Managing changes in the herd - The Horse Forum
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  • 1 Post By Palomine
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-21-2014, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Managing changes in the herd

We have had some changes in our "herd" over the last week and a half. We started out with 3 horses (a 10 yr old Appaloosa mare, a small painted pony, and an elderly white horse) in one corral and 2 mares in the other, one of which had to be returned to the farmer that we bought her from bc of bad behavior. She was a bully and totally unpredictable. We replaced her with a 13 yr old gelding who is calm and sweet for the most part. The mare and the gelding started out ok, with an occasional kick or bite.
Sadly, this last weekend, the old white mare passed away. We decided that we needed to combine them all so they could be in the larger field, where the grass was plenty. Now, the two mares surround the little pony and will not let the gelding close to them. The gelding keeps his distance, but occasionally tries to enter in. The mares will not let him close. Luckily, they aren't really fighting, but the mares will bite and kick if he tries to come close. Also, we have noticed that the mares will try to kick us if we try to walk up to them at the field. They didn't do this before the changes. Will this situation improve over time? Would appreciate any advice. I hate to pull the pony out by herself, but I do think the mares think she's a baby. And I hate to remove the gelding bc he'd be alone.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-21-2014, 08:59 AM
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Split them up. Were they separated before this?

And if they are kicking at you, I would bet there were some problems before this change, you just didn't realize it.

New members or not? No way any of mine would ever have pulled that.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-21-2014, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MargClay View Post
Also, we have noticed that the mares will try to kick us if we try to walk up to them at the field.
bring a carriage whip, a lunge whip, or something similar.

approach them, and the second they *start* turning their butts towards you to kick out at you, scream and chase the fire out of them (make sure you got your running shoes on) -- that is not a behaviour you should tolerate, and definitely not a behaviour any lead horse would tolerate

rinse and repeat --- start screaming and chasing the second they start turning their butts to you --- when you can walk up to them without them thinking that you are some sort of inferior annoyance -- then you can start working on the other issues
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-21-2014, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Only one of those horses has a history of turning to kick and she is the one who is doing it. If you greet her at the fence or ride her, she is fine. It's only when you approach her in the field.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-21-2014, 04:30 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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Regardless of when she does and doesnt do it. That isnt the point. The point is that she is doing it. And needs a coming to jesus moment. This is dangerous. It isn't something that should just be avoided and not addressed.

Never let "good enough," be good enough.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-21-2014, 05:08 PM
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I would pull the "Kicker" out of the herd and bring her to isolation where you're the only thing she sees for a while. We'd have some serious respect training starting yesterday. She would have to walk up to me, ears up and pleasant expression on her face or no food. It wouldn't take her long to learn that. Then I'd start walking up to her in the corral or small pasture and if she even thought of not giving me her ears and a pleasant face, I'd start in on her. She should NEVER be allowed to do anything but turn to FACE you when you're approaching. Anything else would get all Hades rained down on her and she would very quickly learn who was in charge. Right now, she is and you're allowing it.
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