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Horse is hogging the run-in

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  • Horse is hogging the run-in

    I retired my QH a few months ago to a nice big pasture with two other old horses. No stalls, but a run-in big enough for all three. Everything was fine while the weather was mild, but now that it's getting cold and blustery, I'm hearing that he's bullying the other two out of the shed. One of the other owners is asking what to do about this. Is there anything that we could conceivably do? Is there a chance the three will work it out?

  • #2
    Can you section the shed into two portions so he can be in one area and the other two can have the rest?
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    • #3
      What Furlong said. I board retired horses who live out with run-ins. In my experience either they will share or they won't, it has nothing to do with the size of the run-in. The only way to make it work it to divide the run-in so the bully can have one side and the others take the other side.

      Some of my run-ins have dividers; one doesn't, and I've wondered if just putting up a gate would work to divide the one that doesn't. It sounds like all of you could pitch in for this improvement.
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      • #4
        I've found that putting up a partial divider helps to keep a bully from chasing the other horses out of a run in. My run is approximatelyl 30 x 14'. I've found that putting a 8 or 10 foot divider down the middle of the shed (so that the shed is divided into two 15 x 14' sections) is effective. The divider does NOT touch the walls, but serves as an "island" that the horses circle around. My divider is real high tech -- two traffic cones with white electric fence tape stretched between them (and electrified when need be).

        When the bully moves to one side of the shed, the other horse (or horses) circle around the divider to the opposite side. Fortunately for me, my bully is a lazy bully and it's just too much work for him to be constantly circling around the island.

        I wouldn't divide the shed into two sections without having an "escape route" for the less agressive horse. Otherwise, you're just creating a smaller area in which the bully could trap the other horse.

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        • #5
          Yup, often making a divider of some sort stops a run-in bully. They'll chase them out a time or two and then get sick of having to swerve around the divider to do so. Usually.

          An easy way is to buy a gate panel and attach to back wall of run in. You can attach it with hinges too, that way you can swing it out to use or swing it against the wall when it's not needed. Add a gate anchor to the other end if you do this so when it's out it stays put and doesn't sag.

          I have the same issue at home. My barn aisle doubles as a run in when the horses are out. In bad weather my horse Petey thinks it's funny to enter the barn and then stand sideways across the entrance. Sonny just stands in the rain and looks pathetic. Pete doesn't chase him out, he just blocks the doorway. So next year I'm adding an overhang. Sonny can get out of the rain and it will also shade the barn in summer.
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          • #6
            I have a 14x28 run in with one side closed in. I put up a heavy duty, 6' tall pipe panel in the middle to split the shelter in half. This has totally solved the bully hogging the shelter issue as usually the bully is too lazy to walk out into the rain and kick the other one out of the other side. Has worked like a charm with multiple horses for years now. I have to add that this is a one-sided shelter, so even with the divider horses can still get out easily. If I had a 3-sided shelter I might not do a divider as this could create a dangerous situation where the bully could trap a lesser horse.

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            • #7
              Actually, it depends on the size of a three sided run-in. I have several of them that are very long. There would be no problem whatsoever putting a divider in when needed and no risk of a lower pecking order horse getting trapped in the run-in. Some 3 sided run-ins would not work. I just wouldn't categorically rule it out. We have used dividers when needed in my 3 sided run-ins with great success.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
                Actually, it depends on the size of a three sided run-in. I have several of them that are very long. There would be no problem whatsoever putting a divider in when needed and no risk of a lower pecking order horse getting trapped in the run-in. Some 3 sided run-ins would not work. I just wouldn't categorically rule it out. We have used dividers when needed in my 3 sided run-ins with great success.
                I totally agree. We have 3 sided run ins that we divide. We use a gate attached to the back wall that can be swung out of the way when not needed.
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