kicking between mares (question and response)

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kicking between mares (question and response)

Post by Susan Brown on Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:53 am

I have 4 horses, 3 mares and 1 gelding.
The gelding is the pasture boss. I have 2 mares that have attitudes with each other. They were fine until I brought in the 3rd mare. She is very docile and does not fight for pecking order. But now my 19 yr old has developed an attitude with the other young mare and they are constantly at each other and fight for who comes in the barn first, I do not like this new attitude. What steps do I take to correct this problem.
Thanks
Sandy K Hovs



Sandy,

When the horses are at pasture, they will need to work their issues out on their own. If they are unsafe to be with each other, you may need to separate them, or remove the new mare to a different pasture, or add fencing and gate to separate them. But this may not be necessary if you can stop the bickering at the gate.

Regardless of their social issues, here IS something VERY important for you to do. You must reserve your own personal safety around the horses at the gate, and in the pasture. It can be very dangerous to have them pushing, shoving, kicking and biting near you, into you, every day. The fight over the gate is something you absolutely can, and must settle completely and immediately. You must teach the horses that they may not carry on with any aggressive or even slightly pushy behavior anywhere near you.

I teach my horses when they are young, or new to the property, that they must not crowd the gate ever when I am present. I use my lead rope, twirling it fast toward any horse that is pushing up toward me or pushing the gate. Make them all stay 10 yards away from the gate until you come get them. No other horses are allowed near the gate when you are taking someone in or out. Cluck and twirl the rope consistently as you approach them. if they don't move, the rope will slap them on the rump, or chest, or wherever. Be sure that you are swinging it so the end comes down on the horse, not up, so it won't hit their eye if it comes down on the face. Be VERY aggressive, If anyone comes to the gate, go after them furiously until they are far away from you, and staying back. When you do go up to get them, pet them. Never go into the pasture without a rope. With consistency, as you teach them that pushy behavior is not allowed and they must stay back from the gate, I think you will find your horses can be very gentle and well mannered around you. And they may get along just fine together without the daily fight for the gate.

Sandy, I'm glad you're enjoying the online magazine, Going Gaited. Please do what you can to spread the word through email, facebook, or word of mouth.

Good luck,

Susan
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Susan Brown

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Join date : 2010-02-19
Location : Gilberts, IL

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