Horse acting aggressive at the gate - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-04-2010, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Horse acting aggressive at the gate

I am looking for some suggestions as to what to do if a horse becomes aggressive at the pasuture gate while others are leading horses through.

This horse is my horse and the concern is coming from other boarders at the barn, now I know what I would do if I was there and he did this to me but he never has ever done this before. I have owned him for 4 years and there has been two incidents in the last 6 months of him trying to go after horses that are being led through a gate. Today he charged at another owner who was leading her horse through the pasture gate on her way with some others for a trail ride. I suggested taking a lunge whip out with her and chasing him away with it , getting bigger than he is to put him in his place. He is Alpha in the herd and I think it bothers him to see his mates leaving the pasture without him. I have not seen him do this as I was not there when it happened but I think that everyone(boarders) needs to be on the same page so that it doesn't turn into something more dangerous.

Please only helpful suggestions, it really concerns me that he is doing this and only doing it at certain times.

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.
Josephine Demott Robinson
Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily!

Last edited by RadHenry09; 03-04-2010 at 10:00 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-04-2010, 10:13 PM
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Is the problem when horses are leaving the pasture or being put back in?

If it's leaving, then I second the lunge whip idea. Personally I don't like using whips (I am unco!) so I just use the end of my leadrope and twirl it around until it makes a noise. But a lunge whip would work too.

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post #3 of 15 Old 03-04-2010, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Yes , it is when the horses are leaving the pasture with out him.

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.
Josephine Demott Robinson
Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily!
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-04-2010, 10:33 PM
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In my experience, lead ropes are MUCH better. People always advise a lunge whip, but realistically, it's a REALLY lousy tool to beat a horse with. The only real effect it has is if you can pop them when you crack the end of it, and that only works if they're already a good distance away and therefore removes the entire purpose of needing it in the first place. You can wind up and try and whack them with the long hard part, but again, horses learn quick that it has no bite.

Leadropes are fantastic for dealing out a nice solid blow that won't leave marks but is loud and has some bite. I just loop it once, hold the end and the clip in the same hand, and wallop them across the chest if they're being dangerous at the gate.

Of course, if you're truly hardcore, you can use the metal clip end, but I usually save that for humans.

In all seriousness, I've dealt with a lot of horses being pricks at the gate, and I find the equipment in my hand (halter/leadrope or both) is better then any other tool of getting in their face and backing them off.

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post #5 of 15 Old 03-04-2010, 10:38 PM
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I usually have one end attached to my horse - the only leadropes I use are the long, yacht rope ones with a leather popper (Like parelli's but 10x cheaper) - the leather popper on the end is a great tool to sting a horse from a safe distance if it is getting dangerous.

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post #6 of 15 Old 03-04-2010, 10:45 PM
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You know, I don't know why people do this in the first place.

Horses are herd animals and every time you add or take away a member of the herd, you risk causing strife. The only way to prevent that from happening is to instill enough self-confidence in each member of the herd so that they can be left alone and not panic.

Just bring all the horses in...in the proper order of least secure to most secure. Problem solved. No people getting hurt. No horses getting punished for behaving like horses.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-04-2010, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Yes , that is what I use. A yacht rope with a leather popper at the end. I twirl the rope or swing it at him to get him out of my space or if another horse is not getting away from the gate while I try to lead my horse out.

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.
Josephine Demott Robinson
Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily!
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-04-2010, 10:48 PM
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^ Just want to note - We have a herd of five, and on the rare occasion one is by themselves, we bring them into the sheep yards with a bunch of hay so they can't hurt themselves, and it is only one (new mare who has never been left alone) who freaks. The others just chill :]

The only time we have a similar problem is when letting horses go - I tend to open the gate wide enough, take off halters and then ask my horse to go through, means I don't have to get in the way and they sort things out how they like.

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post #9 of 15 Old 03-04-2010, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercedes View Post
You know, I don't know why people do this in the first place.

Horses are herd animals and every time you add or take away a member of the herd, you risk causing strife. The only way to prevent that from happening is to instill enough self-confidence in each member of the herd so that they can be left alone and not panic.

Just bring all the horses in...in the proper order of least secure to most secure. Problem solved. No people getting hurt. No horses getting punished for behaving like horses.
I do agree with you on that, he is acting like a horse..I guess I am trying to please everyone else that I board with but they should know that horses are going to act differently when a member(s) of their herd is removed.

I could also suggest just bringing them in too before they go on their ride.

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.
Josephine Demott Robinson
Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily!

Last edited by RadHenry09; 03-04-2010 at 10:52 PM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-05-2010, 12:00 AM
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I understand your frustration, Amy. I think POSSIBLY some of the issue has to do with the fact that the horses aren't led in daily, rather the gate is open and they charge each other in a crazy free-for-all to the barn at the end of the day. I also know that your boy isn't the only one guilty of this behavior, so don't get too down on yourself. I think that he has some jealousy issues, to be honest. If you remember the incident awhile back where I was out in the pasture with Dallas and your boy got pissed, ran up, and kicked me. I honestly believe he was jealous of the fact that a horse lower on the pecking order was getting the attention. Maye it's time for the horses to be taken in-hand to and from the pasture, and see if that improves everyone's manners at the gate, not just your boy. Hope things get better soon!!
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