Mare nasty to newborn foal - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-29-2012, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Mare nasty to newborn foal

Ok so Buffy and sabrina have always been paddocked together until the night buffy foaled. sabrina is a very dominant mare .
Foal was still laying down maybe 10 mins old and sabrina came over had a sniff and squeel and started trying to stomp the foal
i hate to think what would have happened had i not been there to stop her as buffy just stood back as sabrina is the boss , so she has now been removed from buffys yard to the bigger paddock alone . Why would she act that way ?
Do you seperate your mares before foaling ?
I'm just worried as the paddock sabrina is now in is a bit larger than i'd like her to foal in but i can't put her back with buffy and turbo.
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-29-2012, 03:46 PM
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Wow, I'm glad you were there to save the day!! That would have been quite a tragedy! I've heard of other horses trying to harm a newborn foal, but don't really know the psychology(sp?) behind why they act this way. I think its a very good thing you keep them separated until the foal is a little older and can get out of the way. Right now the poor thing is basically helpless. Mean Auntie!!!!
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-29-2012, 03:48 PM
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Keep that foal safe, don't mix them in with other horses. Sometimes, horses, such as Sabrina, will be aggressive & hurt or kill the baby, as you now know. Sometimes other horses are very nice & will even babysit the baby while mom goes off & grazes, all depends on the horses' personality & nature.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-29-2012, 04:04 PM
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She might also be hormonal and over being pregnant herself. See how she goes once she has foaled herself. I know I was pretty ropeable for the last few weeks of my pregnancies lol.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-29-2012, 05:11 PM
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I'm taking it that Sabrina is the alpha mare of the two, it does happen sometimes the alpha will attempt to steal the foal or will hurt it. I'm not sure but I think when she has her foal she'll be ok around the other foal.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-29-2012, 07:07 PM
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I'd also watch Sabrina when she drops her own foal. Sometimes mares will freak out at the foals. They don't quite know what to expect, so it becomes a threat.

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post #7 of 13 Old 01-29-2012, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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I will definately keep him safe now i know the way she acted towards him,
and i hope to be there when she has her foal also to make sure all goes okay .
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-30-2012, 10:06 AM
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That is a very unnatural behavior. I don't know your herd/facility situation, but if you only have the two mares together without other horses and if the enclosure is small, that would explain it - too much stress. Very rarely does that type of incident happen with mares in a less stressful situation - specifically when there is a larger herd in a large pasture. Stress can supercede their natural behaviors...
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-30-2012, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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They were not in a small enclosure at all , i asked the vet and he said it's not uncommon behaviour for an alpha mare to sometimes feel threatened and sometimes will try hurt the foal at first until she is used to him.
i'm not taking the risk again now i know and will be keeping a super close eye on her when she does have her own foal soon
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-30-2012, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Rascaholic View Post
I'd also watch Sabrina when she drops her own foal. Sometimes mares will freak out at the foals. They don't quite know what to expect, so it becomes a threat.
I haven't witnessed a mare do this, but I have seen many a cow and first year heifer try to kill their own calf....

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