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Britt 03-17-2009 09:57 PM

Mare Attacking Gelding...
Let me give a little backstory on this first…

We used to own this gelding (Mo) but we traded with my cousin Tamara for her two horses because she needed a horse who wouldn’t kick or bite. Before we traded, Mo was the herd leader and oldest in our pasture, my mare at the time wasn’t even the ‘lead mare’ in our herd. She liked Mo and he liked her, and they all got along with being tied together, walking together, and everything.

After we traded and Mo went to live at my cousins house down the road, my mare became the ‘lead mare’ in our herd and the oldest mare, Buttercup, became the herd leader. We didn’t mix our horses a whole lot, maybe a few times a month Tamara would bring Mo up and we’d mess with them all together. All of the horses were friendly with Mo… except for my mare.

I noticed it the first time when we all had the horses up at my uncles a few months after we traded… Mo got a little too close to my gelding (who was a little over a year at the time) and my mare flew across the yard with her ears pinned and attacked Mo.

When my cousin and I walked my mare and Mo together, my mares ears stayed pinned and I had to keep her on the other side of the road to keep her from kicking or biting Mo. For a while, we didn’t get them together again, just Mo and any of the other horses (mainly my gelding) besides my mare.


Today my cousin brought Mo up to visit. I had my two horses out, so we tied the horses and decided to brush them. We had Mo tied beside Dakota and Gypsie was on the other side of the tree (note, when I say ‘tied’ I mean clipped to the crossties). For the first forty-five minutes they were all fine. Gypsie pinned her ears at Mo a few times, but didn’t do anything; I didn’t think anything of it, because she flicks her ears back at a lot of horses when she’s annoyed.

I was brushing Dakota while my cousin was brushing Mo, and then I heard my cousin yell out and looked up just in time to see Gypsie lunge at Mo with her ears pinned and mouth open and teeth bared like she wanted to kill him! I screamed “Whoa!” (there wasn’t much I could do, anyway) and saw my cousin leap back while Mo jumped backwards like the devil was after him (which, I guess it was… in the form of my mare). Luckily, the cross ties stopped Gypsie before she could get too close, but she banged into Mo pretty hard and tried to strike him, she literally was on her hind legs trying to get at him for a few seconds.

After the cross ties stopped her, I moved her from that side of the tree to the clip beside Dakota, thinking that if she was completely on the other side of my boy, she’d be ok. She was fine for about fifteen minutes, standing with her eyes half closed and leaning her head against the tree, then, while I was finishing up brushing Dakota’s back he leapt sideways and banged into ME to get out of Gypsie’s way as she lunged for Mo again with her ears pinned. All because Mo shifted a little where he stood. Gypsie literally tried to go THROUGH Dakota to get to Mo.

I didn’t think and jumped in between Gypsie and Mo and popped Gypsie good on the chest while screaming at her to “Quit it!”. She stopped dead, and I moved her to a tree completely across the yard to minimize her ‘attack’ opportunities. I’m pretty sure that if Gypsie had actually gotten ahold of Mo, she would have seriously injured him or at least tried to, the look in her eyes when she lunged at him was completely crazy and angry, it was scary… really freaked me out… but when I moved her, she stood there like nothing had ever happened and dozed off leaning against the tree where I tied her.

What’s going on? What can I do to stop this extremely strange behavior? Mo is the only horse she acts like this with, she’s NEVER tried to lunge at any other horse, and this behavior didn’t start until AFTER we traded horses with my cousin and gave her Mo. WHY is she doing this? Mo is 24-ish and Gypsie is 15 this year.

orangetictac 03-18-2009 07:48 AM

It may have something to do with the pecking order. When Mo went to live with your cousin your mare moved up in the pecking order. When Mo comes around she could be thinking he's going to try to take her place again. He's not really in their "group" the only possible reason for him to be around is to try to take the lead...

Dang power hungry mares! :p

Britt 03-18-2009 11:09 AM

Lol... I was thinking it may be something like that...

Is there anything short of just keeping the two seperated from each other that I can do to try and make her realize that he's not coming back, even though he does come up and we walk together every now and then?

mls 03-18-2009 11:19 AM

Is the mare coming into season?

Britt 03-18-2009 03:55 PM

Um... I'm not sure (lol, I don't really keep a check, lol). However... the last time she tried to attack him, she wasn't in season (if I remember correctly).

She pins her ears and tries to attack him regardless of the time of year, that was one of the reasons we wouldn't walk them together last winter.

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