Monster!
 
 

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Monster!

This is a discussion on Monster! within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • My horse becomes anxious when removed from his pasture mates
  • Testosterone horses head flicking

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    05-15-2012, 12:43 PM
  #1
Foal
Monster!

My horse is boarded with three mares and an older gelding. He seems to be one of those "high testosterone" geldings, and in the last couple weeks the head mare and another gelding moved from the boarding facility to home, and Whiskey has quickly taken over the herd.

When I got him four weeks ago, he was very possessive over the older, very passive mare (she's 12) as she was in heat. Ears pinned, snaking his head and keeping her away from everyone else. That passed and everyone adjusted and life was good.

I was out to the barn Sunday and he was fabulous. I show up last night, he came to me in the pasture, walked him out, and he turned into a monster. He was pushy, anxious, and nearly out of control. Any correction I made, his reaction was 10x what it would normally be. One flick of the lead rope (flat halter, no chains, no knotted rope halter) and he was flying backwards, crazy in his eyes. I fed him in a stall, he would take one bite, pace, turn circles, paw at the door, until he was ready for the next bite. I was not tolerating his clear lack of respect, but any correction I had to make was so minor on my part with major exaggerated responses from him.

I spent about an hour with him, grooming when he's stand still, and decided to put him back. On the way back to the pasture, we got about 50 feet away and he totally relaxed - head down, breathing normal, licking and chewing. When I turned him loose, we stood and watched for about 20 minutes.

He was pinning his ears and snaking his head at all the horses, herding them from one end of the pasture to the other, and clearly trying to seperate the mare of choice from the rest.

I talked to the BO about moving him to another herd with different horses. Do you think this is the best to try to move him away from these gals, or should I not worry to much about him becoming a monster during one mare's cycle?
     
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    05-15-2012, 01:40 PM
  #2
Yearling
How old is your horse? Does he mount the mares?
     
    05-15-2012, 02:03 PM
  #3
Foal
He's 17 and he is mounting them.
     
    05-15-2012, 02:24 PM
  #4
Weanling
If he becomes aggressive with the other horses, he is a risk to their safety and you could be liable if he hurts one of them. If he is just moody, he is probably ok where he is. However trying to mount the mares is not good and if it was my mare, I would not be very happy with your horse. He could be leaving marks on them from his hooves and/or bite marks. If these other horses are shown, the owners aren't going to want them to be all scuffed up.

Since I don't know what your barn situation looks like, I can't offer any real solutions. He may need to be separated from the other horses when one is in heat and then returned to the group once it is over. Just my opinion.
     
    05-15-2012, 02:24 PM
  #5
Yearling
Yikes you got a problem. How long have you had him? Are you SURE he's a gelding?

It is possible that he has retained a testicle at some point. I'm not familiar with the topic, but have heard that it can cause issues. Any chance you can have him vetted? Unfortunately, if he IS mounting mares, he can cause injury to not only himself, but to the mares as well. So I personally would separate them until you can figure out what is causing him to act this way.

I just looked up cryptorchid. It is a retained testicle, doesn't produce sperm so the gelding is sterile, but it causes them to produce the testosterone levels that a full stallion would, resulting in stallion-like behavior. Apparently you can test their testosterone levels to see if they have this condition.

Here is the article: http://americashorsedaily.com/cryptorchid-facts/
     
    05-15-2012, 02:28 PM
  #6
Green Broke
This is why a lot of barns keep mares and geldings separate. Put him in with geldings only and see if he gets better.
MN Tigerstripes and Foxhunter like this.
     
    05-15-2012, 02:34 PM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakotababii    
Yikes you got a problem. How long have you had him? Are you SURE he's a gelding?

It is possible that he has retained a testicle at some point. I'm not familiar with the topic, but have heard that it can cause issues. Any chance you can have him vetted? Unfortunately, if he IS mounting mares, he can cause injury to not only himself, but to the mares as well. So I personally would separate them until you can figure out what is causing him to act this way.

I just looked up cryptorchid. It is a retained testicle, doesn't produce sperm so the gelding is sterile, but it causes them to produce the testosterone levels that a full stallion would, resulting in stallion-like behavior. Apparently you can test their testosterone levels to see if they have this condition.

Here is the article: Cryptorchid Facts
This should have been disclosed to her at the time of purchase. The vet would have told the owners that had him gelded whether or not he had an undecended testicle (if the vet was worth anything). Of course not everyone is honest, unfortunately. It is very expensive to have an undecended testicle removed. I hope that is not the case with your horse.
     
    05-15-2012, 02:45 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by DressageDreamer    
This should have been disclosed to her at the time of purchase. The vet would have told the owners that had him gelded whether or not he had an undecended testicle (if the vet was worth anything). Of course not everyone is honest, unfortunately. It is very expensive to have an undecended testicle removed. I hope that is not the case with your horse.
I know it would be a major bummer, but I have heard of it happening before. They are sold as geldings, and even if the previous owner did not know about it, the ones before that, or even before that, may have. The horse is 17, so it is possible the passing on of that information was lost. I hope it is not the case, but it would explain the issues.
     
    05-15-2012, 02:48 PM
  #9
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakotababii    
I know it would be a major bummer, but I have heard of it happening before. They are sold as geldings, and even if the previous owner did not know about it, the ones before that, or even before that, may have. The horse is 17, so it is possible the passing on of that information was lost. I hope it is not the case, but it would explain the issues.
Yes, it sure would Feel sorry for the OP because it sounds like she has only owned him for a short time. I think separating him from the mares is her best option for now.
     
    05-15-2012, 03:27 PM
  #10
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by kac7700    
and he turned into a monster. He was pushy, anxious, and nearly out of control. Any correction I made, his reaction was 10x what it would normally be. One flick of the lead rope (flat halter, no chains, no knotted rope halter) and he was flying backwards, crazy in his eyes. I fed him in a stall, he would take one bite, pace, turn circles, paw at the door, until he was ready for the next bite. I was not tolerating his clear lack of respect, but any correction I had to make was so minor on my part with major exaggerated responses from him.

He was pinning his ears and snaking his head at all the horses, herding them from one end of the pasture to the other, and clearly trying to seperate the mare of choice from the rest.

I talked to the BO about moving him to another herd with different horses. Do you think this is the best to try to move him away from these gals, or should I not worry to much about him becoming a monster during one mare's cycle?
We have four herds. One herd is mixed. If the gelding in that herd was to be nasty, he or the mares would be removed. All it takes is ONE head fling to knock you to the ground or one wrong placed bite on a herd mate for you to be asked to leave.

He can't control his hormones. Not his fault. However, when he is away from the herd, he needs to mind his manners.
     

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