Bully horse gets violent over corn snack
Two horses who share a meadow and usually get along well are presented with a challenge when they are brought a handful of corn as a treat. Sharing proves to be difficult and one begins to bully the other. She bites at her companion and rears up on her front legs to kick her and chase her away. This is one horse who wants to make sure the other one knows who is in charge.
Horses are highly social animals and they have very complicated behavior and communication. They are very attuned to body language, noises, and even breathing of the other horses in a herd. The fight between them was not unpredictable or completely sudden.
The aggressive horse can be seen putting her ears back and thrusting her head toward the other in what seems to be a warning for her to back off. She even gives an angry whinny to make her point clear. When the darker colored horse puts her head down to eat some corn off the ground, she gets nipped on the back of the neck. She reads the situation correctly and begins to run even before the hooves start flying.
Showing her submissive side, she walks with her head down and her ears back, circling around in the hopes of another chance at a snack. She is careful to keep a wide berth to avoid the hooves that could cause a very serious injury.
Horses in a herd are known to be very sensitive to the smallest cues from the other horses. They can sense anxiety or contentment, fear or the warnings of impending aggression, all from the most subtle non verbal cues. They even pay attention to the breathing of the other horses to help them understand what is happening around them.
Horse behaviour and communication is very complex, even without words.