Mares scratching each other - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 9 Old 07-04-2014, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Mares scratching each other

I noticed something new the other day..My two mares seemed to be scratching each others itches. At first I thought because it was a hot day, they were licking the salty sweat off one another but when I looked closer, they were actually using their teeth on each other, as if to be scratching one another.
Now, I've not had more than one horse, so I don't know if this is normal between two mares that are not related (as in mother and foal).

The part I find interesting is the fact that one of the mares has only been living with us for about 8 months (she is a rescue).
Is this a common behavior between two horses that have only been together for a short time?

I found this so cute that I had to take a video of it.

"To ride a horse is to ride the sky"
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-04-2014, 08:08 PM
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it is very common and they usually do it around the withers. When I scratch my horse there and have my back close to her she rubs my back with her lips.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-04-2014, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for answering so quickly!
Yes, my first girl does that to me too, when I scratch her. Especially when I've seemed to hit a real itchy spot.

When I got the second girl, I didn't want my first mare to feel neglected, so I would stand between them and scratch them both at the same time. Good thing I only have two horses. LOL


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Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
it is very common and they usually do it around the withers. When I scratch my horse there and have my back close to her she rubs my back with her lips.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-04-2014, 08:14 PM
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Very very common. It means they get along well. Horses groom each other when they are comfortable with each other. My herd of 4 will stand together and all be grooming each other at once. Its really cute to watch.

My old girl does the same thing to me. I will stand and scratch her withers with my nails or a grooming mitt and she will start doing the same thing to my back.

BB ~ 2014 Trakehner Bratty Mare ~ 1993 CSHA Em ~ 2007 Standardbred
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-04-2014, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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That is great to hear! We had been concerned for a while, because my first mare didn't initially take well to a newcomer, but we've noticed things getting better in the last two or three months, and when we saw them grooming the other day, we were so happy!



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Originally Posted by NBEventer View Post
Very very common. It means they get along well. Horses groom each other when they are comfortable with each other. My herd of 4 will stand together and all be grooming each other at once. Its really cute to watch.

My old girl does the same thing to me. I will stand and scratch her withers with my nails or a grooming mitt and she will start doing the same thing to my back.

"To ride a horse is to ride the sky"
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-04-2014, 08:47 PM
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Two of mine will frequently do the reciprocal itching over the stall.

Something else that is very common is for horses to stand head-to-tail, side-by-side. That way when one horse swishes its tail, it hits the other one in the face and helps get rid of the flies

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post #7 of 9 Old 07-04-2014, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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My alpacas like to lay behind the horses and have their flies swished away by the horses tails, too. LOL

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Originally Posted by walkinthewalk View Post
Two of mine will frequently do the reciprocal itching over the stall.

Something else that is very common is for horses to stand head-to-tail, side-by-side. That way when one horse swishes its tail, it hits the other one in the face and helps get rid of the flies

"To ride a horse is to ride the sky"
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-04-2014, 09:58 PM
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You will often see mares and foals do the same thing. Youngsters like weanlings will often try to groom you back when you groom or scratch them in thier itchy spots. Its called "mutual grooming" and is often done between those that enjoy each others company.

"The question is not, can they reason? nor, can they talk? but, can they suffer?" Jeremy Bentham
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-04-2014, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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I could watch them all day long! Especially now that I have more than one, it seems every day they give me something new and amazing. Even though I've owned one for a few years, I feel like I am just waking up to the wonderful world of horses.


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Originally Posted by ZaneyZanne123 View Post
You will often see mares and foals do the same thing. Youngsters like weanlings will often try to groom you back when you groom or scratch them in thier itchy spots. Its called "mutual grooming" and is often done between those that enjoy each others company.
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