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lovemyhorses 09-11-2009 11:12 AM

Becoming Dangerous - need some help
Two weeks ago I purchased two horses. The first one I brought home is a 15.3hh 4 year old thoroughbred from the humane society who is supposed to be from off the track but unraced. It turns out he has few ground manners and when he gets frustrated he often bites, rears up and strikes out or tries kicking. At other times he seems sweet and some what well behaved. A week later I brought home a 14.2hh 2 year old filly I'd put a down payment on a month before. She is well mannered and enjoys being around people. Since bringing her home the gelding has become very possessive of the filly and tries his best to keep her away from us and us away from both of them. When the filly does not do as he wants he will grab a mouth full of her mane/crest and bite. We just moved to the property and at this time we only have the one 3/4 acre corral so we can't separate them. We are working on refencing another 5 acres but it will be a few weeks yet. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to stop this dangerous behavior? He is a beautiful horse and is still young so we don't want to return him to the shelter but nothing we try seems to work and I'd really hate for him to hurt the filly or one of us. Yesterday he had an issue with us even being in the corral with them. The only way I was able to back him off was to raise my hands over my head, yell at him and stomp/run towards him. Which scares the filly more then him. :-(

More facts:
The gelding has been gelded since a young colt.
I've been around horse most of my life and have broke and trained a few horses in the past but have never ran into an aggressive/possessive horse like him before.
When the horses are alone they get along great. Its just when a human gets near them that he starts getting aggressive with the filly.
I plan to send him to a trainer for an evaluation in two weeks after he/they settle in a little longer and have received all shots and have seen a farier.
I want to do most of the training but I need some suggestions to try to curb this behavior problem before it gets worse.

Any and all suggestions are welcome!!

Thank You!

RedRoan 09-11-2009 11:20 AM

Well the first thing which is obvious, and you know already, is seek professional help! This kind of behavior is very dangerious and if you are not on your guard you will get hurt.

My suggestion is to move the filly to another location since you don't have a place for her yet. The gelding is just wayyy to herd bound to her and the grabbing of her mane and biting is pretty extream... poor filly O.O

I don't know what you know about whips and flags, but I wouldn't get into an area with that gelding without one. Maybe you can try to do some work with him in is field with one.

lovemyhorses 09-11-2009 11:39 AM

Believe me, I have no intention of entering a round pen with him without a whip and or a long broomstick type handle. I don't plan to hit him with it (unless necessary ) just use it to keep distance and bounrdry. I also plan to start carrying at least a riding crop with me when in the corral to ward off biting. I'm hoping a good daily workout in the roundpen will burn off some of his aggressive energy and maybe help him settle down.

If he gets too aggressive with the filly I will move her. Right now he only turns on her when humans are close by. I've watched them from a distance and from inside the house and they get along great otherwise.

RedRoan 09-11-2009 12:24 PM

Well only one other thing I gotta say is at another barn that I boarded at. My horse was in a field with three other horses. There was a new horse on another side of some hot wire (which apperently wasn't on one day), and that new horse broke through it. So while the barn owner was fixing the fence she watched the new horse get along with the other horses that my horse was in with. Since they were all quiet she decided to leave the new horse in with those horses over night so when she got up in the morning she could finish going to the store and getting new wire for the fence line.

Well the next morning came... they were all quiet in the field like the other day. But when it was time to give them their breakfast my horse turned up lame, almost to the point he couldn't put weight on his front right leg.

They pulled him into a stall and discovered his leg was swollen to the size of a football on his forearm above the knee. He also had multiple bite marks along the neck and flanks that were still bleeding.

Mind you that the others horses he was with in his pasture have been there for two years with him. There was no pecking order that went on until this horse came into his pasture that night.

Just wanted to say with that example, if you see a horse acting in anyway when you are around him or not, don't trust anything :-(.

lovemyhorses 09-11-2009 12:54 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your horse. I will take that to heed and keep a very close eye on both of them!

FoxyRoxy1507 09-11-2009 02:43 PM

ive had that problem before and sometimes you may need to smack him with the lunge whip a couple times to establish that you are the dominant not him! try working on lunging him in the round pen to establish that as well, eventually he'll learn whos boss if you keep up with it.

G and K's Mom 09-11-2009 03:32 PM

Can you not get some temporary fencing and split them up. The plastic poles and line are fairly cheap.

Basically he's saying to you that there is a herd of 2, him and the filly and your not breaking that herd up. Until he accepts you as part of the herd which is going to take some serious training sessions in a round pen or arena you need to be extra careful.

kevinshorses 09-12-2009 02:17 PM

I wouldn't worry about him hurting the filly. He's dominating her but horses don't usualy hurt each other by biting. Go in every day and catch him and work him and every day it will get better. Give him a bite of grain after you catch him and he might start to look forward to leaving the filly.

Nutty Saddler 09-12-2009 04:04 PM

You could try to use herd instinct against him

If you have someone who is also experienced with horses catch the filly and separate them in the field - the other person can hold the filly calm ( possibly with some hay on the floor ) whilst you keep the gelding at bay - he should go a bit nuts trying to get to her but eventually he should give up and start to behave.

In a herd the dominant mare will separate a bad horse from the rest of the herd - this will make him feel vulnerable . As you will have someone holding the filly you should be able to concentrate on moving him around without the worry of frightening her. When he realises that he cannot get past you he should start to ' lick and chew ' this is a sign that he has given up and is ready to be better behaved.

Just a suggestion

equus717 09-12-2009 10:17 PM

that is a good suggestion one that i have personally done before it does work but it takes time. seeking professional help is a great idea. throughbreds are hot blooded anyway that is one reason why i do not want one unless i can find one that is pretty easy going.

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