Stalking behaviour

wickedwilfred

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2 August 2010
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One of our TB broodmares (aged 11) is turned out with a 2 year old TB filly and is showing unpleasant signs of stalking her. She follows her round the field, appearing to round her up, prevents her from drinking from the trough and there are bites along her back. Haven’t come across this behaviour before and the mare is normally nice natured and not a dominant mare. Just wondering if anyone has experience of this behaviour, what causes it.
 
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I would put another (maybe even two or three big containers of water spread out far apart and keep them filled up) water source in the field so that the filly can always drink even if the mare is blocking one.
 

wickedwilfred

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Yes, stalking probably the wrong word, but don’t understand the need to herd when there are no pressures. It’s a dominance thing and can be aggressive because the filly has small bite marks too. She doesn’t do it all the time so she does get an opportunity to drink.
 

Cortez

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Yes, my previously very amenable gelding did this with a new horse, and became so aggressive towards her he chased her through a gate. I tried to put them together several times but eventually accepted that he just absolutely hated that particular horse and kept them apart ever after. He was fine with every other horse; always hated her.
 

Auslander

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Was she low in the pecking order previously? I've noticed that the lower ranking horses in my herds are by far the most unpleasant to anything that's below them, than the higher ranking horses, who are far more accomplished at being in charge. They're a bit like school bullies - relish the opportunity to throw their weight around, until challenged, when they prove to be pretty cowardly!
 

SEL

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I had this problem when the new pony went out - my mare seemed obsessed! I also jokingly described it as stalking. After the pony was sent through mains electric fencing twice I fenced off a paddock within the paddock for the pony.

It took a few weeks until I felt it was ok to turn pony out with the horses in day time and then asked YO and other liveries to keep an eye on them. Thankfully they are all friends now and are out 24:7
 

honetpot

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Was she low in the pecking order previously? I've noticed that the lower ranking horses in my herds are by far the most unpleasant to anything that's below them, than the higher ranking horses, who are far more accomplished at being in charge. They're a bit like school bullies - relish the opportunity to throw their weight around, until challenged, when they prove to be pretty cowardly!
I have noticed this. My herd is pretty stable but because depending on the amount of grass they have to be moved to managed their weight, so they get split in to pairs. I have one that is a constant 'mover', his mum was just the same, what ever someone has he has to have it, his mum was quite an anxious type and was only really settled with a quiet dominate horse/pony who would not shift out her way.
 
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