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JENOVA   Ammeratsu   JENOVA  
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 Possessive/Protective behavior

First off, in case anyone does not know, or doesn’t remember. I have a 3.5 year old mini gelding named Mirage. He will be 4 in march. Now onto the weird behavior:

has anyone ever had their horse be possessive or overly protective of them?

Whenever the minis are done with their hay, and I happen to be out there Mirage gets extremely protective of me. When there is hay out there he’s not too worried because no one else is coming up to me.

However if I do not specifically invite a horse into my space, he will either shove past them with his ears pinned (effectively placing himself between me and the other horse), or he will pin his ears and give them a nip if they don’t get the hint.

The couple times another mini has threatened me, he has gotten very nasty. He doesn’t seem to care whether it’s a nip, pinned ears, or a dirty look; If any mini directs one of those actions at me he attacks them. Once the other horse is about 10 feet from me he stops and comes back to me (in which case I ignore him).

His responses to these more pushy/nippy horses can range anywhere between a warning kick to chasing the horse half-way across the paddock while biting at its legs. He’s even chased off one horse that has been his buddy since before I even started working with him.

on one other occasion I have seen him act this way about another horse. A mini he had met before and had no previous problems with started kicking at one of the mares Mirage was pretty close with. He shoved himself between the two of them and proceeded to beat the snot out of the instigator.
I tell him off if he gets out of hand with one of the other minis, but aside from that I usually try to let the horses settle any squabbles without interference.

I’ve intentionally had people get into my space without asking me, and he doesn’t care. He doesn’t mind people, he knows his place around them. He only acts this way toward other horses.

The dominant one in the relationship is me. He respects me, has excellent stable manners and ground manners. He’s even good around small kids.

Does anyone understand this behavior? He’s not a mean horse, he actually gets along great with others. But when I"m in the picture, things change.
Has anyone else ever had their horse be their body-guard?

12/08/09  03:12pm


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  Message To: JENOVA   In reference to Message Id: 2102642

 Possessive/Protective behavior

Espy actually tends to reject me, haha. She pins her ears and moves away when I try to come near her. Disney and Tristen only have something against other geldings getting attention from me/my mom. Legend is too docile to really care, and Ember just loves to follow me around the property.

But Disney is VERY protective overs "his" mares. He watches us closely when we pet them, and he will beat the crap out of any horse, gelding or mare, if they even just pin their ears back at Espy or Ember.

To me, it sounds like Mirage is trying to suck up. Trying to work his way up until he’s highest in the pecking order, right under you. I think that he thinks if he protects you and acts tough that he’ll stay on your(the alpha’s) good side and climb up in the ranks. And it sounds like he’s just being protective over his mare, just like Disney.

12/08/09  04:54pm


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  Message To: Ammeratsu   In reference to Message Id: 2102681

 Possessive/Protective behavior

lol I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought I was one of "his" mares. I guess I’m his favorite because if another one of "his" mares messes with me he tells them off.

The whole "sucking up" theory seems accurate too. When he was first turned out with the rest of the mini herd last year, if a serious fight broke out between another horse and him (he was usually the one getting beaten up) I would break it up. The other horse would back off and Mirage would stick to my hip like velcro for a while.

I guess now that he’s established in the herd he’s trying to do the same for me.

It’s kind of weird how he could think of me as one of his mares. I’d be a pretty funny looking horse lmao :)

12/08/09  08:25pm

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