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AKPaintLover 08-19-2007 04:25 AM

Pasture Mates
My stallion has spent time penned with geldings in the past, but for the last year, he has had his own stall/large paddock. He is five now, and I bred him for the first time this spring. It was suggested to us that we put him in with the geldings or the bred mare so that he did not develop mental type problems by being physically isolated from other horses.

we tried putting our bred mare in with him (he is pretty respectful to her), but he started to get bossy about the food with her. We then put him in with the geldings, and everything seemed to be going well until dinner time - he wouldn't let them within an acre of the food (that is also the side of the field nearest the pen with the mare who he is very possesive of).

He has done wonderfully so far being penned on his own - has always seemed well balanced and emotionally very stable. He has actually always been a real sweetie penned on his own. Since trying him in with other horses, he is a bit more of a brat. He actually bit me when I was working in his pen because I was by the mare. I was not paying attention to him, and all of a sudden I had horse teeth on my shoulder - I immediately made it very clear to him that he was not head stallion (I was), but he has never acted like that to any human before - I was pretty angry about this change in behavior.

After seeing this change in him, I would just prefer leaving him penned alone (he can see all of the other horses). Any opinions on this either way? Anyone heard of stallions developing social/mental problems from being penned alone?

horse_luver4e 08-19-2007 08:20 AM

I see no problem in keeping him by himself. My filly is very passive and other horses (mares mainly) pick at her. She is by her self in the pasture. And she's fine. But I only see problems with a horse standing in his stall all day.

*Bobbi Socks* 08-19-2007 11:28 AM

My Mule don't mid being alone, and she was kept with alot of other horses. Just go out there with him, and YOU be his buddy now.
Yeah, I really don't like seeing a horse stand in a stall all the time,It looks so boring. I mean if there is something wrong with them, and need to have a close eye kept on them (like leg injury) its good to stall them, but maybe some exersize.


CrCountryGirl 08-19-2007 06:02 PM

I think most of the mental issues that come up in stallions is because most stallions are isolated completely from other horses by being kept in a stall. If he is outside and he can see everybody and maybe even be able to touch other horses(obviously not mares that will come into heat, bred ones would be fine) I think he'll do just fine. You said he was a pretty stable level-headed boy as it is. lol or you could try to get him a mule. I have a friend that has her stallion in with a mule n they do good. But on the other hand if you want to keep him out with other horses be careful. Another trainer/breeder friend of mine always wanted her stallions out with buddies if at all possible to keep them from getting lonely. She had a pair that had been together for a few months, it was a lipizann stallion and his gelding buddy and for reasons that they never figured out the stallion attacked the gelding. He ended up pushing him through a fence before anyone figured out what was goin on. He got hurt pretty bad and after that she said he had always been cautious of white horses. Anyways I think he'll be just fine by himself!

horse_luver4e 08-19-2007 06:14 PM

Yeah stallions have a pretty rough life when they are aggressive becuase not all but most stallions(when not worked around other horses) will not be pastured with any other horse becuase they breed mares and kill geldings.

Flying B 08-19-2007 07:09 PM

I have seen Stallions go crazy from being alone, the ? is how often do you ride and how close is he to other horses when he's in is paddock, can he say hi over the fence? And how many horses does he meet when you riding? I have also seen geldings and mares go mental from never being able to say hi, they are heard animals, just be care full with putting him in with geldings I have heard story's about the stallion killing a gelding and even geldings killing stallions believe it on not. Even if you just put the mare in with him a few days out of a month should be ok.

*Bobbi Socks* 08-19-2007 09:49 PM

I'v accually seen a Stallion killed a gelding once it was horrible!
No one could do anything! It was the owners fault for putting that poor guy in there!


AKPaintLover 08-19-2007 10:28 PM

I ride my stallion almost every single day. I most often ride him with my gelding (who is ridden by a 14 year old leasing him). I also ride him to a nearby arena always busy with a variety of horses. He also sees a variety of horses at the shows and other events I take him to. He therefore gets to be around a lot of other horses, but he is always under my control in these situations.

His pen is very large with a run-in style stall. There is about a 4 ft. gap between his pen and the one next to his. We usually keep one of the geldings in there, but are considering keeping the pregnant mare in there until about a month before her foaling (so that they get each other's company, and we can control her diet). My stallion's pen shares a round feeder with that of the horse in the pen next to him - they get to eat together, but can't really steal each other's food.

His pen is separated from our two acre field by about 20 ft., so he can also see the heard all the time, but can't get near them.

I like the idea of giving him periodic visits, maybe on weekends during the day, but seperate by feeding time. After hearing what you guys have seen about stallions with geldings, I think I will avoid putting him with them, and only give him time with the mare. I don't want to get one of my horses hurt! That is horrible!

so do you guys think this is the recipe for creating a mental stallion? Being on his own, he has always been very people friendly, which I like (he came out of the barn and up to the feeder to say hi when I went to take the picture above a few minutes ago). I also know that horses are in fact heard animals, and I want to nurture that as much as I can without getting any of them hurt.

KANSAS_TWISTER 08-19-2007 11:59 PM

first off, i've noticed that your hay ring is broken, it's wise to fix it or get it out of there before some thing really happends, i've seen what a broken one can do to a horse's leg's.
my studs have alway been penned alone, my last stud we had a shetland pony penned in with him but the pony kept beating him up.

AKPaintLover 08-20-2007 12:22 AM

If you are referring to the side nearest in the picture where the rounded bars have been cut off - that was intentional, and the horses have no access to that part of the ring. If you look carefully (I know it is a busy picture), each horse only has access between two or three of the rounded feed bars.

The extra rungs were removed for easier access for the humans feeding the horses, cleaning out the feeder, and rolling in round bales when we have used them. We have talked about capping the exposed metal for safety of humans - although we have had no human injuries :) We have been using feeders in this fashion for about 10 years, and have never had a horse jump the feed rungs or anything. We check our pen equipment regularily, and maintain things for the safety of the horses. I know the feeder isn't pretty, but it is quite funcional.

The worst thing about that feeder is that the horses rub their manes short in the spot where they are reaching for their food, so I have to keep them pulled even when I want to grow them out :(
Otherwise, minor scrapes are about all of the injury we have seen in years. We did have a horse several years back get his leg caught in the panel fencing while rolling, he did get a sore leg from it, but luckily the panel was in much worse shape.

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