Mustangs | Spirit of the Shrinking West, National Geographic Magazine: Fight Or Flight Behavior As Stallions Face Off

Two horses face each while pawing the ground in a ritual that can preclude a fight.

An intruding stallion is met at the edge of the group by a dominant male with ritualistic posturing, which may lead to fighting. The stance includes an arched neck, raised tail, prancing gait, and stomping. The pattern of responses includes approaching and investigating, covering of voided urine, pawing and sniffing.

The fight or flight instinct is strong in wild horse behavior. Studs challenge harem stallions for status and to win mares from the dominant horse.

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