Keeping a mare with two geldings? - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-06-2011, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Keeping a mare with two geldings?

Probably most of you know me from my more recent post about our filly Roxy. She's one month away from being three years old, btw. We have probably 5 acres of pasture right now (we have several more, but we're baling that so the horses can't go in there...they get some hay, too) that the horses can go into. We're keeping Roxy with our two other geldings, Flip & Royal, because when they were separate they would always be worried about each other when one was taken away to ride, and they would neigh back and forth. So Roxy is now with the geldings.

Now, neither gelding is at all like a stud - no aggressive behavior, really. Roxy and Flip are definitely the friends of the three - they're always by each other. Royal kinda minds his own business and likes to be more isolated from the other horses. Neither of them really like having Roxy close to them, in fact. She cuddles up by them and they kick and her and pin their ears, but she just won't take the hint. She'll stay back a little more but she won't back off. Once she backed up right into Flip and her kicked her in the hind legs. I haven't seen any significant injuries, no broken bones or anything, but Roxy does have a few cuts on her back legs, right above the knees. I'll have to watch those closely for infection.

A few months ago or so before we got Flip and Royal we were leasing a horse named Badge. Roxy was in heat at that time and she would not leave his side. Could that still be the problem? Is Roxy still in heat and will just get over it once we get farther into the spring? I'm pretty sure we need to separate the horses (maybe we don't?) because I don't want any injuries. But will it be the same thing a few weeks from now, a month or two from now?

I just need some ideas on what to do. It really is a pain to keep Roxy in a separate pasture, because it's farther from the barn, and she's always neighing for the other horses. It'd be nearly impossible to ride her because leading her to the barn, reuniting with her friends, then hauling a saddle out then, taking her back to the riding arena, hopping on, and riding would just get her worked up. I know lunging helps but Roxy just doesn't like new places. If you keep her in one place and then lead her back to go riding, she's fine. But bring to to new places while riding still a new thing for her...not sure how much quality work time we'd get.

I personally think she's had quite a bit of new lately - two new horses around, and starting to ride again. I know she is literally tickled pink at having friends - she just loves it.

Just wondering what you guys think. :)

Last edited by Kerxy; 05-06-2011 at 07:03 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-06-2011, 07:15 PM
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I'd just let them be. I don't think it has much to do with her being in heat, she just has to learn her place in the pecking order. Alot of people won't give it a chance because they think their horse is getting "picked on" when in fact the others are just teaching them who is boss & no amount of seperation is going to stop this. Once they get through that all should simmer down. Unless you have a horse who is overly aggressive ALL of the time, then that horse should be the one seperated.
I've never had a problem keeping mares with geldings. There are just as many grouchy geldings out there as there are grouchy mares.

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post #3 of 5 Old 05-06-2011, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerxy View Post
Probably most of you know me from my more recent post about our filly Roxy. She's one month away from being three years old, btw. We have probably 5 acres of pasture right now (we have several more, but we're baling that so the horses can't go in there...they get some hay, too) that the horses can go into. We're keeping Roxy with our two other geldings, Flip & Royal, because when they were separate they would always be worried about each other when one was taken away to ride, and they would neigh back and forth. So Roxy is now with the geldings.

Now, neither gelding is at all like a stud - no aggressive behavior, really. Roxy and Flip are definitely the friends of the three - they're always by each other. Royal kinda minds his own business and likes to be more isolated from the other horses. Neither of them really like having Roxy close to them, in fact. She cuddles up by them and they kick and her and pin their ears, but she just won't take the hint. She'll stay back a little more but she won't back off. Once she backed up right into Flip and her kicked her in the hind legs. I haven't seen any significant injuries, no broken bones or anything, but Roxy does have a few cuts on her back legs, right above the knees. I'll have to watch those closely for infection.

A few months ago or so before we got Flip and Royal we were leasing a horse named Badge. Roxy was in heat at that time and she would not leave his side. Could that still be the problem? Is Roxy still in heat and will just get over it once we get farther into the spring? I'm pretty sure we need to separate the horses (maybe we don't?) because I don't want any injuries. But will it be the same thing a few weeks from now, a month or two from now?

I just need some ideas on what to do. It really is a pain to keep Roxy in a separate pasture, because it's farther from the barn, and she's always neighing for the other horses. It'd be nearly impossible to ride her because leading her to the barn, reuniting with her friends, then hauling a saddle out then, taking her back to the riding arena, hopping on, and riding would just get her worked up. I know lunging helps but Roxy just doesn't like new places. If you keep her in one place and then lead her back to go riding, she's fine. But bring to to new places while riding still a new thing for her...not sure how much quality work time we'd get.

I personally think she's had quite a bit of new lately - two new horses around, and starting to ride again. I know she is literally tickled pink at having friends - she just loves it.

Just wondering what you guys think. :)
We kept two mares in with three geldings (one who thought he was a stud) and they were fine, I think this has to do with her being in heat.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-06-2011, 07:44 PM
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I agree. It sounds like she just needs to be put into her place-wherever that might be- and the three of them will get along fine. Small injuries like cuts and stuff are always going to happen in a group of more than two horses, whether they're all mares or all geldings, or a mix of the two. Its just how herds work. If they start getting extremely violent such as biting her (more than a well placed nip) or running at her for no reason and kicking/biting, then its time to move her. Or if she seems to be losing weight. Otherwise, I'd say let them be. They'll work it out ^^

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post #5 of 5 Old 05-06-2011, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Well, she's definitely in heat, if that matters any...probably helps make matters worse, but I do think that it's just that she needs to be put in her place. I learn a lot by watching these horses, how even though they snap at Roxy, she keeps coming back to them and so I'm not as scared to be strict with her because I see how it works. Watching them out in the pasture really helps me learn more about how the "pecking system" works.
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