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This is a discussion on Jealousy? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horses and jealousy
  • Jealousy between horse trainers

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    04-20-2008, 10:32 AM

Help! My mare Haley (alpha horse) is having major jealousy problems. Short background: We had two horses; the older gelding died in Dec 2007. After much searching, we ended up purchasing two new horses (full-siblings; an 8-yr old gelding and a 6-yr old mare). We brought the gelding home, but the mare has never been trailered or ridden. She will arrive in a few days after she masters loading in a trailer. Haley was delighted to see the new gelding and made good progress with the new gelding (he is now in the next paddock over). All was well until Haley saw us give him attention. She is now ballistic whenever we touch the gelding. She will swing around and try to kick us (and know it is not just a threat). As long as I go out and ignore the other horse completely, Haley is normal, but if I look at the other horse, or heaven forbid, touch him, her ears go back, she flips her rear towards me and tries to kick. Then she gets mad because I stand my ground, so she then goes bucking and galloping around the paddock. Any suggestions?
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    04-20-2008, 10:34 AM
Keep standing your ground... she's trying to place herself above you on the pecking order, which is a big no-no.
    04-20-2008, 10:52 AM
Thanks for the quick response. I had wondered if this was a territorial issue rather than a behavioral issue. Haley is a 6-yr old cutting horse champ that I am retraining as a hunter. She has had a number of issues that we are working out. The only way that I could safely enter the paddock to feed her last night was with the lunge whip. I did have to threaten with it a few times, but she does respect it. When we first got her, this was the only way to safely enter her stall to feed, but she quickly learned (2-3 days) that trying to kick was defeating her goal.
    04-20-2008, 11:06 AM
No problem! Sorry I can't help more... that is an odd situation but I'm sure our other board members will be able to help! It's certainly not uncommon; I just personally haven't had to deal with such an extreme case before.
Best of luck, I'm sure it won't be long before others come along with some wonderful advice.
    04-20-2008, 02:45 PM
Throw your horse in the round pen and every time she even show s a sign of working on you, make her run. She's got some respect issues and she needs to get over that.
She's going to have to learn that acting the way she's been acting is a lot more work for her and she'll stop. Once owned a mare who had some issues and this works like a charm.

Keep us posted.
    04-20-2008, 06:52 PM
Well, I am now experiencing new behaviors! I decided that since I know the owner of these horses (no new horses have been to her barn and none have been off the property in over 30 days) that I would go ahead and see what happened when opened the area between the paddocks so that they could have access to each other. What a shock! Haley had been the "prima dona" at the barn she was foaled in and in the barn she lived in from age 1-5. She was adjusting to being a normal horse at our barn, but my other gelding was not an alpha at all, so Haley was still #1 in their herd. She has always been an angel as soon as you put her halter on or have her under saddle.

Well, Haley advanced toward the new gelding (Thunder) to establish her dominance, and Thunder told her that she was quite mistaken. She has yet to submit to him, but now, when she tries to stop moving, he starts following her until he has her running again. She is now so confused! For the first time in her life, she has found a horse who will not back down to her. Instead of trying to dominate me, she is now on the run from Thunder and looking to me for protection. Needless to say, Thunder is calm and cool, and Haley is hot and sweaty. Thunder may have solved the problem.
    04-20-2008, 09:26 PM
Haha that is good that he helped put her in her place ...

I was going to suggest lettering her out with the other out with the other horse but you already did that. (great minds think alike)

Good luck! :)
    04-21-2008, 03:53 AM
Lol bet she didnt see that comeing
    04-21-2008, 06:44 AM
You just described how you should treat your horse to be the dominint member of your herd. Watch how he makes her move and use that in your dealings with them. The head horse will make the others "MOVE"
    04-21-2008, 09:17 AM
Thanks everybody! I agree it was a wonderful vision of herd behavior. This is one reason why I love the forums. I knew what I should do and was working it out, but this forum gave me that extra push and confidence that we all need sometimes

I will keep ya'll posted...leaving now to go work on teaching the 6-yr old to load so we can bring her home (and Haley can experience a new frustration...the new mare is at the bottom of the pecking order, BUT she is Thunder's pair buddy. 8)

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