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Pecking Order In The Herd, Where Does Your Horse Fit?
by Susan Allen, click here for bio
Program: Open Range
Date: August 06, 12
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Horses are fascinating creatures and somewhat like Junior high schoolers when it comes to establishing popularity and pecking order. I’m Susan Allen and I’ll be back to share some tips on how to determine how well your horse fits in the herd when Open Range returns. I have a thirty year old gelding whose a born survivor, at an age when many equines must be separated for their own health and safety this old fellow still rules the roost. The pecking order of horses has been studied and discussed in depth. According to animal behaviorists Smokey is what is known as a “boss horse”, most likely his dam was the leader of her pack or the stallion, was known to be especially tough. A horse’s place in the herd is typically a combination of genetic and environmental factors. One of the key characteristics’ of a herd leader is the ability to take care of themselves. Horses like Smokey have to be first on a trail ride or racetrack. They usually guard their space and pin their ears when another equine invades and they are the vocal, pushy ones at feeding time. One method used over the years to determine if a horse is more passive or the “gypsy”tactic. If your horse refuses to budge when you push his nose away or like Smokey even pushes back against your hand , chances are you’ve got a boss horse. The more submissive horse will back away . Many of the horses that reach the pinnacle of racing, pro –rodeo , or the Olympic show jumping next week exhibit this strong will . Yet for the average horse owner, the more passive animal is often more enjoyable to ride and be around.
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