My Horse, was she playing or being agressive? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-19-2011, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vacaville, CA
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My Horse, was she playing or being agressive?

My husband was in the pasture today working on some gopher holes. Bella came over to see what he was doing and obviously wanted attention. He petted her a little. She walked away. Then Chris went to work on a different hole and Bella came over again and he petted her. She turned to go away and he said he felt something going on behind him, so he turned and she was spinning around with her butt to him, then was kind of bucking or kicking towards him. Okay, when he told me about this it really freaked me out. I was very upset.

I called my farrier/trainer and she said it sounded like she was trying to get him to play with her. She said it sounded like Bella was thinking "he's in my pasture and not playing with me." She also said that Bella is acurate enough that if she wanted to kick him she would have.

I have set the rule that I must be informed before he goes into the pasture again. I will then lock her in her paddock.

What do you all think?

Also: Has anyone had something like this happen? Is my horse nuts or normal?

Last edited by sdellin; 10-19-2011 at 01:30 AM. Reason: add a question
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-19-2011, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NC
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Sounds to me like she had an itch.. my horse frequently does that when he's got an itch he wants me to scratch on his backend or a fly he can't reach. He'll approach me a few times and if I don't magically read his mind as to what he wants he'll show me.. but never aggressively. He gets sent away from me (quite forcefully) for rude behavior and will generally go find a fence or tree to take care of the problem. Once I see him struggling to get an itch on a fence or tree, THEN I will approach him and take care of his problem. I would pay attention to what her ears are doing if she tries it again. If they are laid down flat then there's a problem.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-19-2011, 08:46 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Canada
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Personally, I don't really care if the horse wants to "play". The horse should have been taught when it was a youngster that it is never okay to "play" with people, because horseplay can easily kill us fragile humans LOL. If one of my horses did that, they'd get a good arse whooping and would hopefully be discouraged from ever doing it again. There's no excuse for kicking or aggressive behaviour in my opinion, even if it is 'just' play.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-19-2011, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: NY
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That is where you need to send her away. Kicking and Bucking is unacceptable behavior and you are OUT OF THE HERD! when she comes back over acting all sweet then you act like nothing happened. Or, if she is being good you go up to her and give her some attention.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-19-2011, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Doesn't matter what her motivation is. That's dangerous. Have him carry a stick and watch his back next time.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-19-2011, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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My paint invites my qh to join her in such a "play" all the time. Which is fun to watch when it comes to them playing, BUT mine would get a whip on butt if she'd try to "play" like that with me. It's a no-no. I don't believe into horse being "careful while playing". They are 1000 lbs animals with sharp hoofs and strong teeth, the last thing I need is a play. It may be gentle for the horse, but it's not always gentle for the (quite fragile) human.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-22-2011, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Vacaville, CA
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Hey all, thanks for the comments. I DO NOT allow Bella to "play" with me in that way, and she has never tried it. She is a horse who does not generally rear or buck, if she did she would be chased off or hit if I have something handy.

Since I was not there, I couldn't do anything about it. But Chris said he yelled at her and she went away. I do agree that the behavior is unacceptable under any circumstances. Chris doesn't have experience with horses and he just didn't think about it, he just went in because i told him there were new gopher holes. This was a learning experience for me. I should have told him long ago that I would prefer he not go in her pasture/paddock/stall without me present. My grandkids and my sister all have those instructions. It's a little difficult to set rules with the hubby, but what I told him was that I don't want him dead and it'a best for him to let me lock her in her paddock if there is a next time. He was fine with that. He takes care of everything on the farm and has a hand in all the animals, but then I got a horse. He has no experience with horses. I guess neither of us realized, there really is no area of off-limits for him on the farm. Now there is. He's okay with that. It breaks my heart to think of what could have happened.

I am grateful to my higher power that my husband did not get kicked that day. I have warned him before about ear pinning and getting too close to the fence where she could "demand food with her teeth." BTW, that habit is broken now. She does not get treats from the hand, so she no longer "asks" for treats when you are near the fence. i just keep stressing to my husband that you cannot ever be too careful around 1,100 pounds of horse.

Thanks again, and thinks for letting me write all this out, I needed to say it.
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