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post #11 of 21 Old 09-23-2012, 12:30 AM
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Ground work isn't going to fix this sort of issue; your filly is just a dominant type. Usually a young horse like yours isn't 'top dog' unless, in a situation like this, where the horses introduced, don't establish themselves as leader.

You may, as suggested, want to find somewhere that she will be penned separately.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #12 of 21 Old 09-23-2012, 12:49 AM
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Barn owners lease horse or not I'd wonder about any boarding situation where the "manager" was not aware of herd pecking order. I've seen a few horses that simply could not be pastured with others due to outright aggression but they are few and far between. As has been said, once they get the pecking order down it usually quiets down to where a pinning of the ears and the lower horses move the hell out of the way (I call them "mare ears" and my kids learned their meaning when I donned them myself a few times hehe)

Btw.. ponies can be evil little snots. They can do more damage to a bigger horse because they can get to places where the bigger horse can't reach them or can't get away from them. Watched a pony shatter a sinus cavity of a 17 hand walking horse mare we had once... the pony was all of 10 hands.. she healed, but we never put them back together, the mare was just too passive for this little hothead who would literally stand UNDER the big horses and kick their legs or in her case, her face when she'd be grazing.
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post #13 of 21 Old 09-23-2012, 01:51 AM
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As said before, groundwork won't do diddly for when they're in the pasture. Your horse could be considered aggressive or dominant but she was there first. She has it in her mind that she is alpha and will act like it until one of the others makes her back down.

Taking an aggressive horse out for a while and reintroducing does help to keep the aggressiveness in check. But it will have to keep being repeated. I know of one horse that had to be moved every 2 or 3 months to a different pasture of different horses.

One year ago, we introduced a friends horse to our herd of six. He didn't stop getting picked on until February when we introduced two more horses. He still got split wide open from a kick later this year which needed medical attention. It may not have been so bad but they got their hooves trimmed the day before.

About 3 weeks ago, we got a 4 month old colt. He's already fitting in with the herd but has also been kicked hard enough to split open his skin.

There will always be scuffles when introducing new horses. Some will be worse and for longer than others. That's just horses being horses.
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post #14 of 21 Old 09-23-2012, 09:19 AM
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Any time a new horse is introduced it is very upsetting to the existing herd dynamics. Your BO should know this. It is unfair to isolate a horse when others are nearby. They need to have another horse to touch and groom and squabble with. Often a horse will get agressive with other horses as a warning to stay away because of fear.
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post #15 of 21 Old 09-23-2012, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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I understand the dynamics of horse behavior I came to the thread to see if as a responisble horse owner if there was anything I could do to help make this a more cohesively existing herd and my BO asked if I would do GW to help the situation to which I found myself unaware of what if anything I could do to 'fix' this behavior as I do believe her britches are getting a bit too big for her own good in regards to how she reacts to other horses in a herd enviroment. she basically thinks she's the sh*t and nothing in the world can possibly be better than her, lol... I wonder if anyone knows if being turned out with only middle aged mares makes a difference? She's never been pastured with geldings. When I had gotten there yesterday someone had taken the tb mare out of the pasture which I'm sure isn't going to help anything, likely just worsen the situation but, she did have a quite sizable amount of skin taken off of her flank that was still bleeding when I got there later that night; it looked like an even layer of skin was peeled so I cleaned it and put ointment on it since it was the type of abrasian that you can tell burned and the leasee is on vacation and emailed her telling her that I had cleaned it out and put some horse ointment on it since I believe she is being watched over by a cousin who I'm unsure of whether she knows or not what to do? I just felt terrible that the poor mare was being chomped on and there was nothing I could do.

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Last edited by Ashleysmardigrasgirl; 09-23-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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post #16 of 21 Old 09-23-2012, 06:16 PM
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Yes, more dominant horses may help in your filly's case, since she has learnt from these more passive horses that she can indeed be a herd leader; BUT on that token, because she is young, she really doesn't even understand the true dynamics of a herd, especially if she hasn't been in with other horses. So a more dominant leader who will stand up for him, or herself could be the key to putting your filly into a better understanding of what herd dynamic really is. But again, this is nothing you can actually do, other than finding the right sort of horses (ones that won't necessarily hurt her, but will not allow her to bully them either, and help her to understand the herd dynamic better.

My mare is an extremely passive type; I keep her penned separately because if I don't, she doesn't get enough to eat, and gets bitten up pretty good; even when she is in with other passive horses! They learn quickly just how passive she is, and will take advantage of it. She won't fight anyone at all...might squeal when someone is introduced, but she doesn't fight for supremacy.
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post #17 of 21 Old 09-23-2012, 06:19 PM
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There is one gelding at our barn (a Paso Fino) who is so submissive, EVERY horse he ever encounters beats up on him. It's as if he were wearing a "Kick Me" sign on his back.
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post #18 of 21 Old 09-24-2012, 10:00 AM
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Agree with other posts - groundwork is about you and her (and she is great at that by the sound of it) so its going to have no bearing on how she treats other horses - she knows you arent a horse!!
Tinyliny made a good comment - some horses (like some people) are born victims and in the same sense some horses are bullies (not getting at your mare as I have one thats the same and I love her dearly)
Putting her in with one older dominant horse thats firm but fair might help put her in her place. Some horses like her are actually happier just kept with one other horse as they feel less stressed about the need to 'be in control' of the herd and protect it from newcomers
The pony that injured my horse so badly turned out to be a 'rig', if your mare is on the aggressive side she may have a cyst on her ovaries, that can cause extreme behaviour
I had one pony that actually didn't like to share her paddock with another horse - her choice.
I am not liking the whole lega/sue people thing but I have to say that when I lost my horse after constantly complaining to the BO that the other pony was a high risk (and so had other boarders) I did feel like doing exactly that. The kind words of sympathy didn't buy me another horse, pay my vets bills or the cost of disposal - fortunately the insurance did cover those things
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post #19 of 21 Old 09-24-2012, 10:38 AM
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I agree with everyone else who says that your barn owner is simply wrong in suggesting that groundwork with you will make your horse less aggressive in the field.

My mare has to be turned out alone, as she attacks other horses, but she's perfectly well-mannered to ride and handle and she will not bite or kick when under saddle or being led (unless someone else starts the fight and bites her first). That's about all you can do training-wise. You can't train her to be nice when she's on her own time in the field.

That said, your horse is still very young and very much in the process of learning social skills. You can't teach this, but other horses can. The ideal situation for her would be a stable herd with a strong (but not bullying) lead horse. Such a horse won't be nasty to her, but they won't take her crap, either, and will put her in her place. You may or may not be able to find such a herd, but if you can, you should. Otherwise, she might end up like my horse, unable to have a fieldmates because she's too much of a danger to herself and others, and while necessary, it is quite sad. I know mine is the way she is because, like your filly, she is naturally a dominant, bossy horse. Critically, from age 2 to 7, she only had one equine companion, a rather passive and submissive barnmate whom she could get away with bullying, and consequently she never learned the "proper" etiquette of being an alpha horse and getting on well with her own species in a bigger, more dynamic herd situation.

(BTW, Boulder is my hometown).
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post #20 of 21 Old 09-25-2012, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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I think it was misinformation given to the BO whilst away on vacation which has lead to an over reaction in behavior. I had looked over the 'bite' and it looked like she (the tb) had scraped herself up not anything like a normal bite I've seen but, in the moment I wasn't about to defend my horse as she was acting very boss mare so I wouldn't have put it past her. Either way the owner of the TB came out and says she also thinks it wasn't a bite mark and today they've chilled out and were grazing pretty non chelantly together with only minor ear pinning. Thanks all for the responses. I felt trapped betwen a rock and a hard place;not very easy to tell a horse how not to be a horse...

I doubt she has a cyst on her ovaries she is literally the calmest horse I have ever met young or old around her humans she just is an attention hog.

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