gelding behavior - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-22-2008, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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gelding behavior

Hello fellow horse lovers! Hoping to get some behavior insight here! We have two geldings - the older, dominant one 'Storm' will sometimes walk behind our younger docile one 'Hershey', nudging him and not allowing him to stop. If H does stop, S nips at his fetlocks. S is relentless. This will go on for an hour or two if we allow it. Is S just exerting his dominance? I'd think he'd get tired!

"Be the change you wish to see in the World." M. Gandhi
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-22-2008, 11:57 PM
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To me he is just letting it be known that 'he' is boss and if the other gelding shows resistance to the boss then he shall bite him. make sense?

Never go to the stable saying "I will ride for a hour than go home" Go to your horse with a plan..not a timetable
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-23-2008, 08:31 AM
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Hey DBRRanch, sounds like S is a big boy in your pasture as you state, Its just a pure dominance thing and it probably won't change unless they're separated or another horse is added.

It also could be something a little more, when did you have S gelded? do you know if he was proud cut and does he ever act interested in the ladies?

This could also be the problem as if he is proud cut then he views H as a threat and needs to constantly push at him to let it be known that hes bigger, older, stronger and better.

I hope all goes well, and that H doesn't get to many nip marks! :)
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-23-2008, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback, the odd thing is these two also mutually groom each other and will peacefully eat grass together, especially after they've been separated for a couple of days. We had Storm (11 yr old) for a couple of years before adopting Hershey (5 yr old), both came to us gelded, and both are retired racehorses (so we assume they were gelded early) - thoroughbreds. S is true to the breed - a little high strung, but H is the most laid back easy going horse we've ever been around. The neighbors recently added a new mare to their herd, and S definitely goes crazy when he's near her. But most of the time when we put S & H together it's on a different part of our property - they're always talking to all the neighborhood horses, but they can only see them from a distance. Guess we're wondering if anyone has experienced this type of gelding behavior (friendly at times, dominant at others) and see it ease up after time or if this is just the way it will be, unless we add a third one? Or what about allowing sheep, pigs or goats to mix with them? We hate to keep either of them solitary (with no friends on the same side of the fence that is). Thanks again for any thoughts!

"Be the change you wish to see in the World." M. Gandhi
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-23-2008, 03:42 PM
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I have 2 geldings. Dumas (9yo QH) and Twister (7yo QH). They are best friends. They spook together, they eat together and they play together. Heck, they even take turns rolling in the same dirt patch. BUT, like kids, they have to assert their dominance. Dumas is the dominant horse in our little herd. He will do exactly what you have described until Twister gets fed up and takes a kick or bite at Dumas. They used to do it a lot more, in the year that we have had them Dumas will now only "move" Twister in the pasture for about 30-45 minutes then Twister gets fed up and tired of the circles.

I think that it is just "normal" gelding behavior. Like boys will be boys. A mare wouldn't put up with it as long before she would go "mare-ish" on Storm. See what I mean?

I really wouldn't worry about it too much. Hershey is getting to the age where he may be challenging Storm for dominance. I would really just let them work it out.

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

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post #6 of 7 Old 09-24-2008, 12:02 PM
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I have seen my gelding do this to get other horses to play with him.

"There ain't no vaccine for stupidity* Maxine
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-24-2008, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting! Thanks again to all of you again for providing some insight, I love being able to connect so easily with other horse lovers, horse owners! :)

Only those that spend time with these beautiful animals can appreciate their unique personalities.

As long as no one is getting hurt, we'll let our boys be boys and work this out!

"Be the change you wish to see in the World." M. Gandhi
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