Goats and horse aggressive gelding? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-25-2013, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Goats and horse aggressive gelding?

First off sorry if this post is in the wrong place, i didn't know where to put it.

Okay, so my 8 (almost 9) year old gelding is kind of a jerk when it comes to other horses. it was weird because we didn't have any major problems until last summer, we think its because 2 of the 3 horses above him left the herd and sh*t kinda hit the fan then. Long story short! he ended up in a field alone for a while. He didn't like it, but tolerated it since he shared a fence line with them, he was OK other then when they came in for feeding and he didn't, then he would pace the fence line and call until they were turned back out. We then tried him when an aging mare (20) and a very elderly gelding (in his 30's). The mare and him got along OK but he picked on the gelding alot for no reason that we could figure out. So back alone he went. a few months later he was dropping weight due to stress (he was fine until a horse and rider rode by his field and then he lost his mind) so we tossed my friends mare in with him for a week. then he got changed up again! and is now with another pony (mare) in a smaller paddock with hay for the winter/spring and has been since October(ish) with no concerns. But the warmer/summer months are coming which means the herds will be shifted again. and an elderly mare will go in with his current partner when the grass field is re-opened up (she cant be on grass due to health reasons). and we are unsure if he will be able to stay with them or if he will pick on her. If he picks on her, he cant go back into the main herd for risk him picking on other horses/ fighting and damaging himself or them. So if that happens he will be back in the field alone! unless we can find another partner for him for the summer again.

If we can't i am considering getting him a goat to hang out with since i can't afford another horse/donkey.

So my questions are

1)Are goats really good partners for horses?

2)Do you think he would be okay with a goat or would be be aggressive towards it.

3)Anything i should know?

4)Do you have any other ideas?

Thanks a bunch!

NOTE: he's amazing with people, children, and other animals. hes also great with CERTAIN horses. i say he has "small mans syndrome" but in all honesty a few people I have talked to think he might have been gelded late causing his attitude. and apparently he looks "studly" i don't know much about that kind of stuff though

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post #2 of 13 Old 03-25-2013, 12:19 AM
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About the only thing I know about goats is that they are great escape artists. It can be hard to contain them.

When you say he is aggressive with other horses, how long are they together to get acquainted? A day or two? A week? Or a couple weeks?

It may be that he isn't getting enough time to get his place established in a herd. There are some horses that will pick on others right away trying to be top horse. Most don't right away. It can take longer than you are giving him for it to settle down. There will always be scuffles and injuries when introducing a horse to an already established herd. Once the new horse finds his place, it will settle down. It can take just a day and it can take a couple of months. Maybe let him be with the new herd longer.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-25-2013, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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He was in the big herd for approx a year before he got aggressive. We think it was that 2 of the 3 horses above him in the heard dynamics left. So there was just one aging gelding above him who let him get away with almost everything unless he was close enough to get after him without having to try very hard.

In term of the elderly gelding and the mare he was with it could have been that he wasn't with them very long but he would do it for no reasons at all. The gelding wouldn't be anywhere near him, food or the other gelding. And my horse would race across the field get him I'm a corner and try and keep trying to kick him.

In the big field he was seen chasing the elderly mare around for 10+ minuets and not letting her stop until the BO was about ready to go In and make him stop by removing him.

The originally reason he was removed was he was chasing 3 horses around pinning them in corners and kicking out at them.

Most of the times he acts out are because he's angry at something else and takes it out on horses horses. Or he's board. That's what we guess anyways.... We can't read his mind but upon watching him that's what we can come up with. The horses wouldn't bug him, they all respond to warnings to move out of his space etc.
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-25-2013, 08:26 AM
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It is natural for a younger gelding to drive an old one off and the old ones don't even try to fight back. I think they know they'd lose. Isn't there another mare you can put in with him. He's afraid of being left alone as herd animals are. It's called solitary confinement and prisons use it to break down prisoners. Works the same way on a horse.

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post #5 of 13 Old 03-25-2013, 09:32 AM
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my gelding hates our goats. He will put his head low to the ground and charge them. and he'll bite them if they get near him, so it can't be a sure thing your horse will like goats. and like the other poster said, they are escape artists. It means having goat safe fence or electric fence as well as horse fencing. my gelding also hates our cow and bites her every chance he gets and I see hes now chasing the cats out of his paddock. =)

can't think of any other critters. does he pick on much smaller horses like minis or small ponys? maybe a really lil horse could keep him company and he wouldn't feel threatened in terms of being the boss?
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-25-2013, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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We will try putting him with another horse first if we can find one suitable for him and if the owner will allow the horse to transfer fields. That's the other problem is the horses are all privately owned so the owners opinion counts obviously and with Cody's past history it makes it harder to find a boarder willing to try. I have 2 I am willing to ask. But I don't know if they will agree . I'm hoping the will. The goat was just a back up toy back up. Lol. And I wouldn't want a mini on grass because alot of times it leads to issues so that wouldn't work as the field my horse would go to is grass and I would prefer him to grass over a round bale (he maintains a healthy weight better that way) I THINK our fence is goat proof.... It goes to the ground in that field and has a strand of electric fencing/rope on top. Even if I were to try a goat I would need I discuss it with the BO first it was just an idea because I don't want him being alone as it stresses him out being away from the herd (as it would most horses )
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-25-2013, 05:45 PM
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If he is horse aggressive the last thing that I would consider is a Miniature Horse. Too many horror stories of them having accidents with even gentle full sized horses. That would be an accident waiting to happen.

I would also be leery of giving him a goat if he is bad enough that you've chosen to keep him separate. Our goats can run with the horses but seem to prefer not to. They stay in their goat area and if the do venture out then run when the horses come towards them. I do have a goat-chaser in the herd so I'm sure that ads to their dislike. Your gelding may be fine with a goat so I suppose its worth a shot.

I would also question the judgement of putting poor elderly horses out with a bossy horse? That doesn't make sense. So if he is going to be a jerk let him live alone and pace and fret or find a horse that will be the boss over him and let him have THAT buddy. I have a gelding here who can be a handful with other horses (the goat chaser aforementioned, actually) who learned how to have better manners after he lived with my stallion for a year. Obviously I'm not suggesting that to you, any boss mare that can top him will do.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-25-2013, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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No worries I was not considering a mini for him. We had one on the property and he wasn't her biggest fan.... ( the feeling was mutual I assure you lol) I have two horses in mind that MIGHT work out with him. One gelding around his age, though I'm not 100% sure as he's low in the herd but there not bad when they spend short periods of time together loose in the arena. But I don't know how they would do living together..... The other one is a mare (which he seems to be better with in most situations) again around his age but higher on the totem pole. I think they would be a MUCH better match and she could use some time off the round bale to lol but again I don't own her or the other one so its all up to the owners. The goat was the back up back up idea as I mentioned but I don't know it It would work as a substitute or if he would beat up on the poor goat.
And I don't want to leave him in there and risk him injury the elder mare when she goes in with them, even though he gets along well with the mare he's with now. -sigh- times like this is when I really wish I was a millionaire and could afford to buy the perfect companion horse for him that's tough enough to put him in his place but not kill him -_-
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-25-2013, 07:32 PM
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Sounds like he needs more of a butt-kicker than a low-on-the-totem-pole kind of buddy... I manage 16 horses- after being separated into 4 pastures for a number of years, I came in and changed it all up. I put ALL the horses out together (all the pastures were adjoining, so I opened all the gates up so they could go wherever they wanted)- with enough room, they worked things out just fine. They have enough room to spread out- they go where they want and are happy.
I have three geldings together right now that were not cut until they were 6 years old- one of them is clearly the boss, and he only uses force when necessary. He is an excellent "policeman" and knocks down the mean ones when they need it, but otherwise leaves everyone alone and actually takes turns eating with most everyone. Given enough room, I truly believe most horses will work things out if there are enough of them in the group. That being said, there was MUCH more herd drama when they were in groups of 4-5. I'm not sure if it had to do with some of the horses feeling more comfortable bossing around 3-4 of their buddies, versus 15, or what. Regardless, the herd dynamics right now are perfect. The mares and geldings are all together, as well as a mini who does just fine for herself. Maybe I just have a "special" situation, but they are happy and the amount of bite marks have gone down 95% since I stopped separating them. But, if it were me, I would find someone with a dominant horse to be turned out with your guy. In nature, horses don't have humans deciding who gets turned out together, they work it out on their own (again, given enough room) :) Just my .02

Last edited by tbcrazy; 03-25-2013 at 07:35 PM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-25-2013, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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I agree and there was enough room before and he was good for approx a year. And then he went all high and mighty (I think because two of the horses who kept in line left) and would literally galloped across the entire field to kick someone/chase them when they were minding there own business. Or god forbid by "HIS" fence (that he could care less about until someone else was interested in it) we let them try and work it out until one horse came in seriously injured and though we can't prove it was him, soon after that he was seen chasing 3 horses, pinning them in corners, and trying to kick them. And they had been minding there own business not 5 minuets before. He's just a bully, gets bored and picks on horses. At that time we had the "main herd", the "Jenny Creig field" (the horses who couldn't be on grass due to weight issues or health issues- there was only two of them" and then I'm the back the BO had her elderly OTTB and the retired therapeutic riding pony. When all the drama happened he was alone. And then with the OTTB and pony which didn't work out so then we threw a mare in with him (which worker out great- but she recently moved to Alberta with her owner) and he's now with a pony mare in the Jenny Creig field while the elder mare is in with big herd as there is no grass at the moment due to the season. -sigh-

There is one mare higher on the totem pole I would like I try him with this summer IF the owner agrees. But there are no horses on the property that are high enough to keep him in line so really raven (mare) is my only hope if her owner agrees. If she doesn't then that's where the goat comes in but after all the comments are starting to doubt that that would even work/ fear for the goats safety as my horse is a jerk -sigh-
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