Filly pushing her boundaries & sharing with bullying dam?

Esme2015

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Hi all

I have two issues on which I would love your thoughts!

Issue 1:
Some of you may remember I posted a few weeks back about my filly planting as she is led from the stable to the field. We have been using the zig zag method and it's working so thank you for that!

However, she is clearly starting to push her boundaries (she is 21 months nearly). From a young age she has been taught to back up and has always done so, however, recently, she has started not budging. When we feed her in her stable, she normally backs up on voice command before being given her food, but she is now not budging unless we push her, quite firmly, and even then, sometimes it can be just one step at a time. I am assuming this is normal, should I just keep being consistent in terms of getting her to move out my space? I am not a fan of bargy horses and am trying to teach her manners - so, once she moves one step back, she gets a scratch, another step back, she gets another scratch etc. Is there anything else I should be doing?

The second issue is this. We initially shared the field with my friend and her horse. When we first moved in, my filly, her mum (my 15 year old mare) and my friend's horse were all intogether. HOWEVER, we had to separate my filly and her mum as my adult mare got very jealous of my filly if I gave her attention and one day cornered her and kicked her so hard I was surprised she didn't have broken ribs. My adult mare was then put into an adjacent paddock by herself while the other two shared. All was well till my friend sold her horse. Another one arrived to share with my filly, then three weeks later, the owner decides she's giving up (she was referred by my friend!) and now my filly has lost her second field mate in less than a month!

Whilst I find a new yard sharer, my filly is now in a paddock alone, which is not what I want to do. Do I risk putting them both in together? My adult mare is very dominant when I'm around and that's when the havoc starts. I'm in such a quandry as I just want to make sure I do the right thing. Advice very very gratefully received.

Thanks for reading xxx
 

be positive

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I would put them in together, let the older mare teach her some manners it may look harsh but it is natural, just don't spend time with the filly when they are in the field, bring her in for whatever handling is required although often the less done the better once they have the basics in place, your mare will not tolerate her behaving badly and will probably do a better job than you at teaching her where the boundaries are, it is far nicer for any horse to have company but may mean you being a bit less hands on while they are in together.
 

AdorableAlice

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Answer to question one is to get tougher with the rude filly. Enforce the manners and no messing.

Question two, keep separate until a suitable friend can be found. A kicked to bits 2 year old is not what you want.

We have a rare moment of BP and I having differing views, that doesn't happen often. My fear with putting the adult mare in with the filly is the assumption the adult mare is shod.
 
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be positive

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I had not given consideration to her being shod, mine are all barefoot now and I tend to forget how much damage can be done by shod horses, we so rarely have any nasty moments in the field and if they do kick out no harm is done but I still think the filly would benefit from being out with an older horse that will teach her some manners, she sounds to me as if she may be getting too much handling and some time left to grow up would be beneficial.
 

Esme2015

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Answer to question one is to get tougher with the rude filly. Enforce the manners and no messing.

Question two, keep separate until a suitable friend can be found. A kicked to bits 2 year old is not what you want.

We have a rare moment of BP and I having differing views, that doesn't happen often. My fear with putting the adult mare in with the filly is the assumption the adult mare is shod.

This is my view, I have to be honest, purely because of safety. I am firm with my filly, I don't like bad manners, and I am with you on the enforcing. However, I do also agree about my mare teaching her daughter manners too BP. You are right, the best way they learn is within a herd. BUT, yes my mare is shod, that's my worry, I should have mentioned that earlier I think. I just couldn't bear it if something happened to my filly because I made a bad decision. Do I take the risk????
I am hoping that we find a field sharer soon, but clearly it could take a while as I want to ensure that the person is the 'right person' this time.
 
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Esme2015

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I had not given consideration to her being shod, mine are all barefoot now and I tend to forget how much damage can be done by shod horses, we so rarely have any nasty moments in the field and if they do kick out no harm is done but I still think the filly would benefit from being out with an older horse that will teach her some manners, she sounds to me as if she may be getting too much handling and some time left to grow up would be beneficial.

Yes the mare is shod. I don't think the filly is getting too much handling, well I hope not, I am quite wary of how I do things, as I know it can lead to difficulties. It is all to teach her the basics, and she was in a field with two older horses, one after the other. Would that unsettle her maybe and make her push her boundaries? The issue I have is a temporary one I hope but I just wondered what to do while it is the issue, if that makes sense. I have advertised for a sensible mare or gelding to share with her as I want her to learn from other horses, perhaps I just leave it as is for now and she will learn manners when a new horse arrives? I just don't want to get it wrong!

PS thank you both for your insights and ideas x
 
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be positive

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I think having a change of companion could unsettle her, it will also be a new horse coming into "her" field each time which may make her feel as if she is in control depending on what the other horse is like and how it interacts with her and may well be why she has started to be more difficult with you.
It is not so much that you are overhandling but that the basics should be well in place by now as you have owned her since birth, she should be mannerly to do all that is required at this age with the odd blip which is to be expected of a youngster who will forget themselves for a moment sometimes, she will not forget what she has learnt it may just require a reminder or two once in a while.
 

Esme2015

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I think having a change of companion could unsettle her, it will also be a new horse coming into "her" field each time which may make her feel as if she is in control depending on what the other horse is like and how it interacts with her and may well be why she has started to be more difficult with you.
It is not so much that you are overhandling but that the basics should be well in place by now as you have owned her since birth, she should be mannerly to do all that is required at this age with the odd blip which is to be expected of a youngster who will forget themselves for a moment sometimes, she will not forget what she has learnt it may just require a reminder or two once in a while.

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply, thanks for your response. She actually has been perfectly behaved the last few days and even stopped planting so I think you are right, it is certainly a blip. The control thing makes sense, so perhaps that is the issue as her slightly difficult behaviour coincided with the change in fieldmate. We are being firm but fair when we need to be in any case, and I have decided to leave them apart till a new fieldmate comes, erring on the side of caution for now, although it's really not what I would like to do if I can help it, but short of taking my mare's shoes off, I can't do much else. And my mare doesn't have the greatest feet so that's not an option either. I will just have to monitor my little ones behaviour while I'm searching for a new field sharer. Thanks again for your thoughts x
 
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