Watch a Dramatic Horse Fight End When the Alpha Body-Slams Its Opponent

Beautiful appaloosa horse rearing up in the field in autumn

Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: October 19, 2023

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These horses have a serious problem with each other! Their animosity has developed into violence and they aim backward kicks which look extremely painful. Then, one of them manages to catch the other around the neck using its front limbs. The rival is caught off balance and is body-slammed into the dirt! There is even a slow-motion sequence so that we can view the detail of how it was achieved.

Watch the full video of this violent confrontation:

Is This Normal Behavior For Horses?

Horses grazing in front of Cascade Mountains, Oregon backdrop

Horses are social animals but don’t always get on with each other!

Horse behavior is fascinating. Also, aggression is a common issue. You can spot when a horse is displaying aggression. They may have their ears flattened backward, retract their lips and have rapid tail movements. You may also notice pawing at the ground and head bowing. It ends with kicking and biting. In some circumstances, this sort of behavior is directed at humans as well as at other horses. In this case, it is essential that you work out what is triggering the aggression.

Why Do Horses Fight?

herd of horses
Horses are social animals but they do not always get along.

Horses are social animals and like to be with other horses. However, as we see here, they do not always get on! Aggression towards other horses is usually associated with sexual competition and asserting dominance. It can also frequently be triggered by territorial motives (guarding a resource or a group of horses). It is also the case that some horses are just naturally more aggressive towards other horses.

What Should You Do When Horses Fight?

Two horses in field in Ocala, FL

When horses don’t get along, they should be separated, usually by double fencing.

The advice from the MSD Veterinary Manual is that the horses should be separated. This needs to be done using solid walls or double fencing because single fencing will probably not be strong enough. Then, make sure that there are sufficient resources to prevent conflict over them. Desensitization and counterconditioning are then required and you may need the help of a horse behavior expert. If the aggression is sexually related, castration and progestins (synthetic hormones) are an option. Finally, as is the case for all animal training, punishment is both cruel and ineffective.

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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