Usual placid horse attacking others

alexomahony

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Bit of an odd one, but wanted to know if anyone else has experienced something like this.

My Connie Sky is generally indifferent to other horses, not overly friendly, but generally ignores them if in fields next door or when new to the herd & and is fine to hack out and travel with any other horse.

He’s met two horses in his life that absolutely changed his whole personality - one was in the field next door and he went from being terrified of the electric fence to trying to kick through it and charging at it to try and get this pony.

Today a girl from my yard turned her young colt out with the herd (planned introduction) and Sky absolutely went off his nut at this colt, cornering him, chasing him, biting him and not letting go - scaring this poor thing to death! He doesn’t kick and didn’t try kick him but he really meant the biting. We moved colt before Sky did any real damage (to himself or the colt). I’m going to an evening camp tomorrow morning and don’t want him hurting himself the night before we go!

I’ve no idea if Sky was cut late (I got him at 9 m) but the only difference between him and the other horses we’ve introduced are that it was a colt, and there’s every possibility the other pony was a late geld or rig even.
He is absolutely the same in every other aspect of life, it’s just so odd that he absolutely hates the odd horse/pony he meets.

Does anyone else have this? In all my years of horses I’ve never known it be so sporadic - they either get on well in herds, or don’t.

Interestingly my other gelding, who was cut late but never covered is very paternal and becomes any baby animal’s adopted Dad, which he tried with this colt til Sky caught sight of him.

any similar experiences shared would be useful to know I’m not the only one with a Schitzo horse!
 

ILuvCowparsely

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My welsh A was with my shared welsh B welsh A has been dominant last 2 years. Out if the blue 2 weeks ago welsh B kick the hell out of my welshA, bum to bum kick and kick and kick, welsh A badly kicked injuries everywhere, B stopped then when in for second round, welsh B no injury welsh A shaking like a leaf, separated then, put B on a calmer, tried today, 2 weeks later welsh A trotted past B, then B when in for round 3.

Welsh b now has to live on her own. Calmer made no difference. Loads of others kicking at the moment, don't know why
 

alexomahony

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My welsh A was with my shared welsh B welsh A has been dominant last 2 years. Out if the blue 2 weeks ago welsh B kick the hell out of my welshA, bum to bum kick and kick and kick, welsh A badly kicked injuries everywhere, B stopped then when in for second round, welsh B no injury welsh A shaking like a leaf, separated then, put B on a calmer, tried today, 2 weeks later welsh A trotted past B, then B when in for round 3.

Welsh b now has to live on her own. Calmer made no difference. Loads of others kicking at the moment, don't know why
Really odd isn’t it! He’s in a field with three other horses who he doesn’t care about/ is friendly with and didn’t show any aggressive behaviour towards when they were introduced.

He has just taken a real disliking to the new colt. Poor thing will have a phobia of Grey horses!
 

Equi

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Horses know more than we ever will about what other horses will do/intend. Your horse is probably not the top horse but probably not the bottom either and likes things as they are, so the new colt will have upset the herd dynamic whereas other horses maybe just wouldn't to the same degree. Herd dynamics is something that fascinates me no end cause i can't always figure it out. I recently put my newly gelded boy out with his mother and his usual uncle gelding. No drama didn't even greet eachother. Put him with another mare and he had a look but again no drama. Let the 4yo mare in who is baying for top mare but has not quite got the hoof over the oldest mare and all hell. the uncle and middle mare spent a lot of time telling the new gelding where to go and running to her aid he did listen but the young mare would still intentionally go over and stand in front of him, start a ruccus and the other two would come running to chase him off even though he was just standing innocently and none of it was his fault lol. Oldest mare didn't even lift the head...none of this is important to her but noone would dare try a ruccus near her they would all move out of her way then start it up or stop witha look lol


there is a man on youtube who talks about herds etc and it makes a lot of sense he seems to pic up the ques and know whats about to happen and is able to tell who is in charge and who is being a tit.
 

alexomahony

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Horses know more than we ever will about what other horses will do/intend. Your horse is probably not the top horse but probably not the bottom either and likes things as they are, so the new colt will have upset the herd dynamic whereas other horses maybe just wouldn't to the same degree. Herd dynamics is something that fascinates me no end cause i can't always figure it out. I recently put my newly gelded boy out with his mother and his usual uncle gelding. No drama didn't even greet eachother. Put him with another mare and he had a look but again no drama. Let the 4yo mare in who is baying for top mare but has not quite got the hoof over the oldest mare and all hell. the uncle and middle mare spent a lot of time telling the new gelding where to go and running to her aid he did listen but the young mare would still intentionally go over and stand in front of him, start a ruccus and the other two would come running to chase him off even though he was just standing innocently and none of it was his fault lol. Oldest mare didn't even lift the head...none of this is important to her but noone would dare try a ruccus near her they would all move out of her way then start it up or stop witha look lol


there is a man on youtube who talks about herds etc and it makes a lot of sense he seems to pic up the ques and know whats about to happen and is able to tell who is in charge and who is being a tit.
herd dynamics is crazy interesting and you’re right - he’s second top (My Welsh D is top dog).

I’ll have a look for the man in YouTube - thank you! Xx
 

F&B

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Yes, I've had this with my boy. When in a large herd on a livery yard he was fairly near the bottom - it didn't bother him he just kept himself to himself and stayed out of trouble. When he moved home with us, my old boy was boss & that was fine. When the old boy went I got a temporary foster pony to keep him company - pony was quite a timid 3yr old cob 12'2hh & my boy went in for the kill, I couldn't believe my loving gentle boy could be so horrible. They were separated & kept next to each other for weeks before they were ok. The same thing has just happened again - foster pony has gone back to begin his education & I got a 2yr old highland - again it took weeks despite the poor young boy chomping his mouth in submission at him - I think sometimes the ones who are more used to being bottom of the herd don't quite know how much pressure they need to exert & so go over the top just to make sure - thats all I can think of anyway.
 

SEL

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I turned my new pony out in a paddock next to my pair bonded horses for a week before she went in with them. My normally sedate, old arthritic gelding had a melt down and cornered her. Sent the poor pony through the mains electric breaking wooden posts.

Went back to her solo paddock and took the intros even more slowly. He now adores her....
 

Gloi

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I agree that it's ones low down in the pecking order cause trouble when a new one comes. It's like the high up ones can just give the new one a look and it knows its place while the low down ones are like 'someone new, let's see if I can boss them' and just go for it. It's just a question of keeping them both sage until hopefully things sort out.
 

ycbm

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My cob was a great horse with a herd but I had to be extremely careful introducing any new horse, he was very violent to start with. It used to take from four days to a week get one introduced safely.
 
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I think Equi is talking about Rick Gore. He has a youtube channel. He is a real gun toting, misogynistic, anti bit, anti pink, cowboy from Texas and if you can stand the vile sexist package that he wraps some good advice in, then he's worth looking at.
 

Shilasdair

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In life there are some people that I would happily kick, for no good reason. They just annoy me. :p

Horses are allowed to have likes and dislikes - the difference is that no one forces me to share a room with the ones I want to kick.

Perhaps just separate them, and put them out with other horses they like.

As an aside, people in the UK tend to put horses out in groups with similar characteristics - all the horse geldings, all the pony mares. This is a terrible idea as if horses are evenly matched in size, they have no option but to fight it out. They are better out in mixed gender, mixed size herds if you can arrange it.
 

Equine_Dream

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I've only ever experienced this once but it was a new horse coming in. Our tb gelding is top of the pecking order in our field. We call him and my mare the terrible twosome as since introducing them they have always been inseparable. She is very much the dominant mare in the herd, then our boy is top dog overall.
Last summer a new horse was turned out in the field, who took an interest in my mare. Our gelding was upset at "his mare" being taken from him but it was the new gelding that totally flipped. If our gelding so much as looked up from grazing this gelding would fly at him. Chased him incessantly and really meant every bite and kick. We had to ask YO if we could move ours to a different paddock as it was getting dangerous.
This new gelding was fine with other horses and as far as I know has been fine since being moved to a different field on the yard with other horses. It was just our gelding he randomly took a dislike to 🤷‍♀️
 

alexomahony

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Thanks guys - it seems i'm not the only one who's had this and found it odd which is reassuring. Sadly putting him in the field next door is out the question as that's taken by two other horses.

Luckily now the weather is changing mine are coming in during the day so colt is going in there during the day for the lush grass, and coming out at night when mine go back in. This tends to work well and odd days when/if mine stay out (doubtful as they but need a little help in the weight loss department) then I'll let colt's owner know and he will stay in his own paddock.

Sky has already had one injury because of it ( I have zero sympathy for him) - Colt obviously got sick of him chasing him and biting him and Sky has somehow managed to get a cut under his chin! Serves the bugger right! (this was on Friday eve when I tried them together again for about 15 mins before putting colt in his own paddock again!
 

Chippers1

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I've also experienced the same with my connie, he's ort of mid-bottom of the herd and gets picked on a bit but last year two new horses were introduced and I was told mine absolutely hated them, wouldn't let them anywhere near the others and would go to attack them! I have never seen him act like that ever. The horses were moved to another field and peace was restored - naught pony!
 

alexomahony

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I've also experienced the same with my connie, he's ort of mid-bottom of the herd and gets picked on a bit but last year two new horses were introduced and I was told mine absolutely hated them, wouldn't let them anywhere near the others and would go to attack them! I have never seen him act like that ever. The horses were moved to another field and peace was restored - naught pony!
This is exactly what's happened - soon as Colt is out, the field is nice and quiet again and my pony goes back to being his usual chilled self!
 

honetpot

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In my experience the more 'anxious' they are the more likely they are to stick the boot in first, when they meet someone knew. Anything new I always take someone out of the herd and pair bond them for about a month, so when they join the main lot, the one they bonded with will usually herd the newbie away and will take them to a different part of the paddock.
 

Lacuna

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I think Equi is talking about Rick Gore. He has a youtube channel. He is a real gun toting, misogynistic, anti bit, anti pink, cowboy from Texas and if you can stand the vile sexist package that he wraps some good advice in, then he's worth looking at.
I watch quite a few of his videos. He is militantly anti-bit, anti-helmet and very opinionated - but he does seem to have a true feel for horse behaviour and has a lot of seriously good takes on herd dynamics in particular. Ideas about training that are very good to share - setting horses up to succeed rather than fail, emphasis on groundwork etc. If you watch his vids though just be prepared to skip a few times when he gets a bit ranty.
 

xxcharlottexx

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Also agree its the ones nearer the bottom that have the problem. Mine has always been one of the top dogs in herd turnout. Moved to a private place just mine, another that was very submissive and a mini. After 4 years We unfortunately lost his bigger friend and the newbie that came was bigger and better and put him in his place. We then lost our private yard and moved to another place with just a lady and her 2. The smaller dales type pony initially would go for the mini but the last few months he has taken a real dislike to mine and really tries to take a chunk out of him, won't let him in the shelter and often blocks the entrance between fields. I think it's his way of saying he is more dominant even though he is not top dog as the other 2 are way bigger and stronger. Now at 21 my poor lad has gone from being big boss to bottom of the pecking order and definitely mopes around bless him.
 

dorsetladette

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I have a cob gelding that takes a real dislike to piebald mares. He's shared fields with 2 now and can't stand either. I'm not sure if it is because both seemed to struggle with herd dynamics (been kept alone for a long time). He's not top of the herd and never really has been. He also took a real dislike to a late cut gelding in the field next to him. But he would happily play with my old stallion over the fence and neither showed any aggressive behaviour. I'm always really careful when introducing a new horse to his herd as he is a really tricky one to judge.

Horses - who'd have em!!!
 

Pinkvboots

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I personally would not have put a colt out in an established herd, colts need to be with other colts older horses don't always make good field mates for them, I would separate them before one of them gets hurt, when I had a colt he went out on his own he was too unpredictable with any horse so I never risked it.
 

alexomahony

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I personally would not have put a colt out in an established herd, colts need to be with other colts older horses don't always make good field mates for them, I would separate them before one of them gets hurt, when I had a colt he went out on his own he was too unpredictable with any horse so I never risked it.
They were separated within about 15 mins (when I could catch colt and take him out). The colt is quiet and very lovely - he’s not the problem, it’s my 15 year old *usually* placid gelding!

I don’t think I’ll be allowing anything else to be introduced to the herd as there’s too much risk. They’re happy as they are :)
 

Pinkvboots

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They were separated within about 15 mins (when I could catch colt and take him out). The colt is quiet and very lovely - he’s not the problem, it’s my 15 year old *usually* placid gelding!

I don’t think I’ll be allowing anything else to be introduced to the herd as there’s too much risk. They’re happy as they are :)
He maybe just didn't like the fact he was a colt some don't, and some horses just don't like certain horses full stop, I have a gelding that can be an absolute nightmare with new horses he chases and bites them.
 
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