My horse acts up around other horses - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-04-2013, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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My horse acts up around other horses

Hello, I recently bought an 11yr old gelding. He was described as a "kids horse". He is very mellow and kind of lazy. However when I am riding in the arena and another horse is in the arena he bucks. Kind of like an annoyed buck. He does the same thing when I am leading him outside the arena and another horse is running in the arena. We turned him out with another mellow gelding thinking he wanted to play and he kicked at the other horse. Until the horse kicked him back and he backed off. I took him out and have not tried that again. He doesn't seem to like other horses but if he is away from the paddock he gets panicky and calls to the other horses. Other than that he is very easy going and rides fine. Is this a training issue? Or is just the way he is and cannot be corrected?
Thanks in advance for the help.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-04-2013, 05:57 AM
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Hmmm I'm at a loss but it could be he feels threatened or has the need to be top dog? He needs to be concentrating on you. How's his ground manners?

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-04-2013, 09:04 AM
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It kind of sounds to me like he might be unsure of his place in the pecking order with other horses, so he acts up or bucks to try to get you off so he can go figure it out with the other horse. When you put him in the paddock it seems like when he was out in his place by the other horse he understood where he stands with him and doesn't really have a problem with him anymore.

I'm not a behaviour expert by any stretch of the imagination, but that's how it seems to me at first glance.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-04-2013, 10:31 AM
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Horses are herd animals, and they feel safe in a herd. That's why he gets panicky when he's away from them. When he's with them, he needs to find out his place in the herd. The pecking order. Is he low man on the totem pole, or will he be the boss. Most horses try to exert dominance until the other horse puts him in his place. He's fine once he finds his place.

It can be corrected. Keep him busy and listening to you. If you are doing groundwork and he acts up around the other horse in the arena, make him work a bit harder, changing directions, and so on. If riding, you have to keep him busy, too. Change directions, and keep him wondering what you will ask next.

He needs to learn that YOU are is herd, and that you are the boss when you are working with him, and to ignore the other horses.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-04-2013, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Clyde View Post
Hello, I recently bought an 11yr old gelding. He was described as a "kids horse". He is very mellow and kind of lazy. However when I am riding in the arena and another horse is in the arena he bucks. Kind of like an annoyed buck. He does the same thing when I am leading him outside the arena and another horse is running in the arena. We turned him out with another mellow gelding thinking he wanted to play and he kicked at the other horse. Until the horse kicked him back and he backed off. I took him out and have not tried that again. He doesn't seem to like other horses but if he is away from the paddock he gets panicky and calls to the other horses. Other than that he is very easy going and rides fine. Is this a training issue? Or is just the way he is and cannot be corrected?
Thanks in advance for the help.
The bucking while you ride is a training issue. He should not do that when you are on him. So I would kinda growl at him and move him forward. When turning him out for the first time with a new horse it is not unusual for the horses to act up. They are horses trying to figure out where they stand with each other. I would turn him out with the other horse again. If they only kick at each other once then start grazing with each other then they are fine to be together. If they are continuously chasing each other or repeatedly kicking then move him out. I think once your horse is turned out with another he will settle down. But make sure you sternly growl NO at him when he bucks/kicks while you lead and ride him he should not be doing that with you around.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-04-2013, 03:06 PM
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Horse is showing holes in training. He is doing what he feels like when it suits him, which may be most of the time, but when something different is going on then he is showing you aren't in control.

Other horse or not, or whatever, his attention should be on what you are doing with him.

Make him focus on you, correct him when he acts up, and while turning him out with the other horse to play may seem like good idea? Much will depend on how roughly they play and how much you want to give your vet. Unless both were my horses, I wouldn't do that.

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post #7 of 7 Old 08-04-2013, 03:33 PM
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I had the same problem with my mare when I first got her. Try to catch the behavior before it escalates to bucking. Chances are he is giving you little warnings that you aren't noticing. As soon as you feel him tense when another horse is near or put back his ears back get his attention back on you. You may have to take him off to the side and work him hard until he is listening to you.

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
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