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Aggressive towards other horses

I recently purchased a 10 year old quarter horse mare. Unfortunately some poor behavior problems are starting to surface. She is currently pastured at our neighbor's with his two 2 year old mares. The problem is that she tends to corner the other horses and kick them, especially when it is time for them to come into the barn. At first her aggressiveness was mostly for show, but now she is harming the other horses. Naturally the owner is worried about the health of his young horses. I noticed though that at her old home she was not the alpha horse and appears to be submissive when other older horses are with her. She just enjoys beating up on these young horses. Is there anything to do about this besides separate them? Since our neighbor is doing us a favor by keeping her there, the situation is uncomfortable and we are worried we may have to get rid of her. Any advice you have is appreciated.
Thanks, Carrie

Hi Carrie,

Thank you for your question. I am just about to leave for Colorado. I would like to respond to this more completely in a few days. It seems a bit urgent, but I don't have the time at the moment to fully respond. Is there an enclosed paddock there or round pen? You could try working all the horses together in a round pen or small paddock. I can talk you through it or describe the process. That will help them to work more as a team. It may not solve the problem completely, but should help acclimate the horses to each other in a more peaceful, socialized way. It is not a good situation as you have described it. Someone is likely to get hurt. Let me know about the paddock or round pen. I get settled into the ranch where I shall be on Friday and should be able to respond more fully over the weekend.

Aloha, Franklin

Hi Franklin,

Thanks for your reply! There is paddock area, but it is surrounded by electric fencing which the younger horses have already run through in the past (there is no round pen). The horses have access to water in the barn during the day and there is a narrow fenced in area right by the door to the barn. This is usually where the problems start, especially when we are trying to get our horse into ride the other horses try to get in thinking "its dinner time". In general, our horse is not friendly to other animals - she even puts her ears back at our dogs and the cat. So I am sure itís a personality thing. But unfortunately itís gotten worse in the last week with our neighbor's horses (could it be that she is just in heat). Since our neighbor is doing us a favor by keeping her at his barn, we feel uncomfortable about the situation and that his horses may get hurt. We hope to work the situation out since the other boarding options in our neighborhood are much more expensive.

Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.


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