Need help with dominant gelding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-03-2014, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with dominant gelding

We have an 8 yr old 16.1h Saddlebred gelding which we board. He seems to be a bully to other geldings all of a sudden. He bites/nips at their hind legs and bites their manes/necks and kicks at them. He constantly bothers them, even when they just walk away and try to ignore him. He seems to be getting worse. We were originally at a show stable so he never really had access to being out with other horses. Now that we are at a different stable where he has access to outside turn out and indoor turnout his behavior is really starting to change. He doesn't like being alone at all but he's really picking on the other horses that the barn owner is turning out with him. The other horses are fine they just want to graze and eat hay but he just constantly is bugging them. We also just got a 17.1h Saddlebred and I would love to have just the two of them together but the 8 yr old is constantly nipping at his rear legs and following him around, and I would hate to have him bullied because he seems very submissive. Any suggestions? Thanks
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-03-2014, 02:34 PM
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It is an absolutely normal horse behavior. The gelding is seeking for his place in the herd hierarchy and is clearly a dominating type, so he is making sure that everyone accepts him as such. However, if the horse has never really had social interactions with other horses, he might be bullying them out of being ignorant about horse social laws and might greatly benefit by being turned out with an experienced lead mare. She'd put him in his place quickly.

It doesn't really sound like bullying, though. Just horses being horses.

I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-03-2014, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Great thanks, thats what we were kinda figuring, I just don't want any of the 0ther horses get hurt. I'm one of those people who worry over every little thing lol.
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-03-2014, 03:15 PM
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You may worry if a weak horse is constantly being bullied into a tight place - a corner in the pastures, a shelter or alike - and being attacked with serious kicking and biting there. Following around, nipping - that's completely okay, boys will be boys. You shouldn't also worry about small bites, tears, minor injuries that come from these fights - what seems brutal to people is nothing to horses.

Now, if a horse tries displaying such a behavior towards a human, or whilst being ridden/lead past other horses, it is time for some educating. But, among horses - let them be. ;)
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I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.
/James Wright/
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-03-2014, 08:19 PM
Green Broke
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I wouldnt worry about it if he's not causing any serious harm. If the others get annoyed, they will tune him in. So long as he is not running anyone through fences ;) The best thing for him, as Saranda suggested would be to find a dominant horse and turn him out with them to teach him some respect.
Unfortunately, otherwise it is not a problem that can be fixed. By working with the horse yourself, you will only gain his respect for yourself. This will not mean that he will have it for any others, so i know it was already said, but just let horses be horses ;)

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-03-2014, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, he's a really good boy except for this issue.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-03-2014, 09:18 PM
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My younger gelding had this issue, just being an annoying pain in the butt to my other horses. Nothing serious just like a constant nattering. I then bought a mare and she came in and didn't like his behaviour and gave him an attitude adjustment lol poor guy couldnt believe it haha. He is still a troublemaker but knows when enough is enough now lol
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biting , bullying , saddlebred

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