Help Needed with Foul Tempered Mare - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 10-18-2009, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northern NY
Posts: 13
• Horses: 0
Help Needed with Foul Tempered Mare


A friend and I share a barn with our combined 7 horses. The problem is with a horse that was added over the summer. She is a 15.5 hand pintaloosa mare that is built like a tank. She is big and muscular and she has a temper. Let me say she is NOT my horse and I never would have bought her...but she is there and now I have to deal with her.

It seems she wants to be the mare in charge (which is currently a pony appy cross mare)...but she doesn't target this mare, but another non-dominant mare. She actually got badly injured and injured that mare attacking her in the run-in shed a few weeks ago.

Here are the behaviors that concern me and I am just looking for advice for how to retrain or address them.

1. Unpredictable nasty behavior. She is confined to a tie stall right now due to a severe leg laceration she got 2 weeks ago. When we're working around her things will be fine. Until they are not. She will kick at us out of the blue or all of a sudden swing her head around and bite.

2. Aggression towards the other horses. I can accept and understand normal herd dynmaics...but how do you address it if she "targets" one horse?

Again, I would never have added this horse to my herd, but my friend has. The idea of selling her came up several times but it is not something he will I want to figure out how to work with her and try to modify her behavior.

Thank you for any advice you can share.


A dog looks up to a man, a cat looks down on a man, but a patient horse looks a man in the eye and sees him as an equal.
wingnuts is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 Old 10-18-2009, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In the saddle.
Posts: 5,157
• Horses: 1
15.5 hands, wow.
Well first of all I wouldn't turn this mare out with other horses. There is no way to solve this issue - you just have to accept the mare was poorly socialized and is going to be a danger to herself and other horses in a herd dynamic.
As far as in the barn, I would imagine her aggression is linked to some type of pain. Yes there are some horses who are naturally very aggressive and difficult to handle, and these horses need to be surrounded by assertive people. Most times, severe aggression is caused by pain or frustration. At this point right now, she might just be frustrated about being in a tie stall. How many times a day do you hand walk and graze her? I would get a vet to also evaluate her teeth, her joints and even get a chiro or masseuse out to see if they think anything is wrong.
At some point - if you can't solve her behavioral issues and she becomes dangerous - you might have to ask your friend to take her off of your property for your own personal safety.

Good luck!
~*~anebel~*~ is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 10-18-2009, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 289
• Horses: 0
I agree completely with Anebel
SavvyHearts is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 10-18-2009, 09:50 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In a box
Posts: 1,074
• Horses: 2
I also agree with Anebel. Once you have eliminated health issues though, I would take her behavioral problems by the horns and shake the heck out of them.
If a horse bites, no matter how old, young, abused, injured, or flighty it is, I will hit it. Hard. On the nose. This startles them enough that they will not want to do it again.

After I give them a whack, however, I will go and rub all over there head after a moment or two. They WILL try to pull away and WILL act frightened. But, by rubbing them then after they will see that the discomfort (smack) was a result of the action (bite, or even kick) and not because people are evil.

I've smacked my rescue and my current colt basket case. My colt was most likely abused formerly, but biting (which he did!) is not tolerable. He also got the surprise of his life when he swung his butt at me today to. Thwack! Won't be trying THAT again.

In my honest opinion, he better respects me now after being corrected for his incorrect behavior than before. Horses need to know who's the big cheese, and by golly, I am!
(even though I'm over a thousand pounds lighter than them XD)

Wait! I'll fix it....
twogeldings is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 10-18-2009, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northern NY
Posts: 13
• Horses: 0
Thank you for the great advice. I don't tolerate biting. I got a small bite on the back of my hand from carrying hay to a manger and it left a horrible wound and scar--and that was just me not paying attention to where my hand was in relation to my horse. Someone trying to take a bite out of my hide will get their nose smacked.

I'm more concerned with her "attacks" on the other mare. She will not be turned out for probably 6-8 more weeks because of the severe laceration she got right above her hoof. She shared a pasture with everyone peacefully for 2 months before she started kicking and biting my mare so severely. I have a lot to learn on the training side of things. I am taking advantage of this time to figure out how to become the "alpha mare" of the herd. lol

Again...thanks for the great advice.


A dog looks up to a man, a cat looks down on a man, but a patient horse looks a man in the eye and sees him as an equal.
wingnuts is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 10-19-2009, 09:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Piedmont, Mo
Posts: 66
• Horses: 0
My horse Sassy has a bad attitude to she is just down right mean sometimes. She ran me into a tree a few years ago and crushed 3 vert. in my back. I don't blame her though I was new to riding and she was green broke so far she has not done anything like that again but i'm still scared of her and I am still on guard when riding her. I think it is because of how she was broke. The guy tied her to a tree for a long time and starved her til she was to weak to put up a fight when he got on her. Could that be the reason why or is that just the way she is?
babyb is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Soild paint breeding stock mare or Qh mare Parker Horse Ranch Horse Breeds 10 03-05-2012 11:41 PM
mare wont get up,quick advice needed peanut Horse Health 13 02-18-2009 12:36 AM
eeek!! Percheron mare.. Advice needed! Sullivan17 Draft Horses 10 01-28-2009 09:20 PM
foul water contamination woodyclydesdale Horse Health 1 10-06-2007 03:32 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome