Horses not getting along?? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 12-29-2014, 05:46 PM
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I keep my horses in the back yard.
Every animal acts different in a herd or pack or flock, than they do by themselves.
I take 2-3 MONTHS to work a new horse into my herd, and I work them together and trailer them together to get them acquainted. Other than that they get to know each other OVER the fence for several months.
It is the same with horses and with chickens. When I made a new flock I put my young hen in with one older hen at a time, growing from two to six over a period of about one week. If you just throw them in together they will draw blood and kill a new hen. They won't do that with an adult rooster. You NEED to understand the behavior of your animals.
I spoke to some people who have adopted seven (?!?!?!?!?) shelter dogs. One female dog was hospitalized after two of their other dogs ran with her and attacked her. (I think they are hoarders, but they don't understand dog and pack behavior, either.)
NO animal groups like change. They like routine and habit, and when you introduce a new one to the group, they panic about what their new place will be in that herd. Throwing horses together creates pandemonium.
I still think I'd reevaulate your horse purchases.

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman, Amazon.com
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did! https://www.horseforum.com/general-of...queens-617793/
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post #12 of 22 Old 12-30-2014, 01:03 AM
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It has only been 2 days, it can take longer to sort it out like up to a few weeks...how big is the field? it should be at least a couple acres to give them the room they need to escape each other if they feel like they need more space...if it is too small it could aggravate them as they try to settle things down...if they have the room they need then i would wait it out and see for now...and like someone else said make sure there's 2 piles of hay out for them at all times at a distance from each other...good luck!!
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post #13 of 22 Old 12-30-2014, 02:40 AM
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corpral that is how it is here in az. people dont turn horses out geather where im at. and my fiance refuses to EVER let our horses be turned out WITH other horses unsupervised. he was there when a horse kicked at and shattered a horse's shoulder...

OP separate them so that they share a fence line. maybe stall them next to each other at night so they can get used to each other.
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post #14 of 22 Old 12-30-2014, 09:59 PM
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Corporal, nothing op has said suggests one is being a 'bully' & there are other reasons besides a horse feeling intimidated that he may be pacing. You are painting a 'worst case scenario' that while possible, is not that probable.
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When you keep horses separated, they will still have to sort out their pecking order when you put them together. And it's a lot of chronic stress(so potential health issues not just well being) to keep horses in solitary confinement.
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post #15 of 22 Old 12-30-2014, 10:24 PM
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It may surprise you guys, but horses are herd animals. They actually do tend to get along fine with each other without such management. Although I have seen frustration & anxiety *because of* keeping horses separated, causing over the top 'politics' when horses are finally introduced.

If horses(or people, dogs, etc) are kept in solitary confinement, esp if brought up that way, they can absolutely be socially inept and become antisocial & even aggressive with other Animals. It is a product of peoples intensive management practices & not allowing horses to be horses, not because 'it is dangerous to put horses together'.

And I'm not speaking from insular experience, but from general, worldwide practice. Its rare in the scheme of things, that horses are so micro managed as some people advise they must be.

So long as a new horse is introduced to others in an environment they know( let them explore paddock first, know fence line... And it's a large & open enough area for them to not get trapped, pushed through fences, etc, it is very rare for them to do each other serious injury, far from the terrifying & irresponsible situation it sounds like from some here. And they've already been together a couple of days already too kiger.
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post #16 of 22 Old 12-30-2014, 10:31 PM
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It can take up to two weeks for them to work out who's herd boss. I have brought in new horses,put them in corral next to who they will be with. Feed hay at fence line so they can eat together.

Yeah there's some squealing and striking going on at first,but after two days all is quiet. After a week i put new horse in with the rest there might be some running but it doesn't last. Never have had a problem introducing new horses this way,have a boarded horse i took in she's with my 3 and no one got hurt.

They all stand sided by side eating hay,feed grain once a day all know where the belong for grain time,they stand at their place and wait. No fighting going on,i feed the boss mare first then the rest. If one of them plays chase the others from their grain i tie the problem horse up,problem solved.

Give them time they will work it out as long as the boss horse isn't beating the crap out of the other one it should be ok. Main thing is make sure they have plenty of hay to eat, or pasture has plenty of grass. Hungry horses tend to fight more.
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post #17 of 22 Old 12-31-2014, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
It may surprise you guys, but horses are herd animals. They actually do tend to get along fine with each other without such management. Although I have seen frustration & anxiety *because of* keeping horses separated, causing over the top 'politics' when horses are finally introduced.

If horses(or people, dogs, etc) are kept in solitary confinement, esp if brought up that way, they can absolutely be socially inept and become antisocial & even aggressive with other Animals. It is a product of peoples intensive management practices & not allowing horses to be horses, not because 'it is dangerous to put horses together'.

And I'm not speaking from insular experience, but from general, worldwide practice. Its rare in the scheme of things, that horses are so micro managed as some people advise they must be.

So long as a new horse is introduced to others in an environment they know( let them explore paddock first, know fence line... And it's a large & open enough area for them to not get trapped, pushed through fences, etc, it is very rare for them to do each other serious injury, far from the terrifying & irresponsible situation it sounds like from some here. And they've already been together a couple of days already too kiger.
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And in a nutshell, this is precisely what animal behaviourist Marthe Kiley-Worthington says in her book "Horse Watch - What It Is To Be Equine." She shows in her case studies what those of us who grew up with horses kept naturally already know - that horses raised and run in groups exhibit far more cooperative than competitive behaviour, and that horses are far more likely to injure themselves and suffer health problems, not to mention social deprivation, if kept artificially apart as a norm.

I know of one stallion kept in isolation in his retirement, with a double fence across from others when in the paddock, and in a loose box adjoining a gelding at night (which the owner considers plenty social but the horse clearly does not), who after five years of retirement and years of pacing up and down the fence line growing ulcers, developed a habit of self-harming by spinning in a circle like a dog chasing its own tail, and biting his own flanks until they are bloody. What he does to himself is far worse than the odd scrape or bite you get when re-socialising horses carefully and appropriately. He is a really nice, friendly horse and would be fine with a gelding (or mare obviously, except he'd produce offspring). I've been encouraging the owner to have him gelded so he can be normally socialised - since he's not going to be bred from.

I did exactly that with my riding horse - gelded post-racing at age 11, when he was equally miserable from social deprivation and very aggressive to anyone and everyone over his fence. He was worked and gradually socialised and was running with a buddy after a year, and now runs peaceably as boss horse in a full herd including a pony and three donkeys (not bad for a "dangerous" horse many people told me they'd never even attempt to socialise).

Horses kept artificially may not learn how to socialise normally and may then need to be rehabilitated and introduced to each other with extra care and intermediate steps. Putting horses that grew up largely separated from others in together without such precautions can result in those injuries that many people then cite as a reason never to socialise horses normally at all - creating a Catch-22.

For re-socialising, large paddocks are preferable to small ones, preferably grazing paddocks as these give horses something to do and don't result in "food fights" - and check there are no blind alleys into which horses can be chased. It's best to introduce socially inexperienced horses gradually, by riding together, and keeping them adjacent for a while. A single or double electric tape is good as it prevents fence injuries (and ringlock or barbed wire or sharp-topped pickets without safety caps are definitely not right for such a divider). When hand-feeding newly socialising horses, separating them during feed times (and before the buckets etc appear) can prevent aggression until things become more settled down the track.

I've just mentioned some general basics here. The take-home point is that most problems with horses are actually created by humans.

I'm not sure if this photo will post as I am "away" but it shows two late-gelded ex-race stallions either side of a temporary double electric line. The dark horse in the centre is my riding horse, running with a little mare and a 30yo gelding, and three donkeys not in the photograph. The recently arrived chestnut pair in the background are the other late-cut horse and his first-ever paddock buddy, who is his full sister. They are all learning to hang with each other stress-free, and in a few months we'll do some direct introductions, with the view of them all running together. This kind of precaution is necessitated by the artificial way those three were brought up.



Here's the hyperlink should the above not work:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/redmoo...n/photostream/

The change in demeanour and the obvious happiness of "battery hen" horses who have learnt to socialise is awesome to witness.
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Last edited by SueC; 12-31-2014 at 12:41 AM.
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post #18 of 22 Old 12-31-2014, 03:24 AM
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post #19 of 22 Old 12-31-2014, 07:25 AM
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After technical difficulties on an "away" computer, here's the photo I wanted to post above:



The two bay horses in the photo (big one and little one) were raised in herds, and are super social, and great at getting along with other horses. The other three were born and brought up in typical racing facilities with stables and small yards and had a far lower "horse social" IQ, plus are far more neurotic - a common pattern - but both these issues improved out of sight in the case of the dark horse in the middle, who is now approaching normal, five years into being socialised. The two chestnuts are also much better already for being buddied up - several years of that in a small-yard facility before coming to us last month - and are now retiring at our place in large open spaces and with the view of integrating into the existing herd. They spent the first week almost exclusively under that tree eating hay instead of grazing while trying to get over the size of the world, before starting to venture out slowly into their two-hectare run - encouraged by having either of the two socially adept bays come to baby-sit them and show them the ropes. Horses like those babysitters actually have a "culture" they can pass on to newcomers and the uninitiated.

Babysitting photo from the first week:




The reason they aren't all together immediately is that the two late-cut males require a bit of extra care in getting to know each other, especially with one of them so newly arrived and dealing with his first complete change of scenery. We're just letting those two boys chill at the moment, and get used to being near each other. Aggression is frequently driven by fear, and gradual introductions of horses like that really reduces the hassle.
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post #20 of 22 Old 12-31-2014, 09:54 AM
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Hi Horses!

Toss out a couple flakes of hay, about 20ft apart, and watch what happens. If your boys negotiate a treaty, and settle down to their snack, all is well. If Alpha-boy hogs both flakes, and would rather chase than eat, you have at least the beginnings of a bullying problem. However in my experience, most horses will work things out fairly quickly, and settle down to something like a stable relationship.

If it helps any, my TB "Oily" has always been disdainful of George, think "The Aristocrat, and The Street Urchin". Oily thinks it great fun to chase George from one blade of grass to another, and will almost always move George away to be The First At The Gate. George mostly ignores Oily, moving at the last possible moment, even tossing a mock kick in parting sometimes. It's been this way for all of the five years they have shared a pasture. Even so, they are pasture mates, and lean on each other for support when presented with a new situation. They will even settle down and share a pile of hay eventually. I don't worry about it, beyond segregating them so that George can finish his breakfast in peace.

Bottom line: Let 'em be horses; they'll work it out.

ByeBye! Steve
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