new horse being attacked by others at stable

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Anonymous

My friend just called me frantic because her new horse was let out yesterday and today for the first time to greet the other 5 horses she will be living with. For the last week she has been kept in a box stall beside all of the other horses and let out during the day in a corral by herself while the others where in the field beside her. Well yesterday for the first time she was let out with all of the others and they litteraly started kicking and biting her. Today they tried again and the same thing happened. I suggested maybe trying to let them greet each other one on one until they have all had a turn. At least she doesn't have to fend off all 5 at once. Please help any suggestions.
 

certherfbeef

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My thoughts,

I think that this will prob have to go on till they all get a pecking order figured out amoungst themselves. If the biteing and kicking is not showing too much physical injury to the new horse, let them be, they will figure it out by them selves.
 

TheBullLady

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Unfortunately horses are herd animals, so if she intends to let the new horse out daily with the others, they will have to determine a "pecking order". Once the new horse is accepted, they'll stop fighting.
 

dcara

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I agree with certherfbeef and bulllady. I doubt a short term one-on-one thing will do much good since once they are back together as a herd they will have to establish the overall pecking order again.

However, if your friend has control of the other horses you might tell them to "build the heard" with the new horse slowly. That is, first put the new horse in a pasture with one other horse. Then 2 days later bring in a 2nd horse, 2days later bring in a 3rd horse and so on. At least this way the new horse will only have to deal with one new advasary at a time and the whole heard is less likely to gang up on the new horse all at once. This also allows you to more easily identify a potential problem/dominant alpha horse who can be removed and re-introduced last when their energies are directed more at establising dominance over the heard than one paticular horse.
 
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Anonymous

Thanks I will tell her about this and she can try it and see if it helps, it is really sad to see the mare come in with bite marks all over her and she is physically shaking when they go to see her. The guy who owns the stable only lets her out for an hour but thats a long time when you are being bullied.
 

Ann Bledsoe

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Becky":3jp9ximk said:
Thanks I will tell her about this and she can try it and see if it helps, it is really sad to see the mare come in with bite marks all over her and she is physically shaking when they go to see her. The guy who owns the stable only lets her out for an hour but thats a long time when you are being bullied.

I think I would be making sure that the stable owner understands that if he turns the mare out with all the others, knowing how they react to her, and she is injured, or soured by the experience -- he's financially responsible.
It's a wonderful, "warm fuzzy" ideal to have all the horses be together and get along, but it's doesn't always work that way and the "newcomer" can be severely injured in a situation like that. Even if not injured, if she has to put up with this for much longer it can change her whole demeanor when confronted with other horses in the future.
We used to run a riding stable with 17 horses, and there were certain animals that never were able to be turned out together.

I would insist that the stable owner follow what dcara suggested -- only waiting longer between each introduction, I'd go a week between introductions. Allow this mare to start to form bonds before the next horse is introduced.

AnnB
 

justjack

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I would introduce the mare to one horse at a time. Use a seperate paddock. Have the mare seperated from the herd with one horse at a time. Be patient and keep the two seperated until they reach a mutual level of respect and have bonded as a two horse herd. This may take days or even a week. You have to do this with all the horses in the herd. If the herd is too big, you may be able to develope a smaller herd within the main herd. This smaller herd will, of course, include the mare and any horses she was able to bond with.
The size of the herd and the size of the grazing area that the herd is turned out in, will determine how long a process. Let me know if you have more info and if this helps. Also, ** No Advertising**
 

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