Dealing with the alpha mare
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Dealing with the alpha mare

This is a discussion on Dealing with the alpha mare within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Am i too alpha for her
  • Alpha mare kicks

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    08-06-2011, 02:22 PM
  #1
Weanling
Dealing with the alpha mare

I recently bought my 5yo APHA mare for trail riding, arena work and future showing (hopefully). She is wonderful and respectful under saddle, and her ground manners are fine with me, but she is definitely the alpha mare and has no problem kicking at other horses and letting them know. I'm afraid that I, or someone else, is going to get caught in the crossfire of that behavior and I want to work on it with her, but I'm not sure where to start. An example, I walked her into her stall the other day and was taking off her halter when the horse next door (he has separation anxiety and crowds her; also bites her neck, etc. so he's kind of bratty) stuck his head over the side of the stall and pecked her, which caused her to pin her hears and start kicking. Thankfully I wasn't near her hindquarters (I was a second before, though) and didn't get hurt, but she cut open her leg and it shook me up a little bit. Any advice on this? We did end up moving her to a new stall...

I feel safe working with her on the ground but I sometimes find myself tensing up when we're walking around other horses or in the arena with other horses. I've never had an issue with her when she's tacked up - it's like she submits to me, and she's wonderful with other horses on the trail, in the arena, etc. It's just turnout and that one incident in her stall. She definitely doesn't take crap from other horses but I just don't want to end up in the middle of that or worse, someone else. Thanks for any help!
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    08-06-2011, 08:31 PM
  #2
Weanling
Just don't let her. She shouldn't be allowed to give anybody a dirty look, let alone kick, when you're near.

I had this problem, too, when we brought a new pony home. The horse in question was not a dominant type at all, and so when she realized the pony was actually BELOW her, she went into total biotch mode to make sure it stayed that way. It's a long story, but she actually ended up hurting herself trying to beat up the pony.

Well, what I did was get someone else to hold the other horse and I put the aggressive mare on a lead line and brought her close. Whenever my horse pinned her ears and tried to get nasty, I gave her a really good, hard crack on the shoulder with the lead rope. A few moments later she tried again, another good crack. It took just two or three times before she was over it completely, and I've never had a problem with her since.

That's just what I would do...I'm sure you'll get more replies.
     
    08-06-2011, 09:56 PM
  #3
Started
My main horse happens to be the "alpha mare". Boy oh boy does it get interesting sometimes. She still tries to push me around, and she's 10!

What I do is just out-boss the bossy. If she tries to push me over, I'll push her over, just twice as far. If she gets pissy at other horses, she can expect a little smack, or get her head turned away from the other horse and then try again, if she still gets pissy, she'll get a smack.

They're just like bad children, sometimes they need a spanking, time out, and to be grounded.

If my mare is being especially mean or something at home, she gets caught, rode, and put in "solitary confinement" for a day or two. That normally straightens her out for a bit.
     
    08-07-2011, 01:51 AM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by steedaunh32    
I recently bought my 5yo APHA mare for trail riding, arena work and future showing (hopefully). She is wonderful and respectful under saddle, and her ground manners are fine with me, but she is definitely the alpha mare and has no problem kicking at other horses and letting them know. I'm afraid that I, or someone else, is going to get caught in the crossfire of that behavior and I want to work on it with her, but I'm not sure where to start. An example, I walked her into her stall the other day and was taking off her halter when the horse next door (he has separation anxiety and crowds her; also bites her neck, etc. so he's kind of bratty) stuck his head over the side of the stall and pecked her, which caused her to pin her hears and start kicking. Thankfully I wasn't near her hindquarters (I was a second before, though) and didn't get hurt, but she cut open her leg and it shook me up a little bit. Any advice on this? We did end up moving her to a new stall…
Well, I guess I'm a bit different…when a horse is with me I take care of it, including making sure that it is safe from other horses. When I go into a herd of horses they part like the red sea for me and whichever one of their herdmates I'm leading out. I also do not allow the horse I'm leading to intimidate others either. I do not allow foolishness by other horses around any horse I'm working with. If Mr. Separation Anxiety had done that and I was with her, he'd of gotten an AAACCKKK from me accompanied by a loud WHACK on the stall wall as a warning to him to keep his own nose where it belongs and if he didn't, I'd push it back myself. The horse I'm working with should never feel it must defend itself when I'm around. Ever. It's my job to maintain order…not the horses.
     
    08-08-2011, 02:24 PM
  #5
Weanling
Thanks for the replies. I understand where everyone is coming from and although I agree with you Horse Poor, my mare's behavior is still unacceptable and while I feel it's not my place to train/discipline others' horses (within reason, if it's a safety issue I will), my mare is the dominant one and I'm not ok with her kicking and pinning her ears while I'm around. If she wants to be the boss in the pasture that's fine, but not with me. She went to kick at a pasture buddy who got too close to her butt (yes she's in heat) while I was leading her out and she got a crack with the end of the lead rope on her shoulder and I quickly started to make her work, turning her in tight circles until she got the point.
     
    08-08-2011, 02:53 PM
  #6
Doe
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by steedaunh32    
Thanks for the replies. I understand where everyone is coming from and although I agree with you Horse Poor, my mare's behavior is still unacceptable and while I feel it's not my place to train/discipline others' horses (within reason, if it's a safety issue I will), my mare is the dominant one and I'm not ok with her kicking and pinning her ears while I'm around. If she wants to be the boss in the pasture that's fine, but not with me. She went to kick at a pasture buddy who got too close to her butt (yes she's in heat) while I was leading her out and she got a crack with the end of the lead rope on her shoulder and I quickly started to make her work, turning her in tight circles until she got the point.
I'm with HorsePoor and I think you should maybe look at it the other way around. You are disciplining your horse for protecting herself. If you won't do it for her, then she is entitled to do that.

If you had a daughter and a boy made a pest of himself, then if you didn't protect her, she has the right to do it herself. As your mare sese it, this is no different. What is the alternative? If she doesn't threaten the other horse he will try to mount her.

A true 'leader' will take care of these things for her. Then she doesn't have to and the behaviour will cease.

So when another horse came to 'interrupt' You should be sending them away. That tells all the horses that you are the leader and what is acceptable when you are around the herd.
     
    08-08-2011, 03:14 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doe    
A true 'leader' will take care of these things for her. Then she doesn't have to and the behaviour will cease.

So when another horse came to 'interrupt' You should be sending them away. That tells all the horses that you are the leader and what is acceptable when you are around the herd.
I agree. I learned the hard way (nothing but a rope burn on my arm, thank goodness) a couple years ago to keep other horses away from the one I'm leading in the pasture, and this horse was not an alpha.

My Nessie is the alpha in her pasture, and when I catch her I shoo the others away. It is about my safety, and not trying to change natural animal behavior. I would do the same for any horse in a herd. We have a couple of new horses out there that crowd us at the gate when I take her in for feeding. She WILL kick at them, so I shoo them off from the gate as we approach. Otherwise, I'm just asking to get hurt.

From the human perspective, my alpha mare could be considered mean to other horses, but in the natural horse world they respect her for her dominance. I don't scold her for pinning her ears at the other horses, but will if she pins her ears at a human. After I cared for her and got her all fat and happy, we definitely had some respect issues between me and her, and I got help to get her back in line. She is an awesome horse.

There is one woman at my barn who calls her the bwitch, and goes on and on about how she is not "nice" to anyone but me because of her alpha behavior with other horses. I'm always telling her, no, not a bwitch, but the alpha. Helps too to know that this woman is always drunk and is scared to even mount a horse...
     
    08-08-2011, 04:13 PM
  #8
rob
Weanling
Have you ever considered simple kick chains
     
    08-08-2011, 05:03 PM
  #9
Doe
Weanling
What would a kick chain accomplish? What advantages do you feel it offers, and what disadvantages?
     
    08-08-2011, 05:42 PM
  #10
rob
Weanling
aqha professional horseman

If you use the type of kickchain that in suggesting it would teach the horse that everytime it kicks it hurts itself and you wont be nowhere around im suggesting a dog collar hooked snug above the hock so it can't slide down with a heavy piece of chain about 16 inches long just on the leg they kick with if its both legs use two seperate devices
     

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Im pregnant and dealing with a mare very much in season beckylou211082 Horse Talk 0 04-25-2011 05:35 PM
Alpha gelding? Jacksmama Horse Talk 13 12-30-2010 02:09 PM
extreme alpha mare luvsmygirls Horse Training 4 04-04-2009 02:37 AM
Alpha or Beta?! free_sprtd Horse Training 11 11-12-2008 10:26 PM
Alpha Mare with Alpha Gelding? FutureVetGirl Horse Talk 2 09-02-2008 04:29 AM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0