Understanding herd dynamics - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-21-2014, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Understanding herd dynamics

Hi All

Firstly thank you for your advice so far! your all really helpful and friendly :)

This is not so much about advice, but trying to understand my little twosome.
I have had Elliott my gelding for about 7 months, and about 6 wks ago we gained a lovely little mare to keep him company.
We kept them seperate for around a week, with contact over the fence. When we put them together, all went well. A few little squeals and kicks from the mare to tell the gelding to back off, and they ran off together.
They seem quite settled now, an odd kick here of there but not a meaningful one, they never have been, and always from the mare to the gelding.

However, the last few days my gelding has become posessive over me. When I go out in the field I go and give them both a scratch. They are always near each other. As soon as I give my gelding a scratch and then transfer my attention to the mare, my gelding tries biting my mare, and she ends up kicking him. Firstly, why does he do this? Is he being possesive, or is it something else?
And what can I do to stop it? I dont want him starting fights when I am near, as although they are small, their hooves can still hurt!

Thanks for reading my essay!!
daisy1981 is offline  
post #2 of 3 Old 12-21-2014, 01:57 PM
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Biting is perfectly normal for colts, bedded or not.

He is not possessive of you he is just taking advantage of the mare being pre occupied.

You are correct in being concerned about it. When you are making a fish of the mare drive the colt away by moving strongly towards him amd arm waving. Make sure he stands back a few yards whilst you are fussing her.
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-21-2014, 06:17 PM
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Agree with Fox, except the 'not possessive' - sounds like he's trying to 'own' you & telling her to bug off. He sees you as a good resource. IMO, they're welcome to work things out between them generally, but when I'm there, herd politics is not allowed and is not tolerated. I'd first be teaching & asking for them to remain a 'respectful' distance from me, then I'd be strongly driving away either(or both) horse if/when they 'forget' that they must mind their manners with eachother around me.
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