dealing with agressive horses in the pasture & more - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 55 Old 01-13-2020, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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dealing with agressive horses in the pasture & more

Could the more seasoned riders give me some advice on how to act? This is the situation: 5 geldings (1 owned by a friend, this is the horse I ride and know the other ones are not ours), 1 recently gelded (still a stallion 2 weeks ago) and very young. Leader of the horse pack is pushy and agressive towards me (pins ears, doesn't back up when I swing a rope in circular motions, shows me his butt, always pins ears when he sees me entering the pasture in his proximity, approaches our horse to pin ears and sometimes even quickly bite (!) while I am holding our horse on a leadrope. (I smack him with the rope real quick) The young recently gelded one crowded my space so I pushed him back, but he kept on coming and interfering while I tried to halster our horse he crept up behind me until my horse let out a high pitched scream... :s

Recently gelded stallion attacked our horse while I was riding it. Not funny. He approached quickly, ears flat and agressively. I waved my arms and made some sound (but not too much because I did not want to startle my horse), luckily an electrical wire seperated us, but the horse crept underneath it or something (I don't know how he did this) to annoy us once more... I was lucky my very experienced friend was on the ground because I was driving our horse away, but the other one followed and I was like: no way I am gonna get caught up in a horse fight...

=> please give me very specific tips on the course of action I need to take when a horse attacks mine while riding. This gelding is 2 years and not trained, I never carry a whip because our horse is very responsive and no whip is needed (also I would not want to slap our horse by accident because he is extremely responsive and he would take this as a punishment). I also don't want to scare the other horse or mess up his training and make him scared of whips... On the other hand I do not want to let him close enough to touch with my limbs...

Also how can I handle the pushy ones in the pasture??

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #2 of 55 Old 01-13-2020, 04:55 PM
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If you can't ride him anywhere else but IN that pasture, bring a whip and light. that. younger. horse. UP for his nonsense. On foot, BEAT HIS BUTT with a lunge whip. You apply whatever amount of force you need, through the whip, to convince this obnoxious youngster you're the lead mare and not to be harassed. Drive him away, as a senior mare or high horse would do, then go on about your day. He comes back, drive him away again until he gets the message.



As for your horse when you're not there, there's not a lot you can do. Sooner or later, your horse or one of the others may get quite enough of him and trash him for it. If not, and the abuse continues, you need to ask the BO to handle it and get your horse out of there and into another pasture.


CAVEAT: Some horses won't back down, even youngsters - you need to know if you have one that will stop his foolishness when enough force is applied - or if he's the type to escalate things to a dangerous level. Ask your BO the best approach.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #3 of 55 Old 01-13-2020, 05:17 PM
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I agree with a lunge whip. Try it from behind a fence to see if he gives. Iíve also seen people use very crinkly plastic bags tied to longish sticks on horses who arenít scared of whips. That sure lights a fire under their bum. Umbrellas as well. Be careful not to spook your horse or spook them all and separate your horse and only then approach him.

I would never ride with loose horses, especially if the horse in question is known to be aggressive to other horses under saddle. If it cannot be helped, carry a dressage whip and give the aggressive horse a good whack, DO NOT HOLD BACK. You donít want him to learn that he can be aggressive and get away with a light slap. You are not going to mess him up, this is a very important lesson he needs to learn.

If it was my horse in there with those brats, I would ask the BO to move it. I donít deal with other peopleís messes - I donít do it for my husband, why would I do it for some random person at the barn I pay good money for? This sounds like Iím a diva but Iíve never had trouble with this attitude because I always make sure other people donít have to deal with my mess.
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post #4 of 55 Old 01-13-2020, 05:41 PM
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Also... if you go with the Handle it with a Lunge Whip Yourself approach, rather than asking for BO assistance... or after the BO tells you to have at it... you step into that pasture like a boxer into the ring. Have your shoulders back, chin up, walk with confidence and if that horse comes your way in a threatening manner, 'back your ears', throw on a mare-face mean-face... you might even consider a mare war cry squeal (I've even barked like a dog at mine... accidentally, but bark I did!) when you nail him with the whip... and do it all with confidence or that horse will smell the bluff on you. Be committed, be bold. Be uncompromising - you are to be respected and he is NOT to go at humans. Step into the ring prepared to be the boss mare.


Personally, whoever owns this horse and is responsible for the little turd needs to get ahead of this problem - a disrespectful, obnoxious youngster, that's teaching the other horses to be just as disrespectful, is why we end up with the Running Scared Clinton Anderson videos. If he isn't taught right. now. to back off and behave, he'll just get bolder and more aggressive, then he'll be dangerous, not just obnoxious and bratty.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #5 of 55 Old 01-13-2020, 06:24 PM
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I gather you were NOT riding in the pasture with the hroses, but they were next to your riding location and somehow one of them slipped in with you. I probably would have dismounted and picked up a rock to toss at the agressive horse (if you don't have a whip ).


This sounds like a very dangerous situation. I would not ride unless you can be sure that horses will not enter your riding area . It's just too dangerous.


You can learn to carry a whip that is NOT directed at your hrose. The horse can tell when your intention in waving the whip at the other horses is at THEM and not at HIM. Nonetheless, when horses are at war with each other, the human can be easily ignored . . .and hurt.
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post #6 of 55 Old 01-14-2020, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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I don't ride with other horses, we drive them out before riding and close off the part where we ride. He slipped in somehow.



yeah I also agree that this situation is really bad... I know animals and I have worked with them since I was a kid...This horse is seriously crossing a line. My friend her horse is trained really well and he did not protect himself while I was on him because he knows this is not allowed when handled by people or even when at a lunge line... (also because he is used to us handling the other horses when they try something...) The young horse is dangerous, other more experienced riders told me they are scared of him. He doesn't back up when you swing a rope, he doesn't back up when you push him...



I am sure my friend her horse is capable of protecting himself. He is more muscled and experienced and cool in the head... I saw the youngster had a big bite mark and some marks from being kicked so the other horses seem to discipline him... Sadly he teamed up with the most agressive horse that is the leader of the pack. This is not going to end well...



@AtokaGhosthorse where do I hit the horse?? On the breast? Legs? Shoulder?? neck?? I don't know.
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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #7 of 55 Old 01-14-2020, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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@AtokaGhosthorse I don't have a boyfriend. If the situation gets too bad we could ask my friend her boyfriend to come along and help us because we are both frail women...


I will bring my whip and ask my friend to bring a lunge whip next time so we can both act when this happens again. Also no way I am entering the pasture again without a whip, I had the biggest trouble to try and safely halter my horse while that other horse was pushing me and annoying my horse (I pushed back but he does not back up and keeps coming at us)



oh man I hate this kinda situation... I never thought a horse would try and attack me while riding and my friend her horse is such a nice sweet patient boy... he doesn't deserve this. Poor horse...
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The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #8 of 55 Old 01-14-2020, 01:48 PM
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I would try to avoid the face (I say TRY because this horse sounds dangerous, and if you are in actual danger then everything is fair game IMO). Anywhere else you can reach is good. When I've watched horses, I see that they typically bite each other on the butts, shoulders, and necks, but I'd go for whatever you can reach.
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post #9 of 55 Old 01-14-2020, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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@Horsef yeah our horse is plastic tarp trained, but I am pretty sure that he will react to a plastic bag in the wind because a bag is not the same as a big tarp. I would rather not be thrown off while riding. :p



it's not at a barn, it's a big field with privately owned horses by different owners.



I thought of something else too... The horse tries to attack us from the other side of the electrical wire... maybe we can... zap it with an iron stick with a wooden handle... That will certainly teach him a lesson and if he walks into the stick himself... I could just place the stick on the wire while holding it on the wooden part so he walks into it when attacking... or is that too cruel?

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out and meet it. (-Thucydides)
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post #10 of 55 Old 01-14-2020, 02:44 PM
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This youngster is developing poor manners... and while you can ďmanageĒ your interactions with him by using a lunge or stock whip (and the plastic bag tied to the end of a short whip is VERY effective with rebellious youngsters in my limited experience) this is ultimately an issue I would take up with the horseís owner and/or property owner.

The horse needs training and regular handling so it doesnít get worse, and itís not really your ďplaceĒ to be correcting someone elseís horse beyond what is needed to retrieve your own horse from the field and remain safe.

I know if Iíd arrived at my barn and saw someone whipping or zapping my horse, I would be very unhappy. Do I expect my horse to respect the space of humans and will I be upset if someone else has to reinforce that? Absolutely, and definitely not. But, I wouldnít want them to be constantly whipping, chasing, or attempting to train/correct behavior without my consent or being present. Especially if they are inexperienced with handling young horses... could just as easily make the behavior worse instead of better.

My suggestion would be to make sure the other owner and the property owner/manager are both aware of the issue and leave it to them to suggest the best course of action. If they refuse, or you are truly worried about your horse being in the same field with the younger horse... it might be time to find a new boarding facility.




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