Very Aggressive New Mother

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Very Aggressive New Mother

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  • How to get an aggressive mare to let you near her foal
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    06-10-2011, 08:48 PM
Unhappy Very Aggressive New Mother

Help! I have a 6 year old QH mare. She had her foal, a colt 3 weeks ago tomorrow. I have had her since she was first weaned - about 5 months old. THis is her first baby.

She lets me touch the foal. When I try to get near her sometimes she comes at me with ears pinned back ready to bite. I have tried everything I can think of. I tried to give her treats (apples and carrots) only when her ears are forward. SHe will be fine for a time or two then will lunge at me across her stall gate. SHe almost got me in the face the other night. When I can get a hold of her halter and then put a lead on her...she is back to her old self, she will do everything I ask of her.

She was a little this way when she was pregnant. Not to this extent mind you. I would grab her halter and vigorously rub her face.... this seemed to help somewhat.

I have tried rescue remedy...about 10 drops - no effect.

I called the vet and tried atrivet, tried this for about 3 days and gave up.

Any ideas as to something I can try would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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    06-11-2011, 09:54 AM

Are you letting her and the foal outside for the day? Keeping her locked up might be making her unhappy.Iam not sure how I would handle the charging but I would not let her get away with it. I know sometimes hand feeding can make for a mean horse. I never hand feed my horses I just don't think its a good idea.

My mare had her first foal and she was very protective but not to the point of charging. She was fine with me but got very upset when other people came around.That only lasted for the first two weeks she just kept her baby on the far side of her. I did turn them out every day for the day only had them in the stall for the night.

Please be carefull and don't let her get you. Maybe this needs to be moved to the training section you might get more help there. Sorry iam not much help.
    06-11-2011, 10:19 AM
Back off from doing anything "vigorously, as in rubbing her face" with your mare from this point forward. Some first time mare mother's can be slightly in the over-protective mode with a new baby. Continue to approach your new Mom and her baby and do not back down from your mare's aggressiveness. As long as you establish yourself in the higher of the pecking order with your mare the better it will be.
    06-11-2011, 10:56 AM
I have just been through the same thing with my mare. It's her first foal with us and she was already in foal when we got her. I tried to get near the foal as soon as my mare had her and she was very protective and pushing me out of the way so I decided to not even try get near the foal and just concentrate on her. Her foal is now 8 weeks old and I left the little filly alone for the first 6 weeks to be with her mum and learn some horsey boundaries from her. This doesn't mean that I didn't go into the field and groom and pet my mare and also check the foal it just means that I never let my intention be towards the foal infact I purposely ignored my foal and focused all my attention on my mare. If your mare feels your 'want' towards the foal she will be ever more protective but if she thinks you are approaching to fuss on her then she won't feel the need to 'warn' you off the foal. Hope this makes sense. I found that the more I petted and fussed on my mare the more curious the foal got about me and the more she wanted to get to know me. Now I can go into a 3 acre field with mare and foal and the mare just keeps grazing and the foal approaches me. Hope this makes sense I have reread it a few times hoping it does
    06-11-2011, 12:28 PM
Thank you all for the advise. I will start to put her treats in a pail or something rather than my hand. I have been trying to step towards her, yell at her, raise my arms wildly to stress to her that I am the boss of her (pecking order) She seems a little better today. They are out on the field all day and just in for the night. For some reason it seems to be worse in the barn. The other night I was so sad at this situation I just sort of hung my head in my arms on top of a stall door and she came and smelled me and was not being aggressive at all. She is...then she isnt. I will try all the advise and thank you for taking the time...:)

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