Extreme aggression and what to do about it
 
 

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Extreme aggression and what to do about it

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  • Horse is pushed by others away from the round bale
  • Taking the edge off an agressive horse

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  • 1 Post By poppy1356

 
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    10-30-2012, 10:54 AM
  #1
Foal
Extreme aggression and what to do about it

Hey guys. Sorry for the novel but please bear with me.

I've recently moved my two geldings (16 years old and 2 years old) to a boarding facility near where I live and work. It's a great place, very small and just one other boarder, the rest are the woman's horses with a total of perhaps eight horses on property.

My two boys have their own pasture/paddock area. However, they share a round bale feeder with the neighbouring paddock, with the feeder sitting in the fence line.

It's a great set up in theory, horses are separate and can't really reach each other, and I'm thrilled that my geldings have their own space.

However, my 16-year-old Percheron cross has become a raging lunatic. He is on high alert about the next-door horses (a gelding and a mare) and is charging the fence, bucking, rearing at them, and throwing his weight around to keep my 2-year-old AWAY from the fence, and AWAY from the hay feeder, in an attempt to "protect" him from the other horses.

This has been going on for three days.

I know that over time he will probably settle, but I am extremely alarmed at the way he is pushing my youngster around by slamming into him, pushing him with his hindquarters and charging into him to move him out of the way. I see a potentially dangerous situation if my youngster's head is in the hay feeder and he is body slammed...

Does anyone have any suggestions for a way to settle my gelding's mind, either through work, or even a calming supplement that could take the edge off?? Should I take the youngster out temporarily? But I think he would go back to his ways once he was reintroduced.

Any thoughts and ideas will be much appreciated. This is the only boarding facility in my area where my horses would have their own space, plus free choice hay, both of which are important to me.
     
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    10-30-2012, 12:30 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Ask to have a separate round bale in their paddock, not sharing one. Actually, I would demand it. Even offer to pay for it for then a reduction in board since you are buying your own hay. A hay feeder on a fence line is just asking for trouble.
     
    10-30-2012, 12:57 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppy1356    
Ask to have a separate round bale in their paddock, not sharing one. Actually, I would demand it. Even offer to pay for it for then a reduction in board since you are buying your own hay. A hay feeder on a fence line is just asking for trouble.
I don't really want to go into my third day at a new facility 'demanding' anything. And, I cannot afford to buy my own hay for a couple of reasons, one being that in this part of Ontario there was a severe drought this summer and hay supplies are depleted and quite over-priced. Nor can I afford the several hundred dollars it would cost to purchase another round bale feeder.

A temporary solution I've decided to do for now is set up a slow-feeder hay bag on the other side of the paddock so they will at least have access to hay. Worst case scenario is that I will have to continue this, filling every day myself...that's the quickest fix I can think of for the time being.
     
    10-30-2012, 01:04 PM
  #4
Green Broke
You don't need another round bale feeder, you can put a net over it. If you don't want to ask that they are fed separately then why not ask why they feed that way? Sounds dangerous to me. They never get to establish who's boss yet they are made to eat together.

Is this just a normal pipe corral feeder? That would be even more dangerous as horses often get stuck in those, especially if they are fighting over it.
     
    10-30-2012, 01:58 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppy1356    
You don't need another round bale feeder, you can put a net over it. If you don't want to ask that they are fed separately then why not ask why they feed that way? Sounds dangerous to me. They never get to establish who's boss yet they are made to eat together.

Is this just a normal pipe corral feeder? That would be even more dangerous as horses often get stuck in those, especially if they are fighting over it.
I think you're right, I need to talk to the barn owner about this. I've never used round bale feeders in my life, so I don't know what kind it is but it looks like this:



I don't want to give the wrong impression as I think this barn is really well-kept and the owner is incredibly competent and kind. I think the system would work well with a horse who is less aggressive, my two-year-old has no problem.

I'll try feeding at the other end of the paddock this evening with my slow-feeder.
     
    10-30-2012, 02:01 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Your horse can very easily get a foot caught in that. Just to dangerous for my liking.

We have round bale nets at our barn that have been in use for a month now and no one has gotten caught on them.

Cinch Chix - Cinch Chix - Home of the Cinch Net Hay Feeder

Might be worth investing in.
     
    10-30-2012, 02:06 PM
  #7
Foal
Thanks for the link poppy. It would be great to use one of these. I will talk to her. With my home herd I'm currently using small slow-feeder nets that hold 2 square bales each. I would be happy to set some of those up even, if the barn owner doesn't want to place a full round bale in with my horses, seeing as right now it's mud season and placing a bagged round on the ground without feeder around it could result in some waste...and this year, hay is very tight for everyone...

Glad to talk this through with someone else, so thanks again!
     
    10-30-2012, 02:10 PM
  #8
Green Broke
One of our bales is in a mud pit. It was put there before we got unexpected rain. And being the lowest part on property was in mud. But from what I can tell not much of it is wasted. The horses don't step on it and push it in. Though they probably could if they wanted to. You could always put a slab of wood under it too.
     
    10-31-2012, 10:46 AM
  #9
Foal
I went out last night and brought the boys into the indoor arena for an emotional break, and they ate from the round bales stored on the far side. I could almost hear my older gelding sigh with relief. We're only into the fourth day at the farm, and the move has been VERY hard on him. And after doing some research, and noticing some recent changes in his personality and body/coat condition, I am beginning to suspect he has gastric ulcers. I will be in touch with my vet about diagnosing these and already have some supplements that I will begin with him. And I started him on soaked alfalfa cubes last night and set up a slow-feeder hay bag for them at the other end of their paddock.

I feel guilty for moving them away from the other three horses at my parents' place, but what's the point of having horses if you can never see them? I hope they will settle in and that the barn owner and I can work out an arrangement that works for everyone. For now, I am going to string electric fencing about 15 feet from the dividing fence line and feeder so that my older gelding can have some peace of mind, stop worrying about the strange horses next door, and get settled into his new home. The youngster isn't fazed at all...he's pretty unflappable in general.
     
    10-31-2012, 11:01 AM
  #10
Green Broke
That is a good idea. And if he does indeed have ulcers from the stress then that in itself should be a good reason to convince the barn owner to get another feeder for them. I really have never heard of fence lines sharing food, water yes but not food.

You might just want to try ulcer treatment before scoping as scoping is ver costly and the treatments wont hurt if he doesn't have ulcers but if he does you will know when they make him feel better.
Magaidh likes this.
     

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