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New pony being bullied in the field

8 replies

Godotsarrived · 05/10/2016 12:50

My new little pony is being really badly bullied in the field. He arrived on Saturday and due to a unforeseen problem, I couldn't place him in my normal livery yard. The interim yard is close to home with a small well established herd.

Unfortunately there is one pony in the herd who is remarkably aggressive and he has two 'acolytes' that join in. After 48 hours, they now tolerate my little one grazing in the field but as soon as I go near him they come charging and when I return him to to field they mob him again. I couldn't get him away today.

So, I am planning to move him again. Which I hate the idea of as I loathe ponies being moved frequently; but i just don't know what else to do. I got the pony as a lead rein for my grandson so I need to handle him a lot and at the moment he is so stressed it is very difficult.

Should I move him to another yard where he can have a single paddock ( insight of others - touching distance over the fence) or would that unsettle him even further. I viewed him several times before buying him and he is/was the perfect little pony. Just worried all this bullying will cause a lasting issue.

OP posts:
frostyfingers · 05/10/2016 13:31

Are you able to fence off an area in the field with electric tape so that he can see them but is safe from them? I've always put mine in the field like that so they can get used to each other without being able to do any damage.

Godotsarrived · 05/10/2016 13:44

Unfortunately not. The grazing is pretty limited, not really enough space. It's horrible to watch. He is the smallest by about 3hh. He does his best to defend himself and has taken to hiding behind a larger gelding but can't really move without the bullies launching at him. Sad

OP posts:
froubylou · 05/10/2016 13:54

Give him a week or 2 as long as they are not literally pinning him to the ground or anything.

Me and my sister have had this. My 3 year old filly was a bit roughed up last year by her cob mare. For ease we had them seperate all winter reintroduced them in spring and it was awful for about a week. Full on fighting, horrendous squealing and face pulling, reversing into each other at speed with feet going in all directions. But after a couple of days they tolerated being near each other grazing.

Now they are best friends and very respectful of each other.

Sometimes it just takes a while for the herd dynamics to settle down.

Godotsarrived · 05/10/2016 17:11

He is being run ragged - they will not leave him alone and it gets worse when he is shown any human affection. Being moved to a small yard tomorrow. Its a bit of a trek for me but perfect for him hopefully.

OP posts:
BaldricksWife · 06/10/2016 14:24

Sounds like a wise move Godot. We are fortunate in having our own yard and rarely turn out more than three in any paddock at one time but introducing a newbie is always something I hate. If you know your equines then there is normally just a small kerfuffle before the order is sorted, however I got it wrong once and watched in horror as the new pony was chased clean over a large post and rail fence. Luckily no lasting damage but the memory remains. Glad you are moving small pony.

frostyfingers · 07/10/2016 09:58

That sounds very sensible, there's the normal sorting of the pecking order which is ok but your pony sounds like he's being really picked on poor chap. Hopefully he'll settle well and be happy!

honeyroar · 08/10/2016 17:18

It's a fairly normal thing to happen when a new horse joins a herd. The problem you're having is probably because the field is too small and the pony can't get far enough away to be acceptably on the edge of the herd, so the others are getting annoyed. You usually find a newbie stays on the edge of the group and is gradually allowed nearer.

Hope he settles and has better facilities to do so at his next yard.

IceIceIce · 14/10/2016 12:39

My first thought is too small an area. It's natural (especially with the boys) for them to push them out and then gradually accept them.

If the established horses are telling him to go away and he isn't that's why they'll run him ragged. They don't understand that he physically can't go away.

Other than that I do think some horses just don't get on. My first pony and another pony on the yard hated each other. Neither pony had ever had a problem with any other horse stabled or in the field. But they just fought. We had to rearrange everyone because they damaged a breeze block cemented wall so badly it was falling down trying to fight each other.

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