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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I took one of my mares last weekend and dropped her off at my friend's house for her to ride for a little while, since I am very busy with school and work. My friend already had a mare at the house, and she and my mare hit it off. The day after I dropped my mare off, my friend went and picked up her husband's weanling filly and brought it to their house.

Every chance she gets, my mare attacks the filly. She will corner her and just beat on her with her feet. This is a normally very placid mare; of the adult horses in my pasture, she is at the bottom of the totem pole. She was pushy with the yearling filly out in a separate pasture, but nothing like this. My friend has had to keep them separated so that mine can't get to the baby. If this keeps up, I'm going to have to go and pick her back up, because it's not fair to my friend or the filly- and I really don't need my mare seriously hurting the baby.

Any thoughts on why this is happening or what can be done, if anything, to help her get over this random rage? My mare hates it when the other two get out of her sight, but then she just runs up and attacks the baby when they are together. Ungrateful witch!
 

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Horses are smarter than we think and this sounds like a case of pure jealousy - your mare doesn't want to share her new found friend
When we bought Jazzie my pinto Looby wouldn't allow her anywhere near Willow who she had shared a field with for a year, just the two of them. She ran the new horse away but didn't attack her as long as there was a good space between them. A few months later she decided that she actually preferred Jazzie to Willow so now its poor Willow that is made to stay apart from them.
Fortunately there is no actual fighting with mine but where there is you could have a problem that won't go away and for the sake of the filly and your friendship unless there's a way to section off a part of the grazing you might have to remove your mare if things don't resolve
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah that's what I'm afraid of. I told her I would come pick her up, and she said to give it a couple more days and see if things calm down. We will see... I just hope the baby doesn't get hurt in the interim. My friend asked me to bring the mare because she really wanted something to ride right now, and she was really excited when she got there, but we didn't expect this complication. Horses!
 

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Yep, this sounds like your average case of friend hogging. Even though she is at the bottom, with the filly being significantly smaller in size and much easier to push around your mare has no problem telling her to back off her buddy.

If there's no way to keep them separate probably the best thing to do is take her back unfortunately. Good luck!
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Your mare is doing what is natural any time a new horse is introduced to the herd. Ensuring her place in the pecking order. If there is enough room for the filly to get out of the way I would let them sort it out and in time the aggressive behavior will stop.
95% of the time no serious injury will occur during these fights. It just is a little hard to watch if your horse is the one getting beat up.
My advice is if there is enough room leave them to sort this out themselves. Shalom
 

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db - I would agree if they all belonged to the OP as it would then be her risk but the filly belongs to the friend who is currently keeping the OP's mare at her place. Mostly they will work things out but the young one likely doesn't have the 'smarts' of an older horse and if things did go bad and she got injured at such a young age it could create a very ugly situation for these two people.
 

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jaydee I agree with you. There might be some legal an d financial issues that come between the two friends if either horse is injured.
Both the OP and her friend need to consider that. Shalom
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree Jaydee. It's not my horse getting beat up; it's my horse being the bully. It is natural for horses to sort out their place in the herd; this is more so pure aggression, as she will seek her out and tear her a new one while the filly is doing the "I'm opening and closing my mouth because I'm a baby don't hurt me" thing. Plus since the baby is so little, I'm worried about letting my much bigger mare sort it out since I don't want the little one to get majorly injured in the process- nor do I want to have to pay the vet bill if that does happen. This is a weanling, remember- not a yearling. I think I'll probably just end up picking my mare back up this weekend unless things improve in the next two days. I'm not sure if she has cross-fencing to separate them out permanently or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So here's the thing. I told her I would take her away, and she said no, she really wants to give it some more time to see if things get solved because she really wants a horse she can ride right now. She is two hours away from me, and I can't just up and go get her until this weekend. Also, it's not like she's just turning her out and letting her beat her up- she stands out there, and if things get nasty, they get separated. I really was looking for more constructive advice, like from people who had maybe been through this before. I am aware there is a problem. Thanks for your input.
 

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...Also, it's not like she's just turning her out and letting her beat her up- she stands out there, and if things get nasty, they get separated. This wasn't made clear in your prior posts, & it didn't seem like this was the case, by your description. Good to hear...
Plan B should've already been thought out, which necessarily includes all of your logistics, like being 2 hours away, in school, etc.

Horses require a lot of preparation/thinking things through/Plan B & so on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've owned horses for 13 years, but thanks for the tip! I don't really know why you're being so antagonistic, so I'll suffice it to say that it's a sucky situation that I'm trying to rectify while also juggling a full time 8-5 job and take care of my other horses and pets. My friend is competent and I trust her judgement. I don't have it out for the baby, nor would I leave my mare there to do something awful if I thought it wasn't being handled. I was just hoping for some first hand experience from someone to see how they got through it.

Thank you to those of you that provided helpful advice.
 

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Since your friend seems to be happy to take the risk - and its her filly after all - then let her see how things settle or don't.
She sounds to be doing her best to control the situation.
I think once she starts riding your horse things might improve - taking the other horse out might actually force your mare to accept the filly as a friend too because she wont see it as something to be jealous of.
Hope things work out for you both
 

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my mare did this with a yearling i introduced her to about a year ago. we put my mare in with the yearling and her mother, and my mare came from across the arena to attack the filly. we had two small paddocks next to each other, and put one in each, and took all the other horses away. herd instinct kicked in, they were ok grazing next to each toehr with a fence between them after the first day. put them together two days later, and anne stomped and squealed a little, but when the yearling started clacking her teeth and chewing at her, she calmed down and grazed. we did this for three or four days, then turned them out with the rest of the horses again. (draft mare, the yearlings mother,the yearling and anne) they had a little more squealing and pinned ears, then went back to normal.

bottom line, when we took away the other horses, they had only each other to rely on, so they made nice. this established a bond and an order within a safe environment, which could be used as a baseline for their position in the herd as a whole.

hope that helps.
 

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I wasn't antagonistic: I was concerned for the weanling & you didn't explain that your friend was with horses whenever they were together, till you clarified. You can't see that, but instead say I've been antagonistic to you?

I think that any reasonable person'd read my posts & not see "antagonism" there, but rather, concern for horses. I could've added, "it might work out", & tell you how it worked out for OTHER horses, like AnalisaP did, but fact is, that's saying nothing, because each horse & therefore each situation is unique! This is especially true with a wealing: a bonding can occur, or the weanling can get beaten up or killed.
 

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Northern i have owned horses for 46 years and my family for generations. I have never seen or heard of a horse killing another one. Ever. I have seen them biten and kicked most do not need medical attention. Only rarely do they harm each other that severely. All my horses are kept in a herd enviroment never stalled. Weanlings might be abused but never crippled most horses are not that destructive to one of their own kind. Stallions maybe if challenged by another male, but not IMO mares or foals. Shalom
 

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dbarabians, you can look in the archives right here on this forum & find at least one thread where one horse cornered another horse at a fence & killed it. When I was 12 years old, a newborn foal was run & savaged to death by the other horses when the mom was too weak from the birth to defend it. It happens, & I'm amazed that you've been unaware of it.
 

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It seems like sometimes they just consider certain other horses to be 'weak' and feel the need to bully them, too. I have a filly who had a tough start at life and had been battling a lot of different problems, and she was very stunted (yearling, but weanling sized) and the same thing happened with her. I tried turning her out for the first time with other horses at 17 months old, and they either blatantly ignored her/didn't let her be part of the herd or beat her up. Normally quiet mares chased her around the pasture and laid teeth and hooves into her if she even looked their way. I guess they just realized she was weaker to them and a 'threat' to their herd so they kept her away. She also had no horse socialization/communication skills at ALL which is probably another reason they disliked her.

Now that she's 2 though, after a lot of patience and slow socialization (I kept her alone for a while and just let her 'visit' other one other horse at a time while I watched them then progressed to turn out with one horse, then two, etc.,) and after her putting on 300 lbs and 6 inches, most horses accept her as part of the herd. She gets beat up more than the others and always has some kind of bite or kick mark it seems, but she's happy and the mares leave her alone unless she steps out of line.

This friends weanling might be unsocialized, or just too small for your mare to handle for now. There are so many variables that without seeing them in action, its hard to tell you how to solve it or why your mare might be bullying the filly.
 
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Nothern I am not aware of any horse being killed by another. My family has raised horses for generations and I now own 31. That equates to well over 100 horses in my lifetime bred and owned by myself and my parents. My foals are born in a pasture with as many as 10 other mares and geldings.
Never has a foal been hurt intentionally by another horse here. Now those pastures are sometimes as small as 10 acres and as large as 200.
A horse killing another horse is RARE. My two mature stallions might do each other damage but their motivation is different than that of a mare. Shalom
 
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