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What would you do with a dominant gelding and a very submissive youngster?

5 replies

krustykittens · 23/01/2022 19:18

Hi everyone,

I posted a little while ago about a pony I wanted to loan out. He is a late cut gelding that came from a rescue and he tends to guard mares in a mixed herd. We didn't have too much trouble with him, he tended to bicker a lot with the other geldings but nothing serious. But my daughter bought a youngster last year who submits to any pony or horse he sees (I swear I have seen him submit to the cat) and it just brought out the worst in this gelding. He attacked him and nearly ran him through a fence and for the youngster's safety, I removed the gelding from the herd. He went to a lovely loan home where I hoped he could stay until youngster got bigger and more confident but the parents split up and he had to come home. I was going to advertise him as a loan pony again in the spring but I just hate dealing with other people. He is loving and affectionate and I am very fond of him, I would rather keep him. We have him on Rigcalm now and he is a total dope on a rope to handle, but the youngster still submits. Should I use electric rope to divide the summer field off and see if he can learn to live with youngster or send him out on loan again until youngster is bigger and stronger? He is a little welsh cross, only about 12 hands, and the youngster is a Highland, already bigger than him, but personality wise, the gelding will dominate! Thanks for reading!

OP posts:
maxelly · 24/01/2022 12:58

How young is the youngster, if he's only 2 or 3 I would probably be thinking ideally that the young one needs to be in a herd with other babies to learn a bit more about being a horse without being bullied by your older ones, is this a possibility at all? You can get specific youngstock livery or sometimes people will take them on loan as a friend for their own babies. Obviously it's different if the youngster is 4 or 5 and about to be broken in or whatever.

If you need to keep them all together then depending on field size I would probably split the herd up, older gelding and a couple of mares that he gets on with in one end and youngster and some quieter mares in the other...

CountryCob · 26/01/2022 19:40

I think if in doubt split them in the field, sometimes you need to take warnings where they come and it would be a shame if the youngster was injured or became more nervous for the extra trouble of splitting them

RatherBeRiding · 27/01/2022 15:51

Separate them. The baby needs to learn to be a horse without being terrorised. I'd keep them in adjoining paddocks, but with some leccy in between so that they can get used to each and socialise without the possibility of the dominant pony causing injury. Field injuries caused by other horses are an absolute pain!

krustykittens · 28/01/2022 17:59

Thank you everyone. After an incident today, I have decided not to loan him out unless the perfect loan home locally comes up and they have to agree to using our farrier. This pony had an awful life before he came to us and was very nervous about being handled and could still be fidgety with the farrier. His loaner was told this and was told to be there when he was trimmed. His first farrier visit after coming back from loan and he went crazy with fear, striking out at our farrier. He reckons he has been battered. I am so upset. He is staying at home and being separated from the youngster until he grows up a bit and stops being a doormat.

OP posts:
Biddie191 · 31/01/2022 12:09

Definitely keep him separate from the youngster, but try not to keep either in individual turnout for any length of time.
I had a young (2 yo) gelding who was terribly bullied by an older riggy gelding. In turn, when he grew up, he got quite bossy and dominant with other younsters, or 'weaker' geldings, and I do think a part of this was learnt behaviour from the bully, as before that (and yes, I know he was young) he was happily in the middle of the pecking order, and showed no bossiness to any of the others.

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