View Full Version : herd leader getting defensive?

30th December 2010, 03:52 PM
My 4 year old B has been out next door and in with lots of horses over her life without any issues.

however, since moving to our new place getting settled and establishing she is leader over all the horses :p , shes become very anxious about any new horses arriving. the 2 other horses were there already she gets on fine with them and likes to groom or play over the fence

it started with another youngster who was turned out next to mine a month after ive moved there- she was very upset and kept the other 2 mares away grazing as far away as possible. they even refused to go to the water as it was next to the shared fence.
if i tried to get mine in or out whilst the other horse was in the neigbouring paddock, they were all anxious but the 4 year old was the worst- snorting, spinning, leaping, bucking out, rearing up. shes never like that normally.
even when ridden she was extremely anxious and refused to go up the top end of the school where the horse was turned out (the fence of the paddock isnt even right next to the menage)
that horse moved off and they were fine again. whilst it was there she did very slowly get used to it.... the other horse was moved to the adjacent field and she was ok with that- although she was still warey of him.

then he moved off, a lovely mare came and my 3 were fine with her. the 4 year old was still very bossy over the fence but tolerated her ok and was ok leading in and out even when she was in her paddock next door.

then another gelding has arrived- very sweet none offensive horse. they get on ok over the fence (2 of the mares love him) but again the 4 year old is very warey and will charge him over the fence to keep him away. at first she kept the other 2 away as well.

and yesterday OH was bringing in, the gelding was still out (for first time since arriving) and all the mare were really anxious about coming in..... and the 4 year old was again bucking out, rearing and spinning around.

can i do anything to help lower her anxiety?
i think its as shes herd leader shes anxious about leaving the others with the new horse and she doesnt like him being so near?

shes always been fine with other horses at shows. :confused:


30th December 2010, 04:20 PM
Not to sure what you can do. She may be herd leader but she doesnt sound very happy/secure about the fact.
The new horses over the fence - are they on their own?

30th December 2010, 04:24 PM
Dancer is exactly like this. She was like this when I bought Lola and tried to keep Row away from her. Now shes so used to her she calls and canters around when shes not there!
To begin with could you bring in Bey first? when ur bringing in. Or could you leave her out by herself next to him to get used to him? I find its usually the horse shes trying to protect which makes them anxious. mWith lola I put Row in with her and dancer in neighbouring paddock and she did get very stressy but calmed as long as she had grass. 2bh she got much better when they were all in together, it took a few weeks though.
it must be harder though with other liveries coming and going!

4th January 2011, 01:34 PM
B comes in first normally as shes first to the gate and boss mare.

shes ok if her herd are out before him but can get anxious if he is out before her.
eg she will be reluctant to get towards the gate, normally leap through and then once her headcollar is off she will gallop off up the field (Pig goes out first in the mornings and goes to the bottom) then when im bringin K out she will come up from the bottom to 'collect' her whilst snorting and cavorting about to keep him away and they both gallop off to the bottom of the field.
if they are already out they all just stand there grazing as normal...?!

she leads in the menage ok when he is getting ridden and the other 2 are still out waiting to get brought in.....
its just her reaction is so extreme......the horses in the door field are on their own.
shes fine all the rest of the time with him........ argh!
the horse coming in with mine isnt an option- he is a big lad with shoes on and i dont want mine gettin kicked. plus we buy our own hay... :)