Why Do Horses kick bite and chase each other?

Last post 07-12-2007 7:39 AM by Jayne-Admin. 7 replies.
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  • 07-12-2007 7:39 AM

    Why Do Horses kick bite and chase each other?

    Why Do Horses kick bite and chase each other.???
    Do horse have language to talk??
  • 07-12-2007 7:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Why Do Horses kick bite and chase each other?

    Horses are herd animals and need to establish and periodically re-establish their hierarchy or pecking order in the herd. By showing aggression such as biting, kicking etc. they are showing their level of dominance and where they stand in the herd. Horse do have their own language. They use their voice, different whinny's and neighs each mean something different whether it be they are calling for another horse, warning of danger or simply squealing out of delight. Horses ears and body posture are also used to communicate with one another. Ears pinned back are signs of an angry or unhappy horse, pricked forward are signs of an alert, inquisitive horse and so on.

    Please check out our clubs newest forum devoted strictly to the sport of dressage. The more members the merrier!
  • 07-12-2007 8:15 AM In reply to

    Re: Why Do Horses kick bite and chase each other?

    That is The way they talk. Body language is the Number one communicator between horse-horse and a horse-human relationship. Horses can get EXTREMLY senseitive to this. My horse Is The dominant horse out of th 40ish horses in his pasture. All I saw him do was just look at a horse across the herd like "are you sure you wanna do that" and the horse turned and walked away. Thats Why Horses can get so dull to humans because most of us have poor body language towards the horse. For example when you walk towards you horse in his stall and he starts off looking at you with two eys and ears and then starts to turn his head that is a sign you have crossed a comfort zone. If you just keep walking and dont pick up on that your horse may turn his head all the way around or turn a give you his butt. If you notice and stop and back up a few steps so the horse can regain "oh ok I'm safe mode" and then aproach and retreat as nessecary It build trust and confidence for your horse. Haha donn't mind me I just went off on a Parelli spin sorry! Smile
  • 07-12-2007 11:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Why Do Horses kick bite and chase each other?

    Nicely summed up by the above posters so I will take it one step further to say there are two types of "lead" horses.

    1. The Alpha dominant horse that establishes its "Boss Hoss" leadership by biting, ear pinning, and kicking.

    Depending just how hateful that Alpha horse is, those methods can range in degree of agression from lip-nipping, to a couple "gentle" bite marks on someone's neck or butt, to downright laying another horse wide open with a well-placed bite or kick.

    2. There is also such a thing as a "passive leader". That "alpha- type horse will generally go along his own peaceful way, unless someone else gets really stupid, or if the other horses are confused about something and need guidance.

    I know this to be fact because:

    1. I have read Mark Rashid's books and learned about the passive leader from him.

    2. Mark Rashid's books is when I discovered that my little Arab is my Passive Leader.

    The TWH that I've owned for 17 years has always been the alpha-dominant horse and now that he's coming 21, he doesn't get near as nasty about it as he used to Stick out tounge

    I have seen my "Passive Leader" in action many times. Either when a bad storm is coming that always make my alpha horse goes nuts, so the others run to the passive horse for comfort and guidance, or when another horse is sick or injured and I keep it in a small pasture with my passive horse to babysit.

    When my young horse nearly ripped his hoof off and punctured a secondary artery, I watched my Passive horse take his head back from the water tub without drinking, so the injured horse could have water first.

    Once that injured horse was well and back to playing, the Passive horse said "now that you're better, all bets are off, I get my water first".

    My Alpha horse would have never done that. He would've stood by the water tub all day to keep the injured horse from drinking if he'd been able to.

    Herd dynamics is a wonderful and amazing thing to watch. Take a chair to the fence someday when you have time and just watch and observe Cool

    Oh and there is one more type of "alpha/passive leader horse". That would be the human and that is how we intelligent, logical Beings manage to control our horses. How we choose to use our dominant role over them is a matter of choice.

    I prefer to be their Passive Leader. My crew are very good at understanding all my hand signals and pointing/grunting, and "lip nipping". Yessss, I do that too Wink

    When the vet is done giving shots and exams, turns around while getting in her truck and says "you should know that you have FOUR of the most well-mannered and polite horses I have ever worked on at one time." I know I am doing things pretty much the right way Smile
  • 07-12-2007 11:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Why Do Horses kick bite and chase each other?

    two words - pecking order
  • 07-12-2007 9:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Why Do Horses kick bite and chase each other?

    Because they lack the appendages necessary for a slapfest? Grin

  • 07-12-2007 9:03 PM In reply to

    Re: Why Do Horses kick bite and chase each other?

    Well said. I love Mark Rashid's stuff too.
    To ride on a horse is to fly without wings

    There are times when you can trust a horse, times when you can't and times when you have to.
  • 07-12-2007 10:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Why Do Horses kick bite and chase each other?

    Reading your post reminded me of the two years it took of me approaching and retreating before Star gave me her trust. I always knew the minute I crossed "that line" and backed up a bit and clucked at her till she looked back toward me again. I never studied Parelli though, that was just sort of what came naturally to me.

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