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Madamefifi 02-15-2013 04:25 PM

New mare won't go in stall to be fed
Hi and thanks in advance for your help!

We got a new mare on Wednesday as a companion for our gelding whose pasture mate died unexpectedly last month. She received very little training if any at her old place and is standoffish with us humans though she loves our gelding. We feed him a flake of hay twice a day in his stall and would like to do the same with her but she won't go in there. The problem is that when we feed her on the ground Atticus (gelding) gets a little greedy and chases her off. This means separating them at meals which can be difficult and makes Atticus very anxious. She is thin all ready so we would like to get some weight on her. My gut feeling is that we should put the hay in the crib and leave it up to her--I think she will figure out very quickly that she has to go in there if she wants to eat. She seems like a smart girl. The stall has been occupied by another horse in the past but we cleaned it up and put fresh bedding down. Her previous home was only 3 acres shared with two other horses so she's been on a low-to-no forage diet this winter. We have sufficient forage on our 22 acres even now to support two but I am worried that switching from a hay and grain diet to mostly forage will cause problems. Plus, we have a good routine with our gelding and would like for her to get on the same page, so to speak. Her name is Valentine, btw.

I realize that this is a pretty basic, Horses 101 question. We are pretty new to horse ownership and are very very invested in learning as much as we can and doing what is best for our horses. Thanks again!

jaydee 02-15-2013 05:05 PM

Can you catch her and lead her in? If so what does she do?
Do you shut Attacus (great name!!) in his stall when he's being fed?
Some horses wont go in a stall or a field shelter if they think another horse is likely to go in with them and trap them
Have you tried putting a bucket on the floor just in the doorway to start with - some carrots, apples, (sliced lengthways) soaked beet pulp, pelleted feed?

Palomine 02-15-2013 05:26 PM

Put hay in there and let her figure it out. More you try to figure this out, worse it will get.

She gets hungry she will eat.

Madamefifi 02-15-2013 05:28 PM

Thank, Jaydee!

We don't close A's stall door but we certainly can if it will relax her enough to go into her own stall. The "treat bucket" is a great idea! Valentine will not let us catch her yet--though when my husband brought her home she walked quite nicely on a lead off the trailer to the paddock area. She already had a ratty old rope halter on when we got her but I did not feel comfortable turning her out in it so after twenty frustrating minutes we managed to get her to hold still long enough for us to get it off her. The downside is now she has no halter on to attach a lead rope to!

This evening we will try shutting A's stall door while he eats and placing her food at her stall door. A won't like it but I didn't like his food aggression this morning so that's that.

Madamefifi 02-15-2013 05:31 PM


Originally Posted by Palomine (Post 1896138)
Put hay in there and let her figure it out. More you try to figure this out, worse it will get.

She gets hungry she will eat.

My thought exactly! Thank you, Palomine! The tricky part will be keeping Atticus from trying to horn in but--duh--closing his stall door should do it.

jaydee 02-15-2013 05:47 PM

Hope it works - my friend had a similar situation but found that her gelding got used to being shut in and now the mare walks in and out of her stable as she pleases - they are confined to a yard area at night so he can still see her
She now spends most of the night in her stable and has been shut in as well recently and not been worried by it.
Good luck - the little divils certainly do try us dont they!!!

Thunderspark 02-16-2013 12:45 AM

I have four horses and one boarded here, when I put out hay I put out 6 piles of hay, one extra one.....that way the low guy still has a pile to go to. Put the piles at least 8-10 feet apart, they will probably move around pile to pile but they will always have one.....
To get a halter on her if you can get the lead over her neck and hold her by that to slip the halter on might work.

Madamefifi 02-16-2013 03:15 PM

Thanks again, everyone. She did not go into her stall last night but she did follow Atticus right into his--he chased her right out again! We fed her at her stall door and then my husband seriously pissed me off by bringing more hay out to her. His reasoning is, it's more important right now that she eat, rather than WHERE she eats, and I guess he is right. There was no drama from A, he munched in his stall and didn't care what she was doing. I just want her to move in and out of her stall easily because there will inevitably come a time when she will have to be in there and I want her to be comfortable walking right in. A is such an easygoing guy, he will do whatever we want him to and I am being too impatient with Valentine. Heck, she barely knows us.

Madamefifi 02-16-2013 03:28 PM

Perfect example--right now it is snowing or some **** thing and A is in his stall, looking out--he does not care for wet weather, lol. V is standing on the concrete porch outside the stalls-- she is sheltered from the wet, at least., but she might be a bit cozier indoors, KWIM? We like to stall A overnight with the door shut when it gets really cold. He knows it and comes right in when we call him. Would be great if V could get on the same page!

Horsigirl 02-16-2013 03:43 PM

Was she a rescue? It sounds like whether she came from an official rescue or not that she was rescued from a situation. What is her story? How old what breed broke? Etc

I would try and catch her by not going straight at her with your shoulders / body language .. I would walk around lije you dropped your keys and your looking for them.. All the while zig zagging closer to her but your not interested in her and she will get curious about you have a lead rope so when she meets up to you you can pet her and reach up and grab it around her neck
Then you can slip a halter on.. If it were me I would see if she will lead with the rope around her neck.. If not can always slip on halter

Also is there a round pen? That she will go into to eat? Then you can catch
her put a halter on her .. Lead her around .. Brush her down good .. Work on trust picking up her feet etc

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