My question is about my four-year-old quarter horse mare. She is new to me to her current barn. Lola came from a small, private farm where she was the alpha to four other mares. I introduced her to her new herd (15 horses) about three weeks ago, and she has risen up the ranks and challenged the current alpha mare for her position. This has caused quite a stir with the other boarders who own mares. They obviously don't want their horses hurt. I have observed the activity in the pasture several times and have found nothing alarming or out of the ordinary. There have been complaints about my horse ripping blankets, but no concrete evidence it is Lola.
I have tried to convey to the owner of the barn that this herd behavior (kicking, pinning ears back, etc.) is normal and that it takes time for the pecking order to be established when a new mare is introduced. Can you please shed some light on this subject in order for me to understand what is typical? I feel these other boarders are in the dark about this topic and for me to get some relief from all the complaining, I need to bring expert advice to the table.