What Can I Do About a Pasture Bully? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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What Can I Do About a Pasture Bully?

I have a 5 year old gelding that is terrorizing my other horses. When I bought him I specifically asked how he was in the field and I was told that he can get a little pushy with other horses at feeding time but that he wasn't vicious about it. I figured no problem because I feed them all separately anyhow. Well, it turns out that he is VERY aggressive in the field! If one of the other horses walks within 10 feet of him he lays his ears back and goes after them teeth bared and bites them. And if they go within kicking distance he lets them have it! I really like him but I can't keep him if he is beating up the other horses. Is there anything I can do to correct this behavior? I don't have enough space to separate him or I would. Please help if you can. Thanks!

Rayne ~ APHA mare - Rebel ~ APHA colt
Whiskey ~ grade filly - Moon ~ APHA filly
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post #2 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 10:52 PM
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How long has he been in with your herd?

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post #3 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 11:24 PM
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I'm glad this came up, because I have two horses that have the same problem. Subbing!

I'm so busy, I don't know if I've found a rope... or lost my horse...
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post #4 of 20 Old 10-13-2010, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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How long has he been in with your herd?
4 months

Rayne ~ APHA mare - Rebel ~ APHA colt
Whiskey ~ grade filly - Moon ~ APHA filly
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post #5 of 20 Old 10-14-2010, 01:13 AM
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It definitely helps to establish dominance with him showing that there is someone above him, but that can only go so far. My mare is the same way and the other horses have just learned to stay out of her way. But I walk in the pasture and she instantly knows who the boss is.
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post #6 of 20 Old 10-14-2010, 02:04 AM
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I hate to disagree but the pasture dominance only works when you are there. Which is not enough, there is a herd pecking order, and there is nothing you can do about that when you are not there, as it happens.


In my experience, you can either leave the horse alone and let him deal with it, or you can move him to a single paddock and field. My gelding is few brain cells and stands still while being bitten. So we moved the herd and put him with the lowest and he still was the lowest and did the same thing. I just moved him to a paddock where he is the only horse, but can see others during the day and now he is flipping out at night when they are not there.

I would move him into a herd with more dominants and if not, then you need to move him or accept that he just does not get along.
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post #7 of 20 Old 10-14-2010, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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I hate to disagree but the pasture dominance only works when you are there. Which is not enough, there is a herd pecking order, and there is nothing you can do about that when you are not there, as it happens.


In my experience, you can either leave the horse alone and let him deal with it, or you can move him to a single paddock and field. My gelding is few brain cells and stands still while being bitten. So we moved the herd and put him with the lowest and he still was the lowest and did the same thing. I just moved him to a paddock where he is the only horse, but can see others during the day and now he is flipping out at night when they are not there.

I would move him into a herd with more dominants and if not, then you need to move him or accept that he just does not get along.
I only have 5 horses and really don't have the room to separate the bully from the others. If he was just chasing them around it wouldn't be so bad but he is seriously going after them! He means business, he has drawn blood several times and has tried cornering my mare and she has gone through the fence to escape him. I guess my only option is to rehome him? Anybody interested in a 5 year old Appendix gelding lol?

Rayne ~ APHA mare - Rebel ~ APHA colt
Whiskey ~ grade filly - Moon ~ APHA filly

Last edited by kimber769; 10-14-2010 at 09:03 AM.
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post #8 of 20 Old 10-14-2010, 09:11 AM
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I have a small herd and learned from my last experience that I will only have mares or geldings together. In my case we had two geldings so sold the mare and got another gelding and finally the pasture is at rest :)
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post #9 of 20 Old 10-14-2010, 09:31 AM
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I had an extremely dominant and horse aggressive gelding. He could only go out with a select few horses his entire life, because he was evil. Loved people, had very little tolerance for most of his own kind. Like your guy, he meant business when he went after another horse.

This isn't something you can train out of him. If you can't separate him, then you need to sell him with full disclosure. Otherwise, one or more of your horses is going to wind up severely hurt.

I was lucky; I had the means to keep Conny separated from others for their own good. If you don't have that option, he needs to go.
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post #10 of 20 Old 10-14-2010, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
I hate to disagree but the pasture dominance only works when you are there. Which is not enough, there is a herd pecking order, and there is nothing you can do about that when you are not there, as it happens.
As I said it only goes so far, my mare is still very dominant, but it has helped a small bit in my case, and seen it in other cases. But I also integrate into the heard for a couple hours per day, chase them around, play follow-up games with them, etc. So it's not just me walking in and out of the pasture grabbing one of them out.
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