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I bought an eight year old mustang mare three weeks ago and she has been doing really well. I bought her for leisure trail riding. I've been slowly working with her on riding because her previous owner pretty much kept her in the back yard. We brought home another horse and my mustang went berserk when we got the other horse out of the trailer. She ran around in the corral slamming herself against it, actually causing some nose bleeding. Can you explain why she might have done this? We had to take the new mare out in the pasture for a bit to calm down my mustang. We put the other mare in the corral and they fussed at each other for a bit. I think my mustang was trying to be the lead. Now I am concerned that since I have not taken her out on a trail what she might do when she sees another horse. She was difficult till we just put the two together. But on a trail I don't want to get hurt if she reacts that way when seeing another horse. What can you suggest I do? Thanks.

R. C.


First, let's look at things from your mustang's point of view. If you were captured by an alien race and isolated from any contact with other humans, how would you react when you finally got to see someone of your own species? Calm and quiet? I think not!

As for trail riding, depending on her previous riding experience, she may either become surprisingly quiet when with a larger (and seemingly more secure) herd, or the excitement factor may kick in again. The only way to know is by actually taking her there. Having the other mare along may help her be less excited or nervous. I'd suggest taking her to a variety of horse shows at first -- not to compete necessarily, but for the exposure to other horses.

As with any new horse, you'll want to do plenty of ground work to establish the fact that you (and other humans) are always the "lead brood mare" -- no matter what other horses are around. Otherwise, if she bonds too strongly with the other mare, she may become buddy sour and act up when you try to ride away from her herdmate.

And, again, the rest of the story...

Thanks so much for the explanation. It makes total sense as she had been with a previous owner for a year without any other horse around. I guess I was not expecting such a strong reaction when we brought home another horse. I plan to follow your suggestion of taking her to competitions, etc., for more exposure to horses. Thank you so much for enlightening me on my mustang's reaction.

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