does your horse "herd"? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-09-2011, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: northeast Pennsylvania
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Question does your horse "herd"?

I wasn't really sure where to put this, since it doesn't really fit anywhere,but if there is a better place please move it.

So today i was telling my mom about how the other morning when i left for work i noticed the bird feeders were smashed all over the driveway and she said it was probably a bear, then she went on to tell me how the other day(or week) she looked out the window to see a bear walking along the fence inside the horse pasture, then all of a sudden Legacy(our appy) comes charging at it and chased it out of the pasture! Now i have seen this horse chase cats when they come into the pasture, and when our goat was still alive he would chase her(mostly it was after she escaped and we put her back in like he was punishing her for getting out) but a bear really!? I know black bear aren't that big, but big enough! lol So has anyone ever heard of a horse chasing a bear out of it's pasture? or is my horse just a freak lol
Rachel1786 is offline  
post #2 of 9 Old 05-10-2011, 08:41 AM
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We don't have bears here, but I absolutely could see mine doing the same thing. Mine are from generations of cutting horse lines and all love "working" whatever enters their pasture, we've had goats and had to keep them separate or they were worked to exhaustion. I've watched one of my older mares and my hubby's hunting dog work as a team and round up and scare of ducks & geese, that was a funny sight!

I think I'd be a bit nervous about bears though lol!
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-10-2011, 08:53 AM
Green Broke
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Definitely. The horse can sense danger and probably saw that his duty to get rid of the danger was needed. I would be proud to have my horse get rid of a predator like that. Very scary but impressive. I think that a horse is territorial in a way especially in an enclosed area. Survival instincts.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-10-2011, 11:01 AM
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Bears, no . . . but calves, ducks & geese . . yes. Many years ago, I got my first horse because of herding. She was a race bred QH that had been retired from racing because of an injury before she was 3 yrs. The owner had her in a pasture with calves that were supposed to be fattening up for slaughter. She kept them in all four corners of the pasture and then would round them up and redistribute them to different parts of the pasture. She also would not let them eat. After I got her, she turned her herding on the local ducks and geese. Good thing they could fly, otherwise they wouldn't have gotten to eat either.

Her herding instincts were very strong. This race mare just had way too much cow pony in her.

"SUCCESS is not what horse you have . . . but what you do with that horse."
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-10-2011, 02:30 PM
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Wow! Bears...
Mine don't do anything that spectacular, but once it was really windy when they were outside but it was ok until some neighbour's things started to fly... Horses started to run like crazy on the other side of pasture and I behind them, because I decided they should go in the stable before they hurt themself. So when I finally got to my mare, little pony started to trot around us in a circle looking around and mare was immediatly completly calm. It was very funny :P He herd us both - me and mare, not in way: I'm going to bite and kick, but he just trotted in circle, protecting us. I was a bit suprised because my mare is the one that has control over him. But I guess he thought he is a stallion and has to protect his herd :P


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post #6 of 9 Old 05-10-2011, 02:53 PM
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We don't have anything so dangerous as bears around here, but it doesn't surprise me. If you get a horse that has a high protective drive for their territory and their herd, then they will most definitely be aggressive toward anything they deem a threat. Most my horses will just ignore whenever a dog gets in their pen or anything like that, but my Mustang Dobe is a whole other animal. I am convinced that if he had stayed in the wild, he would have ended up a herd stallion. He is very aggressive toward everything that challenges him even a little bit. He is the alpha of all my horses, even the drafts.

When it comes to working cattle, he will bite, kick, pin his ears, and snake his head much the way a stallion will that is protecting his mares. There have been a couple of times when I was riding around town and there was some loose dogs that charged. Dobe's first instinct was to spin toward them and take his aggressive stance. If they kept coming, he would charge and go after them. In that instance, I would just give him his head and let him teach that dog some manners.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-10-2011, 04:49 PM
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Black bears don't bother me as much as the grizzlies. So long as they aren't rabid or freakishly hungry I'm sure such an avidly protective horse could deal.

I've had my horse chase the dogs and cats around. My trainer has a horse that killed a cougar once because it was stalking the herd. Stomped the cat right into the ground.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-19-2011, 12:39 AM
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Yes, although I am not sure what he'd do faced with a bear!

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post #9 of 9 Old 05-19-2011, 12:51 AM
Green Broke
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Nope, my gelding would be cowering in the farthest corner shaking and praying that Mommy would come save him. We have many dogs at the barn and if any of them get near his feet, he stands there straight legged, stiff and slightly shaking until they move. The bravest he gets is the one dog he will sneak up behind and lick it's butt, seems to think that it's hilarious when the poor dog jumps a billion feet and runs off. I adore my lil guy but brave is absolutely not how you would describe him.
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bear , chase , herd

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