I have 3 mares and 1 gelding that we bought last year from a rescue. The gelding has been bottom of the pecking order until recently. We bought a hay hut to feed them last October, so the mares would quit driving him away. Now that all are eating relatively peacefully he has moved up in the herd and is now good friends with the top mare.
During her last heat cycle he started acting very studly flirting and nipping at her and is now acting that way with all of them. I didn’t think to much of this behavior because he is very good with us when he is on the lead or being ridden, but he is now being very aggressive towards us in the field. He will strike suddenly to bite us over the fence when he comes up for a pet and he will charge at us in the field. Especially when we are taking one of the mares in. He acts like he will bite and strikes at us with his forelegs.
This has been this last month and a half. I want to nip this in the bud before he hurts one of us. I have to say after the last time he caught me off guard and charged me I have an immediate feeling of fear and I have told my kids they cannot go into the field any longer.
What is the best approach to deal with this? I am thinking I need to separate him from the mares for a bit, but we only have 5 acres of pasture and the ground is frozen right now so I can’t easily make him a paddock. Would separating him from the herd help at all if he can still see them?
Any advice is appreciated.