How to get a horse to stop chasing cows when at liberty?

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How to get a horse to stop chasing cows when at liberty?

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  • Horse in field chases cows
  • When sharing pastures with cattle and horses why do horses chase cattle

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    12-27-2012, 12:47 PM
Question How to get a horse to stop chasing cows when at liberty?

The only reason i'm asking this is because it's beginning to cost me on a regular basis now to keep fixing fence.
My father in law has a quarter pony type mare, she's very food aggressive, is about half wild, and has absolutely no regard if your working with another horse or not, she's just an all around jerk. She's been on our farm now for almost 3 years, and just recently she got a fascination with chasing our cows, to the point where they're exhausted and go through the fence. I've tried throwing things at her, chasing her clear into the next pasture, catching her and tying her away for a while. And it seems nothing has sank in. No one fools with her on a regular basis, she's just a pasture pet, a really nasty one at that. I can't seem to find a way to get her to stop chasing the cows. I know they should be pastured separately but, all of our pastures are connected for the winter months, that way they have plenty of water sources to get to and shelter from the elements, and it makes it easier to feed everyone when there is more space. My grandmother in law said, that if she see the horse chasing the cows she's going to crack her with a whip (my thought is it'll make her run through the fence too with the cows). Would any one have any ideas to help? I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. Thank you in advance!!!
I'm adding a pic so you have an idea of what she looks like...
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    12-27-2012, 01:00 PM
She sounds like she needs a leader. Someone who can work with her constantly.

Another thing too if nothing works is to just separate the cows far enough that the horse can't get to them.

But I feel like this horse needs someone experienced.
Elizabeth Bowers likes this.
    12-27-2012, 01:05 PM
Green Broke
It *could* be a lot of things. I am going to say my thoughts go first to boredom - you said yourself no one really does much with her, she isn't worked regularly, etc. Consistent work would give her somewhere to focus her energy and mind and a tired horse (mentally and physically) is much less likley to go looking for somewhere to burn off energy (ie cow chasing).
    12-27-2012, 01:14 PM
We have quarter horses, and they will also chase cattle if they get into the same pasture. They're bred to be "cowy" and we actually herd cattle when we ride them, so can't really blame them. I'm sure lots of other horses would do the same.

I don't think there's anything you can do about this other than keep them seperate. My horses are generally well-behaved around people, but we have to keep them in a different pasture. Lots of people around here have horses and cattle, and they keep them in different pastures.

Sorry, that's probably not what you want to hear.
smrobs, COWCHICK77, Elana and 1 others like this.
    12-27-2012, 01:37 PM
I can't help but wonder why this has become your responsibility and not your FIL's.
LisaG likes this.
    12-27-2012, 01:49 PM
Maybe she is trying to tell you something lol She dreams about cutting cattle. Maybe you have the next world champion cow horse ;)
Herdof2 likes this.
    12-27-2012, 02:24 PM
I agree that she needs to be seperated. Maybe once your father in law sees that the horse is stressing and running weight off the cattle he will decide to seperate her or send her down the road.
    12-27-2012, 02:50 PM
Quick answer you don't. You can't be out there 24/7 to stop her as long as she is in with the cattle. And coming from a ranching background, anything that is endangering the revenue producing livestock is gone or locked up. Plain and simple. If she is running cows then in all likelihood she may kill a calf. So you guys need to sit down and talk it out. Decisions have to be made. It doesn't matter in the long run why she started this.
    12-27-2012, 03:14 PM
Saddlebag, it became my responsibility when i'm the only person reliable to keep fixing the stupid fence, and rounding up the cattle.
I agree with everyone, I do think she needs 1) consistent work 2) a good leader/owner 3) separated from the livestock.
She's gotten so wild to the point where you can hardly catch her now. I'll discuss it with them and see if I can pen her in the barn for now, until something can be done with her. It's beginning to get out of hand. She has even gotten aggressive towards people too, she isn't with me, but i've watched her with everyone else....i personally think she needs to go, she's mean to everything.
Thank you every one for your responses.
Elana and LisaG like this.
    12-27-2012, 03:40 PM
I would also say boredom, she is the only horse out there from what it sounds like, and nobody works with her. Maybe you could lease her out, so someone can work with her, that way she is getting used, but you still own her. She needs someone to work with her everyday.
Elizabeth Bowers likes this.

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