Henry is a bully - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-27-2008, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hamilton, North Carolina
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Henry is a bully

According to their previous owner, Henry my 25 yr old thoroughbred has always been a bully to DB his 26 yr old arabian companion . DB usually has little nips and cuts on his shoulders and flanks and I was fairly sure it was from Henry being an jerk but never saw him doing it. Well this morning Henry went after DB and the result was 2 - 5" long gashes on DB's back in front of his right hip. I scolded Henry and made him know in no uncertain terms I was not happy. DB has no teeth to speak of so he doesn't even try to bite back. They have been together everyday for the last 8 years and 99% of the time are perfect together. They get very upset if they are separated even by a fence and if they are out of one anothers sight all hell breaks loose. Does any body have any suggestions how to teach Henry to quit being a barn yard bully.
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-27-2008, 07:37 PM
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I'd separate them to be honest. Put a line of hotwire down the middle of your pasture. As you've said, you can't be there 24/7 and you can't change a horse's personality any more than you can another human's. If your arab isn't interested in standing up for himself, there's not a whole lot you can do.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-28-2008, 01:21 AM
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I have no idea on this one, but could you use some sort of bitter spray to keep Henry from biting? They make them to get dogs and ferrets to stop...I've used Bitter Apple. It's all natural, just tastes really bad. The animal learns it's unpleasant to bite because it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Or does he kick, too?

"Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high. Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky. And live like you ain't afraid to die...don't be scared, jut enjoy the ride." - Chris LeDoux
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-28-2008, 04:02 AM
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Well. Seperate the two defenatly, they're not gonna get along. If he's doing it to you, say a loud "NO!" or "Ah!" and give him a bop somewhere. Other then that, I can't really help, sorry!

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post #5 of 16 Old 05-28-2008, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Henry doesn't kick and has never even hinted at biting me. I have tried separting them, putting one in the 1st pasture and the other in the 2nd pasture. They are separated by electric tape. Neither challenge the fence but they worked themselves up into a lather litterly. It went on for almost 5 hours until I got worried that the stress was more harmfully than the nipping. As I said 95% of the time they are standing shoulder to shoulder grazing and getting along great. DB has cateracts which probably doesn't help the situation.

Do they make some sort of bit that I could put on Henry to try to teach him? Maybe its more of a habit for Henry than anything. I think I'll try the bitter apple or something like it.

I keep whispering to DB to just bite him back or even good swift kick
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-28-2008, 10:54 AM
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on the subject of bitter apple...I find that 50% of the time it does not work....I got some for my dogs because they were chewing up the chairs and had a friend that got them for her two horses who would chew up the fences

My dog LOVED the taste of bitter apple...infact the more I put it on...the more he chewed and licked the chair....
where as the other dog (my sisters) hated it...and wouldn't even go near the chair

My friends mare hated the taste and wouldn't go within 5 feet of the fence.
where as her gelding would chew away as if nothing was on there

I'd defiantely try it, but just to warn you that it may not work.
What I'd suggest to do it simply find a day when you have a good 3-4 hours...bring a book, and pull up a chair infront of the pasture or to the side of it. Just sit down, and read the book and watch your two horses. Hopefully (well not hopefully) the one will show some type of anger and try to bite...try to see what causes the one horse to attack the other...if it's a "get away from my food" thing then put the food into two seperate piles (if possible)
If it's a "you're too close" there might not be anything you can do. Just simply see what is causing the attack and that may help find a way to prevent it
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-28-2008, 11:40 AM
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In my opinion, if Henry is 25, he won't "outgrow" his bullying. Some horses are just bullies and there really isn't much that can be done. He probably picks on this horse so much because he doesn't stick up for himself, like someone else said. It sounds like these two horses are the very top and very bottom of the pecking order. You say they get along most of the time, but my guess is that Henry is so dominant that the other horse just respects boundaries and tries to stay out of his way. Plus, the constant nicks and cuts all over the Arab show that they AREN'T getting along. I agree with separating them. Henry needs someone who will stand up to him more, and the other horse needs someone less dominant.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future'" ~ Jeremiah 29:11

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post #8 of 16 Old 05-28-2008, 11:46 AM
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Possibly this article might give you some ideas:

Herd bound horses can be a danger to others and themselves, you might try attacking the problem from that angle instead.
Sara is offline  
post #9 of 16 Old 05-28-2008, 06:11 PM
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Seperate them.

If he looks like biting you, dont take that .... stuff.
Give him one good one in the nose.

He is probally just being a grumpy old man...

Just yeh, dont let the horse think its better then you... thats when everything goes wrong...!!!! :roll:

Lexington Farm
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-29-2008, 01:13 AM
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A lady once told me that a younger horse may pick on a much older one because ......say in a wild situation a much older horse would tecnically slow the herd down there for a younger one would chase it away to get rid of it.

I witnessed similar behaviour when i ahd my first horse, he was like 21 and had arthritus. A younger TB of about 6-7yrs was a real meany to him, chasing him and biteing him So we ended up seperating them as it was too much for my boy with his arthritus.

Your horses dont have as big of an age gap but it could still be similar reasons.
Either way i think it might be better to seperate them.
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