Horses are just like humans. They also form hierarchies and social structures within their group. If horses are allowed to roam in the paddock or pasture with each other, conflicts could arise.
Sometimes, there is an individual horse who behaves in a manner that we might call a “bully.” A herd or pasture bully could cause destruction on other horses with whom it shares. In these instances, there are instances where you can witness injuries to other animals in your pasture by striking, biting, or even kicking. In extreme instances, horses can be chased by objects or through fences.
Another concern is a horse that prevents its pasture mates from drinking or eating. Sometimes, the dominant horse will protect these resources, preventing less submissive horses from gaining access to these resources.
What Causes Conflict Between Horses?
Sometimes bullies in herds act independently, but occasionally they have a companion (or partner) who is also with them to terrorize the other members of the group. Bullies may be geldings or mares large or small and could be all breeds or ages. They can be difficult to manage because you don’t know the events that happen in the
The pasture is open even when you’re away.
While it’s simple to call a dominant horse a bully, there is usually an explanation behind this horse’s behavior. The horse might be scared or even fearful of other horses. A previous trauma may be a factor.
Being unwell or hurt can trigger these kinds of behavior. A horse suffering from pain could try to keep other horses away from getting hurt. All horses must be regularly checked by a veterinarian, and any problems promptly addressed.
Another issue that can result in bullying among herds of horses is boredom. Horses are intelligent and require stimulation in their minds. Paddocks that are crowded, have no grass to graze or have a lack of energy all result in bullying.
What To Look Out For
As we mentioned previously, horse herders create an order. The most common is one horse who has the upper hand, with a few who might be in the same boat as those who are the leaders, as well as, occasionally one soul who bears the brunt of punishments handed out. This is the typical procedure of a herd horse and hierarchy.
Since the establishment of an order of pecking in the herd is an innate behavior for horses and their owners, there is nothing you can do to alter the dynamic. The punishment of horses for this type of behavior isn’t beneficial and shouldn’t be tried. It is not possible to remain present all the time with your group, and the horses won’t
Understand the correction you made. The process of determining the hierarchy is a natural procedure and is essential to the evolution of the herd of horses.
It is possible to be aware of the current situation. First, take a few minutes to look at those horses in the distance in order to allow for natural interactions. Take note of the horses that appear to dominate and which ones are more gentle.
How to Prevent Pasture Bullying
It is crucial to make sure your pastures and paddocks aren’t overcrowded. This is the top primary factor that can reduce instances of bullying in the pasture. There should be plenty of space for the dominant horse to feel threatened, and for the horses that are submissive to be able to move away.
If you are feeding your horse, ensure there is a separate feeding area for each horse, which is located well away from different stations. Every paddock or pasture should be equipped with at least two water sources separated from one another as much as is possible. These measures will assist in reducing bullying within the herd.
If the bullying is causing harm to horses around it and other horses, there is no choice but to keep the bully in a separate area. There are some horses that do not agree, so it could be beneficial to have several smaller and separate paddocks rather than one large one. If you have issues it is best to remove the horse that is dominant first, then observe how the hierarchy changes.
Another option that can help is to keep horses of similar ages and personalities. As they age, it’s an ideal idea to have pasture horses that are younger and more active in a group and older, less active ones in a different area. They will have comparable energy levels and will as a result, they can establish their hierarchy much more easily. If you are considering personality it is necessary to time to watch each horse for an extended certain amount of time to decide the horses that will be able to coexist easily with each other.
There are a variety of reasons the behavior of bullying can be observed within a herd of horses grazing together. Setting up a system of hierarchy can be normal behavior for horses, and can’t be effectively prevented. Recognizing the root cause will be the very first stage in combating bullying by horses and can help in
The horses are all protected that are part of the group.