Understanding Herd Mentality in Horses
The heard mentality is something that has been ingrained in horses since their wild herd days. While this mentality helps to safeguard the herd in the wild while also maintaining family groups, it can become problematic when dealing with domesticated horses. So, what exactly is the herd mentality and what can you do if it becomes a problem?
What is the Herd Mentality?
As part of the herd mentality, your horses may set up an order in terms of who eats first, who drinks first and who has first access to shelter. Some may be so dominant in the hierarchy that they actually stand guard over the resources. This, of course, can become problematic when the horse prevents other horses from gaining access to water, food and shelter.
How Can I Address Herd Mentality?
Unfortunately, there is little that you can do to address herd mentality. You can, however, take steps to create space between your horses so they can all access the available resources. Having enough space will also allow your horses to get away from one another, thereby helping to prevent and curb bullying behavior. This will also give the subordinate horse the opportunity to express subordinate behavior, such as fleeing from the dominant horse.