Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Bully

With shock and dismay I watched my two year old gelding, Buddy, beat up my sweetheart of a mare, Whiskey. Having always been blessed with good natured horses who get along with everybody and everything I was slightly taken aback. Considering the fact that Buddy was the younger new comer to my little herd it was unusual to see.

If it was just Whiskey Buddy beat up I'd chalk it up to herd dynamics and let them work it out. Out working sheep in the field I couldn't help but giggle when a sheep made a break for it and Buddy chased it down the fence line. Picture this: ears pinned, mouth agape, neck extended, rearing and striking, sheep running in sheer terror. While it makes me snicker it is not a desirable trait to see Buddy display.

Buddy is a bully. If he thinks he can dominate it, he'll try. From pinning his ears at me, to chasing anything that crosses his path, he bullies. Buddy and I have had a number of discussions regarding his unfortunate choices. These discussions usually involve me hucking a bucket at him and chasing him around. Dominating him if you will. He's not allowed to come to his feed if he pins his ears. Period. This means I'll chase him off time and time again till he approaches with a nice attitude. He's in an isolated pen which he hates preventing him from bullying. But I'd love to have him be able to hang out with any of my animals and not worry about him hurting or killing something.

My friend's mom is a wizard with the Parelli Horsemanship stuff. I'll be calling her for help. Buddy needs to learn to get along with not only me but everything. And I'm at a bit of a loss of how to accomplish this. I know he knows I'm the boss of him. But I also know he does not know how to play nicely with others. Will having another bigger bully horse help? Or will it just compound the problem?

I had originally chalked his bullying behavior with the sheep as cow sense but I can't take him to a competition and have him try to pummel the cow into the ground. This is frowned upon.

What to do with Buddy the Bully?

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