Are “Lead Mares” Really the Leaders?


Recent research challenges our current perception of wild horse herd dynamics; though rankings and hierarchies are still apparent, the understanding that a lead mare determines the movement of a group may be up for questioning. If true, some of our handling and training techniques may need to be re-examined as well…

“Professor Konstanze Krüger watched her own horses closely, but was not convinced the highest-ranking mare dictated the movement or action of the rest, so she took a team of researchers to Italy to study the feral Esperia horses.” Read more.

Are “Lead Mares” Really the Leaders?

One thought on “Are “Lead Mares” Really the Leaders?

  • March 31, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Interesting. I’ve also observed that leaders sometimes lead by refusing to go somewhere. Especially where the leaders are older or less inclined to be active than some of the lower ranking horses. I used to see one of the younger horses get bored and want to go do stuff, and maybe go half a mile or so on their own, then they start looking back at the leaders and whinnying and getting insecure. They almost always ended up going back to the leaders, who seemed to make the decisions about heading out for the day or night.


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