Is this safe?
 
 

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Is this safe?

This is a discussion on Is this safe? within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Should a halter be left on when the horse goes out to pasture?
  • Should horses wear halters while turned out together?

 
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    02-05-2011, 10:21 AM
  #1
Foal
Question Is this safe?

I have 3 horses 2 are ours and 1 we are holding for a neighbor. The neighbors horse and our quarter horse like to nip at eachothers halters. They seem to do it everyday but im not sure if its safe? Sometimes they go as far as to bucking and kicking at eachother? Im not sure if this is safe and we should seperate them for a while because they have been in the same pasture for about 3 months now? There really sweet when we take them out but when I put them back in and feed them together there at it again?
     
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    02-05-2011, 10:24 AM
  #2
Foal
I don't think you should leave halters on your horses when they are turned out to pasture. There is a lot of danger in doing that.

Are they kicking in play? To reestablish herd order? Aggression?

If you are truly concerned about the horses' safety, you should separate them.
     
    02-05-2011, 10:25 AM
  #3
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiyaero    
I don't think you should leave halters on your horses when they are turned out to pasture. There is a lot of danger in doing that.
I competely agree.
     
    02-05-2011, 10:43 AM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiyaero    
I don't think you should leave halters on your horses when they are turned out to pasture. There is a lot of danger in doing that.

Are they kicking in play? To reestablish herd order? Aggression?

If you are truly concerned about the horses' safety, you should separate them.
Completely agree! Two of my horses came from a house were they left their halter on. They still have marks from the halters 2 years later. Leaving halters on is just an accident waiting to happen. My opinion is take off the halters, while its early. It doesn't take that much effort to put a halter on.
     
    02-05-2011, 10:57 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Agreed. Too many things can go wrong.
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    02-05-2011, 11:20 AM
  #6
Green Broke
I agree that halters shouldn't be left on for a long time. However, when horses are being turned out for part of the day, which many stables do, they will leave them on.

As for the horses nipping and kicking at each other, I'm going to assume they are geldings since mares don't usually do this. They are just playing. Two of our boys nip at each other all the time and they are best buds. They really get into in when the weather gets nice and in the spring. We give them orange cones to play with and that has helped. There's a saying that fits here: " Boys will be boys."

If it is just at feeding to though, they are probably acting aggressive and trying to protect their food or get the others food. At that point, you should step in and correct their behavior.
     
    02-05-2011, 11:22 AM
  #7
Trained
I imagine they are just establishing hierarchy, but I would also take the halters off. It is too easy to get stuck on fences, trees, etc. I've heard of a horse get it's hoof stuck in it halter from bringing it's hind leg up to scratch their face like a dog does. She broke her neck. I don't mean to scare you, I just want you to see that it is a serious matter to leave halters on. The mare I mentioned was in her stall.

ETA: Mares also establish hierarchy, usandpets. You forget that wild herds do have an alpha mare.

I caution stepping in, though. There is no reason to get hurt. Maybe feed them further away from each, but unless these horses have superb respect for you, I wouldn't get in the middle of a horse fight any sooner than I'd get in the middle if a dog fight. O_o
     
    02-05-2011, 01:23 PM
  #8
Green Broke
I disagree. I keep halters on both my horses. For the simple reason that they like to escape and are really hard to catch when they do get out. We don't have anything they can get hooked on. My gelding likes to bite and hold on to my mares halter.
     
    02-05-2011, 01:28 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald    
I disagree. I keep halters on both my horses. For the simple reason that they like to escape and are really hard to catch when they do get out. We don't have anything they can get hooked on. My gelding likes to bite and hold on to my mares halter.
Well as far as safety goes, I think horses should not wear halters while turned out.

Not liking to be caught is a behavioral problem that is best prevented than addressed, before it becomes a habit.
     
    02-05-2011, 01:32 PM
  #10
Trained
Ray, did you not read my post? Horses have legs. They do have something to get stuck on.

If your horse is hard to catch, that is a gap in training. My mare was hard to catch at first too. I did not put a band-aid on the situation by leaving her halter on. I learned her real quick that running away from me wasn't fun. She politely puts her nose in her halter now.
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