Problem with young horse and split-personality mare... HELP!

We had three horses until two weeks ago. A mare, a dominant (castrated at five) gelding and an old gelding. They all got on well and the mare was always with the domimant gelding.

Two weeks ago we bought a new horse (3 year-old gelding, castrated at 18 months). He’s very sweet and quite docile and doesn’t seem to be at all dominant for the moment. First of all we put him with the old gelding and there were no problems whatsoever. After about 5 days, we put him with the mare. For about 20 minutes she showed him she was the boss and then no problems whatsoever (he even tried to nurse from her!).

Today we introduced the dominant gelding and this is where the problems began. As soon as her dominant ‘boyfriend’ reappeared on the scene, the mare began to kick and chase the 3-year-old, who until then she’d been perfectly content cuddling up with. She did this ALL day and so this evening we put her in another field with the dominant gelding. My nerves were in shreds. I’m furious with her. What a tart!

Does anyone have any advice on how best to proceed? Ideally at some point they all need to be in the same field because they have access to good shelter etc.

My best idea at the moment is to reintroduce her and at the first sign of aggression, shove her into solitary confinement for half a day. And repeat until she gets the message. Will she get the message? (in her defence, she’s pretty intelligent, even if it pains me to say it at the moment!).

Thanks if you got this far!

I think adding another personality to the picture could be destructive and cause more problems than not…

Well said Bob… Exactly my advice !

Leave them together with a very close eye. It is perfectly normal. She is in charge and each time the herd changes, i.e. you introduce or remove an animal, she must dominate ALL who are there in the fashion which best suits her. I have had EXACTLY the same problem recently introducing two new animals here. Now after only 2 weeks they are all together…BUT… You MUST be around to keep an eye until all calms down. And they MUST have enough space to get out of the way of each other.I separated the two combatants for the night, each night for about a week, but it is important that they become accustomed asap. Now I have a herd of two mares , two geldings and a female mule!

It seems a bit long for adaptation. May be your mare has taken a special dislike at the young one. I have a shy 2y; old colt (arab) very babyish. We can try to put them together for a little while just to give both confidence.

You’re welcome to come and visit with all the friends around you . I would be more than happy to organise a nice afternoon tea of may be a Guinness ?
Looking forward to meet you
Horseley yours

Hereunder a pictue of my babyish colt when he was a yearling. With his sisters no probleme he 's always been a pure gentleman but then we had to split has he was getting older. and then we put him with an huge gentle giant an Irish hunter
18 HH my colt even tried to suckle him . He think it’s his daddy that’s why he become babyish again I guess feeling over protected !!!

Hey again,
In fact I misunderstood about which gelding and knowing it’s the young one she’s now chasing I completely agree with Bob 'views and also yours as you said you were reaching the conclusion and also I adore the say
" I always think I run my herd as well until Alison tells me otherwise"
Best to both of you
hope to meet some day soon

Horseley yours

Muriel :slight_smile:

I always think I run my herd as well until Alison tells me otherwise !!!
its a worry but good luck .

Remember that in any herd its the mare that runs the herd and no-one else, she is making the young inexperienced gelding know that he is bottom of the pack once they are all together. They do not prefer the younger as a matter of course, the younger has to earn that preference by becoming dominant of the other gelding before he will move any higher in the herd . The only real way to get them all together is to make sure the field is big enough so they have room to get out of the way of each other take all shoes off and let them get on with it.
This is not without its dangers obviously, but if you want them to live together it has to be by their rules and not yours.
Imagine, husband and wife argueing in Japanese do you feel that as an English person you can interupt ?
If you cant do this then your only course of action will be splitting them up !

Dear Fiona I don’t wish to be desappointing you but as far as I can see after 45 years breeding horses, there isn’t much to do !!!. The only thing to do is to try as well as possible to split the field in two and even the the shelter. I know a friend of mine who did it and split the shelter so half of it would go with one field and the other half with the other half.
What’s happened it that your mare has now find a nice little new boy friend far more accommodating the her ex dominant one and as far as I know I think she will never come around (wouldn’t you do the same). I 'd personally put the old gelding with the dominant one in the same field and the new gelding with the mare. She will be like a mummy to him most probably defending him against other horses maybe (not human beings)

It’s just the same as for human. The ex husband facing the new one full of charisma…

I hope I am making a mistake but if I were you I would be very careful about accidents
(kickingn bitting etc…)By the way if you should decide to put your mare in foal it could that she would react against any geldings even the young one. At my place we always put in foals mare together , mares and newborn together , geldings together, young stallion with very old and reasonnable big geldings,or strong dominant mares, young fillies and maiden mares together with the mare not in foal and still there may be some problem …

Loving Horse is to be in Religion or happily consented slavery …