Choosing an Alpha Mare - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 05:56 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Missouri
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Area is really to small for this many horses. And in a small area like this, one could end up hurt badly because there is not enough room to get away, and unless you have seen one get cornered, you have no idea how much damage can be inflicted. Good way to have to have one put down.

I'd sell the newest one, and keep it to the 3 you had.

I've seen this never get settled, no matter how much time has been given.

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post #12 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Palomine View Post
I've seen this never get settled, no matter how much time has been given.
The amount of area available aside (which is extremely small), I have, too, seen cases that never get settled, but in my experience it is not very common. The key is usually not the "bossiness" or aggressiveness of the alpha, but the willingness of the others to back off and take a lesser position. On those occasions where you have two mares that refuse to give up the "top dog" fight, yes, you'll never have a resolution to the problem....ever.

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post #13 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by VLBUltraHot View Post
I completely agree with all the other posters. Introduction time is the key if you have the space or means.

If you are able, you and your wife should try riding the new mare and the alpha mare away from the other two horses. Go on a trail ride and let the squabbling mares do something that doesn't involve fighting over space or friends. They will have to rely on each other to look out for the "boogie man" in the trees :) In my past experience, this has worked for two mares that were grumpy with each other. Even though they didn't necessarily "like" each other, they tolerated each other after they developed a positive relationship out of their territory zone.

It takes time for mares to sort out who's boss. Sometimes you just have to let them work it out themselves. Best of luck!
I found this to be a very interesting reply. It's not an approach I would have thought of, but definitely something I will take down for future reference.

One method I've heard about (if you're facilities would have a allowed for separate pastures or a division of your current one) is to place the new mare in with the lowest mare in the pecking order. Then once they're established, add the next highest in line. This would continue until the alpha horse was also placed in the pen. At this point the new mare has friends and isn't fighting for position with the whole herd at a time. Just something I read.

My herd took a long time to settle down when introducing a new horse. I would keep a close eye on them and watch for signs of overly aggressive behavior. Good luck with your new mare!
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post #14 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 06:56 AM
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Since separating them out isn't an option, what you might add is reminding them who is the MOST alpha of all and that is you and your wife. When I go out on the pasture with my horses, they tend to want to come up and get attention and then someone always gets the bright idea that THEY should be the only one allowed near me and starts to get a little alpha toward the other horses. I immediately step up and discipline the horse who's trying to be bossy and remind everyone that I am in charge and they are ALL subordinate to ME and no fussing is tolerated when I am in the herd. It takes a few times and has to be reinforced every time someone makes "ears" at someone else but once you've established yourself as the dominant one, then they seem to co-exist more peacefully when you aren't there.
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post #15 of 15 Old 10-27-2013, 09:15 AM
Green Broke
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I do that too DreamCatcher, but as soon as your gone they'll get into it again.
OP, sorry I didn't catch that the area was so small a first.
I think taping off a section is a good idea. Also I would have 2 water sources and 2 shades if possible. When we feed ours, there is always one feeder more than horses we have.

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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alpha , mares witchy , squabbling

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