thanks so much.

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post #2 of 10 Old 12-10-2011, 02:37 AM
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Are they actually hurting each other? If not, let them be.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-10-2011, 02:44 AM
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Often its worse than it looks - thats just how the horses are - One of ours always has bite marks on his butt....

He wil back down when hes ready - Our once dominant gelding has recently let the younger one fill his shoes...

I love watching the herd dynamics!!!
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-10-2011, 05:51 AM
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Ever heard the saying "Boys will be boys"? I would guess that Jack is just trying to play with Atlas. When Atlas has had enough, he will turn his butt to Jack, give him a cowkick, and send him on his way. It may seem like they are fighting but it's how they play. As Jack gets older, he will mature and not be as playful. I wouldn't worry to much or split them up.
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-10-2011, 06:32 AM
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I agree with the previous posters to a certain extent. However, there are certain things you can do to make life easier for horses that are further down the pecking order. Stuff like making sure there are no narrow corners they can get bullied into, and making sure that any feed you put out to them in the pasture is spread enough so they can't not share. Other than removing situations like that, you HAVE to let them be unless you want to keep them separated. If you don't let them decide who is boss horse, they will have these tussles every time you put them together.

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post #6 of 10 Old 12-11-2011, 08:40 AM
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As horses age they are less inclined to defend themselves. They are the ones that get driven away from feed. Watch very carefully when the younger comes home. He may be much more aggressive toward the older horse as he will want to quickly reestablish the hierarchy. I'd keep the other two stalled for a few days until things settle down a bit.
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-11-2011, 09:21 AM
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I seriously don't think it's herd dynamics at work but they will come into play when it's time. When Atlas has had enough of Jack's immature antics, he will put him in his proper place.

I also don't think size or age has affect in herd dynamics. Our 15 hh Arab at 900lbs keeps our 16 hh 1200 lbs QH in line. He's also younger. As far as Atlas being 19, that's not that old for a horse. Our 16 yo mare keeps them all in line. It's whether on not they have the attitude to be higher up on the ladder than the next.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-13-2011, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Okay thanks so much for all the help. They aren't really hurting each other yet. I mean of course there is bites that they give each other, but not really hurting each other.

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post #9 of 10 Old 12-13-2011, 11:46 AM
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My horse still "boxes" (meaning rears up on his back legs and whacks the other horse with his forelegs lol...) and he's 10 :P He squirrels around with a 2 year old and always has bites all over him. Just boys playing around. But like other posters said, you can remove dangers from the pasture or if it gets bad, separate them for a bit or go out there and drive them apart. I'm sure they're fine though :)
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-13-2011, 11:49 AM
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I would only worry like said above if one is getting run off the hay. And then if you think one is going to get shoved through the fence. Then there are problems.
When you bring Jack home keep a close eye on them, he may be feeling his oats, or hopefully wore out from training, could go either way...
Hope it goes well!
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