“I’m having an issue today. I need help if you find a moment. I have 7 horses turned out together. They have ALL lived together for at least a year. Today, I blanketed two if them due to incoming inclement weather. One has a cold and the other was clipped and hasn’t re-grown his coat as well as we hoped. My problem is, the non-blanketed horses are attacking the two with blankets. Not a little either. They are full out ATTACKING. Pawing, rearing biting, kicking . It’s rough. What can I do?”-Patti C.

How do you handle one horse attacking another in the pasture?Horses have an interesting way of viewing things…don’t they? The easiest and quickest suggestion is to separate them for now. Depending on your set up you could pasture them in view of each other which will also allow the non-blanketed horses to adjust to seeing their friends wearing blankets.

Once things calm down a bit you can also do some retraining. Be creative and remember to stay safe. Retraining could take many forms including: a shared fence line to let the horses adjust, stalling blanketed and non-blanketed near each other, tying the aggressive horses and allowing the other horses to move around, the list can get longer depending on how creative you are and what type of set up you have to work with. The following comment is from another blog about horses that were aggressive during group feeding. Listen to how Ashley B. solved her problem:

I am in a situation where I am not able to stall my horses so I must feed them together. I have a piglet that is very aggressive to the other horses at feeding time. She was causing dangerous situations and my personal mare was dropping weight because she wasn’t able to eat. Our solution, since separating her wasn’t possible, was to place their buckets far apart and to stand guard. Our piglet has improved to finishing her meal and staying at her feed bucket and on good days she finishes and walks away to the hay. It took about 3-5 days of standing guard with a stick and now simply our presence is enough to deter her from “attacking” the others for their feed. Still occasionally, if she thinks we aren’t paying attention, she will mosey over and “share” feed but she no longer attacks the others.

Generally, horses eventually get over the shock of seeing the other horses with blankets but the important part is to keep everyone safe during this transition period.