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How do i stop my horse from chasing other animals..........?
Last Post 22 Feb 2011 02:15 AM by Whits end. 6 Replies.
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Whits endUser is Offline
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20 Feb 2011 03:32 AM

    I have recently bought a 5 yr old qh/ash to use as a stock and pleasure mount, he is perfect for the job and a beautiful quiet horse,

    From the start though he did pay abnormal attention to the alpacas, now, about 4 months down the track he has started chasing EVERYTHING but people, it started with dogs, then the sheep and has now progressed to any animal in the same paddock except the other horse and now she also joins in the chase i believe it may be just a game but it is a dangerous one that could cause serious injury.... i now have the two horses isolated together but that will have to change when lambing starts does any one have any ideas as to a possible way to fix this or redirect his interest somehow.....

    FloridaHorsemanUser is Offline
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    20 Feb 2011 09:19 AM
    There may be some variables at play here. But this is instinctive behavior occurring at several levels; dominance, herding and survival. 

    The gelding is displaying dominant behavior over the other herd animals for a couple of reasons. Control over the food supply and re-enforcing his position just because he CAN get them to yield space. LOTS of space. Chasing the dogs is alpha survival behavior, protecting his space and the other "herd members" from perceived predators.The other horse has joined in because when one horse starts running it's instinctive for others to run first and ask questions later. Their survival depends upon that response to herd  leadership.

    Since the gelding is a new addition and also a young horse it will take some time for him to eventually become desensitized to the new surroundings and distractions. It will also help to accelerate that acclimation when you control his behavior under saddle.

    I also sounds like you have limited paddock space at your station if the animals have to share space during lambing season. I strongly suggest you bite the financial bullet and provide a permanent separate paddock for the horses. The very LAST thing to try would be grazing hobbles on the gelding. It would take away his ability to start trouble but also takes away his ability to defend himself. 

    In the long run I'd say it's just going to take time for him to accept all the odd additions to his environment. But a separate peaceful paddock for horses only should be a serious consideration to allow that to happen. ~FH
    Whits endUser is Offline
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    20 Feb 2011 02:53 PM

    thank you FH for your advice it is very much appreciated.  :)

    SapeloUser is Offline
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    21 Feb 2011 04:21 AM

    I've experienced a very similar problem with my now 3 year old gelding. I bought him as a weanling and put him out to pasture with our five older horses. The older horses kept him in his place but the goats, which have free range over our 200 acres, proved just the challenge he wanted: perfect for chasing!

    That was bad enough but his next target was the weanling heifers that we moved to his side of the farm during breeding season.

    This spring is the first time he seems to have settled enough to leave the goats alone as the move across his pasture space. Who knows what will happen when the heifers move back over this summer!

    Ultimately we resorted to putting him in the barn during the hours that the goats were in his space. It has never been an ideal solution, having to stop everything and go move one horse, but it's gotten us by.

    Honestly, I've yelled at him, I've chased him back and he does respect people but when he's alone in the pasture and he thinks no one is looking it's pretty hard to stop him.

    Time, honestly, and patience and simply protecting our other livestock are the route we've taken. I hope that we've reached a turning point with him and that he's matured enough to give up his games. We'll see!

    Good luck.

    Whits endUser is Offline
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    22 Feb 2011 02:15 AM

    Thanks sapelo,

    We have a paddock we can keep him in seperate from the other livestock but unfortunately it is also our ram paddock and we will be needing that paddock for the rams soon, so i'm not sure what to do with him, his such a darling most times till as you say his in the paddock and thinks your not looking then its playtime....

    I've considered boarding him till we can get a new paddock built for him so i think thats the way we're going for now but we'll see, the rams might not run away so there for they won't be fun to chase but i'm not sure i want to take that risk....

    619614User is Offline
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    22 Feb 2011 08:39 PM

    Sorry, but horses and sheep together -  NOT good if horses are in any way agressive.   It is far to easy for even adult sheep to be injured or even killed by a kick.   Horses can bite, kick and strike.   Lambs should NOT ever be in the same pen as horses.    Horses do not really care for rams - who possess strong scent.  Some horses will act very agressively towards rams or billy goats.   (Of course we all have had the exception to the rule) but for SAFETY sake, provide your horses their own pen where they can play and be horses.  Dogs, pets, other livestock do not belong in horse's pens.    Sometimes horses desire pets or allow company, and if the pet has a means of escape readily available, that's great.   Many times our stallion was seen with wild barn cats happily asleep on his back and a goat or two under his belly in his paddock all winter long.  But he was a different critter when mares were in season, and there was 'work' to be done.  

    727170User is Offline
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    06 Apr 2011 12:16 PM

     I don't think there will be anything you can do about it short of keeping your horse totally isolated from the other animals.  I've had horses that were great in every way except when they were turned out.  Then they bacame fire eating dragons that terrorized everything in it's path.  As long as my horse is respectful of me and does a good job when he is "on the clock", what ever he does on his own time is his business.  Just like when you come home from work, you are no longer working for your employer.  Short of separating them permanently somehow, I don't think you will be able to change it.  JBB

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