Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Aggressive new horse

hi franklin

could you please help i have 2 mares 1 in which i have had for 4 years now who doesnt have a mean bone in her body she is 18 yrs old and the other is a 6 yr old to which i have only had for about 4 mths to which is in foal and due early october the reason im sending you this email is because im finding that when im in the yard the younger mare is getting very nasty in biting and charging my other mare away which is really frustrating me as my older mare doesnt fight back unless she has had enough and may double barrel the other is this a jealousy thing or just a nasty trait this horse has i have tried to give the same attention to both that is when i can get near my old girl but its not working and she is getting chunks taken out of her whole body do i need to seperate them can you please help me sort this situation please as i hate seing them fight.

regards christine

thank you for your time and i eagerly await your expertise in this matter

Here are two suggestions:

One is to separate the horses into two separate paddocks so they can greet each other over a fence line. Make certain the fence is extremely safe. This is an accepted way to introduce new horses into an existing herd or social situation. You and your original horse are the existing herd. It would not be abnormal for the newcomer to exhibit all sorts of undesirable behavior considering the circumstances the animal now finds itself in. Everything is new. I would set it up to allow more time for these two horses to get to know each other in a safe way.

The other way is to haze both horses around the paddock at the same time. The aggressor will still aggress the other horse. The instant it lays its ears back you separate out that aggressor. You hold him separate from the other horse who will probably be hiding behind you. Haze this aggressive horse back and forth along the fence line a bit to put him to some movement (work) as a consequence for its undesirable behavior. Eventually, fairly soon, that separated horse will show body language signs of repentance (lowered hear, sheepish look, licking). It is saying I'll be a good girl no matter, let me back in. Then you allow it in and haze the two around again together. If the aggressor looks to do its thing again, you repeat the process. In this instance the human really does become the herd leader.

Good Luck and please keep me posted,

Sincerely, Franklin

Look for: