What the heck is going on?

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Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2003
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Alberta, Canada
I find it so neat to watch a group of horses and see the social groups that occur between them. Who's the Boss of the heard, Who is friends with who and etc?

Now this is where I have my problem. I got a mare (Emmy) and gelding (Big) who is a dwarf from a friend. She couldn't find them a home because she wanted them to stay together since they are just the best of buddies. I of course took them in and I'm so happy I did because they are just 2 great, friendly little minis!

At first Emmy was so protective and loving to Big. If any of the other minis messed with Big they would be answering to Emmy!! She was his babysitter.

Now this is where Annie our 6-year-old mare comes in. Annie is a bit of a "Mare"....which means that she is a grump, little bossy, brat at times to the other horses in the group. She does get along with them all very well, but is at the bottom of the social chain.

Now that we have had them all (Big, Emmy, Annie and the other 5 minis) living together in the same field I have found that Emmy and Annie have totally come together! Apart they were just little brat, but together they are a bit aggressive towards the other horses!!!! Emmy has totally turned on Big to the point that I have Annie and Emmy apart from the other horses so no one gets hurt!!

Emmy is totally a sweet little loveable mare! I don't know what is going on!

What the heck is going on? Emmy and Big were the only 2 minis together at their previous home so maybe they were kind of forced to be buddies since there were no other friends around. Is it me or is my horse field a soap opera??????

If you can I would separate the two mares and leave Big in the field with the mares, not with his girlfriend. Let him find his feet without her. Once he has done that you can try re- introducing her. I really admire what you have done- it's fantastic!! Oh and I've seen their pictures- so cute!!
Yep: soap opera.
"As the Grass Grows" maybe, or "As the Pasture Spins." hehehe

Herd dynamics aren't my thing as I've never had more than two together regularly, but it sounds to me like you've got it pretty close to right. Emmy and Big buddied up because they were alone together, and now that they're in with other horses Emmy's figuring out there's a whole big world out there. She's allied herself with a similar-status mare and they're both getting aggressive in the hopes of moving up the ladder. I'm guessing Big is the lowest status horse there, so they're beating up on him to prove they're cooler than he is. Sad, but so often seen in junior high school! Kids turn their backs on their buddies all the time to move with a more influential crowd.


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