Horse aggressive with other horses.

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by WesternRider22, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. WesternRider22

    WesternRider22 Full Member

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    My gelding is aggressive with other geldings??? Today me and another rider with her gelding were talking at the tack barn about 10 feet away from each other and all of a sudden my gelding bolts and bites her horse. I still had him and quickly popped him with a lead rope on the butt and that caught his attention.
    How should I work on this issue?
     
  2. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    If a horse attacks another horse while in hand, that means there's a breakdown somewhere in leadership. The horse doesn't view you as the leader so has no issue trying to chase other horses off.

    I would have done a LOT more than pop him in the butt. I would have gotten big and scary and spent the next few seconds making the horse think it was going to die, and then led the horse back where it was and acted like nothing had happened.

    To fix it the horse needs to know in no uncertain terms it cannot posture, pin ears, or fight with another horse while you're present. it's a huge liability otherwise--remember the majority of accidents on the ground where humans get badly hurt happen when a person gets in between fighting horses.
     
  3. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    That horses have squabbles and dislikes among themselves is normal and nothing you can do anything about.

    What you can do is asserting enough respect and influence on what they can and can not do while you are around that they stop acting it out while you are in charge. That should be easier with a male than a mare by the way because male horses are easier to control simply with dominance. You tell them with enough assertiveness and they will generally stop questioning. Mares are more psychologically complex and unpredictable when it comes to their moods.
     
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  4. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    Is this the same gelding that acted studdy with the mares and attacked another gelding in the pasture but settled down once you put him and the other gelding in a separate field?
    Do you have any history on him? Gelded late? Possible cryptorchid?
     
  5. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Start by doing a little more than popping him on the butt with a lead rope.

    You can't make a horse not attack another horse when they are both loose in a pasture, but you can do a whole lot more than pop him on the butt with a lead rope if he charges a horse while you have a hold of him or are riding him.

    ALL horses need to learn that they are not allowed to act out herd drama under saddle or in hand. And basically every horse you ever get on or handle will ask you the same question, 'so, how do you feel about me charging another horse while you're hanging onto the lead rope?'

    Clearly, you need to be a lot more on the ball when you're tacking up or riding. Keep him further than 10 feet from other horses, but yes, in fact, 'test' him but only when you are paying attention and ready to respond immediately. Don't put him close to another horse while you're picking out his hind feet. You need to feel and see those first subtle clues (ears pinned back, that nasty side eye look) and tell him at that time, 'Not on my watch, buddy!'

    Generally you also have to make a point of saying, 'No, you do NOT charge a horse I'm releasing into the pasture!'

    Wuss Horse was diving at the pony over the paddock fence when I turned pony out. And yes, I walloped Wuss Horse, fast and hard, and it did not happen again. I'm not going to get knocked down and stepped all over and kicked because he wants to bite the pony over the fence.

    You have to be clear, quick and definite. This is an extreme safety issue. Fighting horses can severely injure their handlers or riders. An old cowboy loved to tell the tale of getting kicked by an aggressive horse while he was riding. Broke his thigh clean in two.
     
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  6. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

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    This is one of the very few offenses that warrants putting the fear of death into an animal. He should think, for just a second, that you will kill him.
     
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  7. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    ^^^This right here.

    If your horse doesn't obey you when in hand, do not take him around other horses. Attacking another horse, while he's on YOUR leadrope, shows that you have not reinforced any rules with him.

    For instance: if you walk him somewhere, when you stop him, you give the command “stand“. If he shifts weight off ONE FOOT,even slightly, you stop what you are doing, catch it BEFORE he takes s step, and politely just put him back, exactly where he was, and repeat “stand“. No raising your voice or being abrupt.

    Any command you give, the horse has to follow, TO THE LETTER. It is up to you to never let him slip, and, after a while, he will become very obedient.

    Horses do whatever the handler lets them do. Train him, and don't bring him around other horses until he is 100% obedient.
     
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  8. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I don't agree with that. But I would make absolutely sure that the horse knows such behavior is not tolerated.

    For example, when Wuss Horse lunged at Pony while I was holding pony, he got walloped where I was able to reach him, with the end of the leather lead shank, and that was painful. And he never did it again. If you are going to do ANYTHING like that you have got to make absolutely sure the horse is not going to hurt you when he tries to quickly move backwards. NO lead ropes on butts, unless you like getting kicked.

    Being 'bossy' with the horse in general doesn't address a specific behavior. I've never seen anyone make that work. They need to get at the specific behavior and make a memorable immediate correction.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  9. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Pretty much what everyone has said. It's basic manners and verboten when they're in hand to pull a stunt like that, you've got to put the fear of God in him. Anyway, good luck..
     
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  10. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    From my experience it tends to be a lot more memorable if the handler suddenly goes insane, aggressively moves at the horse, makes it back up, makes loud scary noises and flails arms and maybe even slaps the horse a few times in succession with the rope, than a single pop. (All of that happening in the span of just a few seconds, naturally)

    Horses bite each other in play harder than I can hit, so I never try to HURT the horse, I try to make it go "OMG she's crazy I better not do that" just like how they react to alpha horses. They get really scary, then it's over. Fast and immediate. There's a time and a place for a single pop, but I put that more in the "tried to nibble for treats" category than the "full on attacked another horse while in hand" category.
     
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