Herd Politics

Watching my horse play with his friends I wondered how herd hierarchies get established.  I know all about showing dominance or submission, etc. But looking at PJ’s small herd of four I would never have guessed that they would have sorted themselves out in the order that they are, which is:

Ransom > PJ > Phoenix > Caliber 

By themselves they seem very different than when they are in the herd. Ransom is a more nervous individual who gets upset if you yell at him, and he is never anything but submissive with humans. PJ is a surfer-dude type who can be pushy if you don’t watch him. Phoenix is bossy all of the time. In fact, he was pulled out of the last group he was with because he was bossing them around too much. Caliber is a real sweetheart unless he’s in his stall; then he pins his ears at anyone who passes.  Size-wise, they’re all pretty comparable. 

Just another reason why these animals continue to amaze and engage us.

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One Response to Herd Politics

  1. onthebit says:

    I can’t believe that my fat spotted pony has turned out to be so low on the totem pole!

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