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kitten_Val 11-09-2007 06:50 AM

Horse attacks...
OK. I didn't find anything on this topic on forum, so decided to post...
The problem is my horse is very nasty to other horses if they go too close to us. She is smart too, so you won't see any sign before the very last moment, when she pins ears back suddenly and either turn her butt and buck at other horse, or jump forward and bite. All panishments, screaming at her, making her work right away etc. don't help. At this time I just try to keep a good distance (well, not half mile of course, but 10 feet or so) from other horses, but what if someone can't hold horse and it gets too close (unfortunately, it's not something I can dictate)... Any suggestions on how to train her to be OK with other horses? Just a comment, she did it to her best field buddy too I rode together couple times. So it's not about "new horses".

Vidaloco 11-09-2007 07:07 AM

She is obviously the alpha or lead mare. Our lead mare Sassafras does the same thing. Its just herd pecking order and I don't usually worry about it. As far as I know there is nothing you can do about it. If the behavior is carried over to when you are riding then of course it has to be stopped. Sassafras is a perfect lady when riding with just me and my husband or with our saddle club. Is she doing it while riding with a group too?

I want to add that we have built our fences in our small dry lot with rounded corners. Sometimes an alpha horse will get a lower horse into a corner where it cant escape and kick the heck out of it. For some reason horses are too stupid to get themselves out of a corner. This doesn't seem to happen as much when they are in the large pasture, but when they are confined to the dry lot for winter it was happening too often so we rounded the corners.

qux3 11-09-2007 08:09 AM

This can be dangerous. I read in another forum about at a horse show where a horse kicked another one while they were in a group waiting to go into the arena, and broke its leg. The horse with the broken leg rushed around the ring on three legs, collapsed and died.
Some people tie a red bow on the tail of a horse who routinely kicks so that other people in a riding group will know to stay away from it.
I don't know how you break them of this. Boss mares seem determined to be boss, period.

kitten_Val 11-09-2007 10:22 AM

I know it's dangerous. That's why I'm asking! Lol!

Vida, she's fine in field as long as I'm not around. They do run and play bucking both, but I havnt' seen her chasing my other one in mean way.

However, when I'm in field with them she's making circles around me like shark without letting other horse to come close (the exceptions are when we do something mean to other one like deworming or trimming and in this case she's just quietly watching the process :) ). She'v been like that since I got her in 20 months old (more on kicking side that time, now more on biting side). I thought may be it's something missing in groundwork, but I can't think of any training I can do to stop that habit.

Vidaloco 11-09-2007 11:09 AM

The only advise I can give is perhaps she is not seeing you as the lead mare. Unfortanatly the alpha horses can't be treated the same as a subordenant at any time. Thankfully my husband rides Sassafras (the lead mare). He can't be as lovey and gentle to her as she sees this as a sign of weakness. We have to be dominent with her at all times or give her an inch and she will take a mile. When he is tacking her up or riding any false move he corrects immediatly with force, its the only thing she respects. Even when I go out to pick up poop or water or feed and I'm in their area I don't love up Sassafras. I say hi to her (let her smell my hand) just as a curtisy but other than that I ignore her.

My hubby wants me to add that he does love her up when its just him and Sass. Just not when she is with the other horses. And his idea of force (so I don't get the softys on me) is making her back or a pop with the rope or elbow. :wink:

Vidaloco 11-09-2007 11:37 AM

just a thought....Is she pregnant?

kitten_Val 11-09-2007 12:11 PM

No she's not pregnant for sure. Just fat. :)

Sara 11-09-2007 12:13 PM

Heh, she sounds like one of my cats...barely tolerates other cats and is very jealous of "her" people:P

kitten_Val 11-09-2007 01:16 PM

Sara, that's my mom is saying too. May be because we brought her up from bad situation (6 or 7 months in stall almost 24 hours/day before I bought her and let her go 24/7 outside). May be that 'stall situation' made her like that. Just guessing... It doesn't stop her from bucking attempts though when she feels like it. Lol! However it's not very acceptable behavior when other people are around. I'm really afraid I'll end up just riding by myself. :(

Sara 11-09-2007 01:48 PM

Its a tough thing to work with...when I was a kid, my pony used to be like that and I did end up with him wearing a red tail wrap at all public outings. The only other thing I've heard of in this situation is introducing one horse to her at a time, starting on the ground so you can quickly reprimand her when she tries to go after the horse. Over time, she may become better with strange horses. Otherwise...that may just be her personality. I haven't heard much more on this problem (and it is a pretty common problem, apparently) than people commiserating and offering stories about their own alpha horses.

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