Lead mare is getting nastier? Thoughts on how to help...?
I am relatively new to horses in the sense that I haven't owned 'my own personal horse' for the past 20 years until this summer. I bought a 4 yo mare. She has lived on our farm for 4 mos by herself. She was a bit unsettled, paced a lot, seemed to always be a bit hyper aware and would have a tantrum if we changed anything...move from pasture to pasture, put in stall, etc. So we always intended on getting her a buddy. And we finally did at the beginning of October so she would have a buddy. The new mare is a 15 yo. Very quiet, submissive, non-dominant. A real sweet heart.
My 4yo mare has taken lead mare position. But as time is going on (week 6 of their life together) she is progressively getting nastier towards the older mare. I am seeing more now that we have had to pull them off the pasture because it isn't growing and it is way to wet. They are in the large dry lot by the barn all day/night so not to distroy our pasture. I feel that the 4yo mare has been picking on the other mare more. We even incurred our first really non-scratch wound from a scuffle inflicted on the older mare. Thank god no vet required. But again today, the younger mare started out 'herding' the older mare to finally just nail her with another violent kick.
It has freaked my husband and I out enough that we are now seperating the 2. So one horse is in stall while other one is out....and vice versa. This I don't see as a viable long term solution (way to expensive on shavings, way to much need for me to be home a certain times to turn out horses from stall, makes the horse that is in stall annoyed the other one is 'out'...list goes on. But this is what we have reverted to do to avoid drama between the 2.
So my questions are this:
Does this pecking order stuff subside after awile?
What is the typical time frame (if there is such a thing)?
Does it a get worse before it gets better kind of thing?
Is there anyway I can keep the younger mare from kick the stuffing out of the older mare? Kicking seems to be her go to weapon of choice...
Can you implement devises to make kicking less attractive (kick chains, electric shock -like a dog collar-I actually saw this on someones blog and was surprised...didn't know this existed as a devise!!!)
Is seperating the 2 the only option?
I realize pecking order dominance is typical but to what extent do you say it is way to dangerous for the other horse?
This is so tough, really freaking me out. I know they have to figure out pecking order but I feel that it was established. and clear leadership is with the 4yo big bad bully mare. But she just keeps harrassing the older mare.
Thoughs, suggestions, please help. I would greatly appreciate it!