Mares in heat- Agressive Gelding

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Mares in heat- Agressive Gelding

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  • Are mare agressive on heat
  • What is the best thing to do when two galdings fight over a mare in heat

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    04-06-2011, 02:15 PM
Mares in heat- Agressive Gelding

What can I do?
My barn owner has quarantined my gelding in a run/stall. He's been acting strangely, calling and pacing and such, but it all reached a peak yesterday. Apparently he gets extremely physical with this new tb gelding twice his size. They argue and try and contest for who gets to stand on the fence next to the mare pasture. If he gets within 3 feet of him they both start alpha squealing, even through a fence. And this other gelding is "letting down".

I know he's gelded. Some suggested he was perhaps "cut late". I have no idea.

Apparently all the mares are in heat. There's like 15 on the property. This is my second spring with him, and he didn't do this last year, though we were at a different barn, he still shared a fence with the ladies.

He's very dominant in the pasture, always has been, but he has never been this aggressive.

I hate that he's cooped up unable to run around and eat grass for an indefinite period of time. He's been on pasture his whole life and he gets wound when he's left in a stall.

Also, he's a different horse when I'm there. If I stand near the tb gelding in the field and him, he quiets and submits to me. He pays attention to mares in the vicinity when I'm handling him, but remains calm and shows no sign of aggression. He has not expressed any aggression towards people at all, just other horses.

Also it doesn't affect our work. I had him out for riding and groundwork and a lesson yesterday and he stayed focused.

Does anyone else have experience with this?

How long will it last?

There's really nothing I can do to help except exercise him is there?

Plus if this lasts a long time, there are plenty of pastures we could try him in. The one he's in right now is overcrowded in my opinion. How could I approach her? Under what circumstances should I approach her?

Should I bring down his grain since he's in a run all day now?

Please help!
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    04-06-2011, 02:51 PM
This is totally normal behavior. Nobody could say why he is acting out around his gelding friend and as long as nobody is getting seriously hurt than they'll sort it out. Mares go into and out of heat for months but it is the spring when it can be the strongest and it can last a few days. It sounds like he is being great with you so then let him have his fun
    04-06-2011, 10:03 PM
My barn owner acted like it was a big deal! :( She still has him locked up all day! :( There are too many geldings in his pasture and he keeps getting in dominance scuffles but she refuses to move him to a different pasture!

And today I show up to find him still in a stall and the other gelding out and about!
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    04-06-2011, 11:27 PM
Do you have a contract with your BO? I would want it to state that the horse is getting turnout everyday, etc, etc. I mean you are paying for the care of your horse and it sounds like you are not getting it. Surely she must have some other solution for you. I would hate to board. I'm sorry but I don't know what you should do other than move.
    04-06-2011, 11:41 PM
Yes I do. Its an awkward situation... A lot of the boarders grumble, she favors mares. But its the best place for the land and the price in the area... *Sigh* I'm going to college in the fall and bringing him with me to a new and better place.

Thanks though. Its good to know its normal behavior and clearly not worth all the fuss she made. Makes me feel better. I was really worried!
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    04-07-2011, 12:17 AM
Well a gelding will do that if the gelding has bred a mare are two is all.
    04-07-2011, 08:31 AM
He doesn't have any progeny that I know of... He was only 4 when I bought him.
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    04-07-2011, 08:41 AM
Maybe she was making a deal of it bc she knows what CAN happen if those guys get into a real argument over the girls. I have seen gelding fight like they are in the wild and as if they were studs. Rearing, biting, kicking and ALL. Some get injured pretty badly before they submit (which in itself is a hard thing for a guy to accept). The fighting goes on day in and out until someone is the clear accepted leader, one way or the other. I would still keep a sharp eye, since she tends to favor others.(even though its mares today, she is showing some by leaving yours locked up and the other gelding is out). Take Care~
    04-07-2011, 09:14 AM
I can certainly see both sides being a barn owner myself. These silly mares are driving everyone nuts!!!! I had a mare and gelding pair that always went out together and they humped it out all day long a few times a year... so it was pretty peaceful.

My herds are mixed, and I find it to be a little more peaceful as there seems to be more fighting when their separated and its over the fence.

I would ask your barn owner if she can rotate the geldings so that your horse isn't getting the short end of the stick. See if your gelding can go out in the arena with hay instead. Unfortunately if your horse is the most aggressive, there is a bit of liability at play. She's kind of ****ed if you do, and ****ed if you don't so try not to take it too personally.
    04-07-2011, 09:48 AM
The only thing is there are... 6 Pastures of varying sizes. The one he's in right now contains the most geldings/square feet. 3 contain mares, even though there are less mares than gelding. She's putting THREE mares in her FOUR ACRE field. And she refuses to mix mares and geldings.

Kelty does great when there's a small number of horses. He had established dominance over the existing herd for months, but she keeps adding geldings and now this new thoroughbred won't accept him and he's going crazy trying to keep watch over and keep control of this big herd.
Its just frustrating...
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