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mgood 02-23-2012 04:47 PM

Need help with yearling gelding behavior
 
Hi all! Having a problem with our 1.5 year old paint gelding. We have never had a horse this young so are not familiar with normal behaviors at this age. He is constantly antagonizing the other horses...stretching neck out/tilting head/biting at them, nipping at hindquarters/back legs, tries herding them, rearing up, striking/pawing. They obviously are irritated with him (squealing, bunny hops, occasional lunge and/or bite), but he doesn't ever stop. This goes on all day long. The adults are very firm with our 2.5 year old mare, but with the gelding they just seem to let him get away with it. I don't get it. Any suggestions/insight would be GREATLY appreciated. He is fine with us and follows commands we give.....only issues seem to be when he is out with the group.

Kayty 02-23-2012 05:40 PM

Try putting him in with a more dominant horse. It's good that he's fine with you, but make sure you don't let him get away with ANYTHING, as he sounds like he is quite a dominant type. Youngsters will nip and play with the other horses, like a human child will be silly and try to irritate adults. But it would be useful for him to be put in his place by an older horse.

Lins 02-23-2012 05:51 PM

How many horses in the group? And are they in a big space? How long has he been with the other horses for?
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mgood 02-23-2012 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kayty (Post 1375551)
Try putting him in with a more dominant horse. It's good that he's fine with you, but make sure you don't let him get away with ANYTHING, as he sounds like he is quite a dominant type. Youngsters will nip and play with the other horses, like a human child will be silly and try to irritate adults. But it would be useful for him to be put in his place by an older horse.

Thanks for responding! He does the exact same thing with the herd boss, but we can absolutely try just putting the two of them together. Thanks again!

mgood 02-23-2012 06:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lins (Post 1375566)
How many horses in the group? And are they in a big space? How long has he been with the other horses for?
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Thanks for the reply! There are 5 horses in total. They have all been together since May 2011. 13 yo gelding (boss), 11 yo mare (boss mare), 10 yo mare (middle of the pack), 2.5 yo mare (bottom of the pack), and the 1.5 yo gelding. With the footing as bad as it has been this winter here, they are kept in about 3 acres around the barn. In the spring, summer, fall, they are turned out on 10 acres (and he still does it). At night, the 2 young ones are stalled. He exhibits the same behavior to all of them and gets essentially the same response from all of them. (bunny hops, squeals from the mares, occasional lunge/bite, but never anything hard).

franknbeans 02-23-2012 07:09 PM

AS has been said-you worry about how he is with YOU. You can control that. Let the herd sort out his behavior toward them. Most likely they will get fed up and let him have it one of these days. Some of it may be a sort of playing, also.

Lins 02-23-2012 07:37 PM

Well the rest of the herd has its pecking order established, so he's trying to test and see where he fits in. He's probably just confused as to how to socialize with other horses that don't want to run and play like yearlings. They will sort it out. As long as there is room for them to get away from eachother, and no horse is losing weight, it shouldn't be a concern.
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mgood 02-23-2012 07:46 PM

thanks all!


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