Food aggressive mare - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By SueNH
  • 1 Post By franknbeans
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-29-2012, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Canada
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Food aggressive mare

Need help with a little QH mare. She isn't mine, but I'm stuck not only feeding her..but having to spray her with a water gun or tie her up to keep her from MY horse's feed twice a day. Sometimes if I can I just feed him outside the paddock. They are stuck in the same paddock for now. I'm looking for boarding elsewhere because now it's turning into a bigger problem. My SIL hasn't bothered with this mare hardly at all in 2 years. There's no reason other than losing interest in her and no longer caring about proper attention for this one.

Poor mare coliced (sp?) a few months ago, but she had lost considerable weight before that. Likely because she stopped getting grains (the colic cause) suddenly. Come to figure out only the new money winning horse was being fed properly and her grain supply suddenly was halted. She was an easy keeper. Now they tell people this mare, plus another one that was taken back by the previous owner, and then 2 mini horses and a stud colt (sold to one person, then bought by her bf) ALL "foundered" without having heavy or lush diets.. They've never shown signs of founder in their feet. I'm pretty frustrated. I give these guys the little bit I can afford. Idk what to do. This mare in particular was already slightly aggressive to start with. Now she's started kicking repeatedly like a bronco before my guy has a chance to move. Yes, I have considered calling her out for this. But it's my husband's family. I'd lose my home if I did it So I'm trying all I can to help these horses. It'll be a few weeks before my vet comes to check on mine. Considering all these details, my horse is still being blamed for ALL the hairless little marks on the show horse she is gaga over FOR NOW. The stud colt was also a biter and a horrible one at that. He bit people, too. I'm getting lashed out on this week even though he's usually stalled 24/7. She's never bothered to say "hey I'm letting him out, get yours and stall him". If he has done anything it's more than likely because he was being picked on first and bit back. I never knew there was a problem until a few days ago. The show horse is one of the most dominant. Mine is the bottom of the rung. She's never held HER AGGRESSIVE mare or HER colt responsible for it. She's acting like I told mine to bite him all over just so she can't take him to show. The ONLY time any one has seen my dude bite him he had a hold of his tail.. BULL!! I can't separate them until I find another place to put him. Any suggestions would be great. Please don't bash me. I'm doing all I can without putting my family in jeopardy. If I weren't related I wouldn't have done anything, except go straight to a rescue operation and got help as soon as I saw problems.
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-15-2013, 03:40 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Hi, I'm just a little confused on what you're asking for advice on. If you could simplify things a bit and rephrase your main question that'd be very helpful.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-15-2013, 06:55 AM
Green Broke
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When feeding your horse, either pull him out or go in with a whip to keep the mare away. If she shows any attitude chase her off but keep a safe distance while you do that.

If they are not your horses, it really isn't your responsibility to care for or feed them. It may seem cold hearted or harsh but all you are doing is enabling the others to not care for their own horses.

If you really don't want to rock the boat, bite your tongue and keep doing what you already are.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-15-2013, 08:49 AM
Green Broke
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For 25 yrs I stood outside in all kinds of weather keeping my big bozo out of others food.

Either make a space to feed them separately or stand out there.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-15-2013, 07:07 PM
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Is there anyone who can see these horses (from a road), or maybe one of the neighbors? You can call in an anonymous complaint. Depending on the horse's condition. Or why don't you have the vet come out. The vet can definitely call in a neglect complaint and hopefully no fingers will be pointed at you. I would be sure to explain the situation to the vet. A farrier can call in a neglect complaint as well. That way you don't have to lie when you say it wasn't you. You could make it out to be the vet or place the blame elsewhere.

The police don't do much, but they will inspect the property- I would only feed a small amount if the police are coming and make sure there is no hay in the pasture. If they see your horse eating, they might not do anything as they may assume everyone is being fed. Worth a try. They may do repeat checkups to ensure improvements are being made.

Is your SIL letting the colt out with the mare?

Another thing you can do is buy an electric fence. They are about $70 for the box (either electric or battery) and $30 for electric fencing and some portable fence poles. You should be able to keep your horse separate.

Horses who are being starved will definitely become more aggressive. My mare was a neglect case and it took years for her to settled down and not be aggressive at feeding time.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-16-2013, 02:58 AM
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I'm confused as to the situation, but 4 horses, it doesn't sound to me like it has anything at all necessarily to do with a neglect case or getting authorities involved.

OP, horses are horses & it is not abnormally 'aggressive' behaviour for a dominant horse to chase away/kick at a more submissive horse, especially where food is concerned. Biting is also natural, normal behaviour, especially for a stud. No, if your horse is 'bottom rung' & doesn't aspire to dominance, he wouldn't be biting back. Agree with others who have said that you just need to (safely) guard your horse & keep them away, if you can't separate them at meal times.

Appreciate I don't know the details & sounds like there are some 'stories', but I'd caution you against feeding someone else's horses, especially if you are feeding grain or other rich feed to a horse who is colic or laminitis prone. Horses can indeed have laminitis with minimal obvious hoof symptoms & feeding grain can indeed cause colic. Grain & high NSC feeds are commonly problematic for horses generally.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-16-2013, 06:08 AM
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I would go out and either tie her or take my horse out to feed. No way around it, and carry a whip when you have to go in with the mare to deal with your horse. From what you are saying, this "aggressive" mare is in with your guy, and the others are not? If so, that is how I would deal with it. If they are all together, just take your guy out, feed him and put him back. Please don't squirt them with a water gun. That accomplishes nothing good for sure, and if I were your SIL and found out, I would have your head on a platter. Hopefully you will find another place for your horse soon and not have to deal with this.
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