January 26, 2012

Herd Boss Mare?

I have no idea how this happened, but Rose has somehow managed to become the boss mare of her little herd! My un-socialized mare who apparently didn't know horse language, is now telling them all what to do. I can't say I'm shocked that she's become a boss mare, given how bold she can be at times, but after witnessing time and time again stupidly stand in one spot and get beat to a pulp by various mares over the years, I never thought it would actually happen.

I first noticed Rose's new bossiness when I arrived at the barn last Monday, January 16th. She was sleeping in her hay pile, and for once let me come all the way up to her while she slept. Usually she jumps up when I'm within 30-feet of her. I gave her some good scratches and pets while she lay there, letting her know I appreciated the trust she was exhibiting. In the mean time, whenever one of the other horses came near her or me, looking to sniff out my potentially treat laden pockets, she would pin her ears and bar her teeth, running them off...without getting up!

I thought she was just being a treat hog until later on when I returned her to her paddock. Once I let her free in the paddock she drove off all the other mares, not letting them get close to me. She pinned her ears, bared her teeth, and the other horses got out of there in an instant. She didn't actually have to run them off at all, they just new better and got away from Rose and I. It was impressive and I'm too sure if I should be happy about this new development in her life or not.

Rose - Boss Mare
Now here is the big question...was she driving them off because I happen to be her "person", her "treat factory" (I give her treats at the end of our work sessions, and the other horses too), or does she know I'm pregnant and is protecting me? She kept trying to sniff my tummy in the cross ties that afternoon too, which is not a normal thing for her to do. She's never acted this way toward other horses before. She even ran off her BFF Roxy. What do you all think?

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


  1. Good question. I have no idea which one it was. Very interesting development. At least you don't have to worry about crowding at the gate lol.

  2. My gelding does this too. When I am in the field with him or leading him in, he does not allow any other horses to come near us. He started out at the very bottom of the totem pole as a 2 year old and now has worked his way up almost to the top of the herd. Weird huh? I do think Rose can sense your pregnancy - does she hear another heartbeat perhaps?

  3. You know, when I was pregnant my horses also sniffed my belly more! I dunno if it was because it was just BIGGER, haha, or if they sensed the baby! Neat to think about though.

  4. Awe, I remember last summer when Pippi became head b*tch. It was funny how fast it happened and how it changed her

  5. I think mares are very sensitive to changes - bet she knows something is different about you.

    I left an award for you on my blog!



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