When/Should I bring her home? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-23-2013, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Canada
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When/Should I bring her home?

I moved my mare to a barn with two geldings. The larger of the two is aggressive towards her, even when I am leading her away (I've been kicked in the back of the leg from her trying to get away from him). She has large welts on her butt from his bites, and he chases and corners, her out of the blue (she's has been 50 plus feet away when he charges).

The main part is he does those things within feet of me, the mare will come to me to protect her and he still will. She won't protect her food, and has lost 50 pounds in two weeks. I understand they have to work it out, and that the stress could be causing the weight lose but it makes me worry.

Really would like to make this work out but if she doesn't find her place in the herd she will have to come home, there is no other pasture/paddock for turn out. But when do I say that's enough? How long do I wait and what is tolerable in a herd as far is the fights and aggression towards her? When should you say that's enough they need to be separated?

I wish I had a second choice, as I enjoy riding there (arena) and having company of other riders. But I don't want to risk my horse, serious injury to her or myself, this is my first having my horse in a herd of any size. She was the lowest at her previous home too and was thin.

Should point out she may be in heat (she doesn't show very much) but she peeing more than normal so I just assume she is.

Cruiser is offline  
post #2 of 8 Old 10-23-2013, 09:51 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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It's a tricky call.

I recently got a new gelding and put him in with the existing her of two geldings and three mares. After a day or so the mares took to him fine, but the two geldings hate him. They will chase him away if he comes within about 15m of them. One of them will "stand guard" at his side of the herd and just watch him to make sure he doesn't come over. They sometimes won't let him near to water for ages.

It's been going on two weeks for me and it hasn't settled, so I've put him and my mare in a paddock that shares a fence line with that one. I might put them in together later on, but for now I think I'll wait.

It's hard to make a call, sometimes you just have to wait it out. Normally they will work it out given enough time. How long has it been?
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-24-2013, 12:28 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Brandon, Manitoba Canada
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I would take a buggy whip in with me and chase that gelding off when he comes after your mare when you are in there! He is not only disrespecting your mare and showing her he's in charge but you!
I have 4 horses here now but have had up to 7, they all knew when I walked in there was to be no pushing/biting/shoving around........
We kept our horses up at the neighbor's in the summer and one day another neighbor's horse was there too, he had been boarded at our place for 3 yrs. but had been gone for about 6 months. Our's were picking on him and wouldn't back off. The lady went out there to try to catch one at least to seperate them but none of them would let her catch them, she called me......I drove up there, got out of my truck and hollared HEY!!!! They all stopped dead in their tracks LOL the lady said she was surprised they didn't line up and salute me! I walked out there, haltered the one they were bothering and brought him in another paddock.......the horses should know for your safety that when you walk in that you're in charge......

My horses are the joy in my life.....
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-24-2013, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Its almost been two weeks now, and I was told to carry a lunge whip with me until the aggressive gelding is put away either blocked out of the arena or in his stall.

Spice is very timid mare with other horses and shows lots of signs of being submissive. He is a 1200 pound plus 17 hh horse, while she is a 850 pound 14.2 hh pony. I don't want her to be seriously injured (a few cuts and bumps expected) but I really don't want to end up in the hospital if this horse decides he's not going to stop next time.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-24-2013, 11:59 AM
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Horses are like children and they LEARN from other horses to be bullies. Those geldings are bullying your mare. Try to find another way to turn her out, even if you cannot and need to spend more time riding/lunging her.
I have had ALL of the ~35 horses that I've owned over the years in a herd situation. (I've only kept up to 7 at a time.) I think that my current herd leader may end up being the very best one I've had. He leads bc he is taller and outweighs the other two, but he isn't vicious, just aggressive enough to get his way. All 3 horses enjoy each other's company. They play with each other and groom each other. The nicks and cuts are minor.
It doesn't have to be this way. Your mare sounds very sweet, like my mare. (I haven't owned many mares that I've liked.) My mare loves on me when she is in heat, and asks, "Why can't the two boys make me happy?!?"
You don't need to watch your mare suffer like this.

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman, Amazon.com
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did! https://www.horseforum.com/general-of...queens-617793/
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-24-2013, 12:06 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
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Two weeks usually is enough time for horses to settle down in a new herd and be accepted and if she's still being physically attacked at this point in time and not just 'moved away' then you have cause for concern
On the yard I managed for 10 years the owner wouldn't allow horses that were such bullies to be turned out with the others as it just created too much bad feeling between owners - no one wants a horse that's out of work all the time because its injured by an aggressive horse and they don't want the vets bills either. It may be related to your mare being in season - and that's another reason why many boarding yards won't put mares and geldings in together
No one can really tell you what you should do in a situation like this - but I wouldn't want a horse to of mine to be risking serious injury and stress ulcers if I could find somewhere better to keep it
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-24-2013, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, it's tough because she was moved because her run in (at home) is fallen in (the roof shingles ripped off in a hurricane caused a bad leak). I am moving away (and bringing the mare) next spring and it's hard to justifying $1000 plus for a new run in shelter. But if this continues too much longer I'll have to bring her home, or see what the owner thinks if we might separate them.

There is no place to board, and I am keeping her here because I take care of all three horses every other day and the owner takes care of them on my days off. Spice seems to thrive off exercise and trail rides every day, her feet have healed nicely too, so it would be sad to leave. She is a hard working and trusty little mare, most people think she's pretty because she's so dainty, little do they know how tough she is. But if our safety becomes more of a concern than I'll rip off the run in roof and fix it, at the very least.

Again thanks lots to think about, at least now she has a blanket on, so the bites are not to her skin, I can replace a blanket but it seems to be protecting her good.

Sorry I should point out the other owner has never had a problem with this gelding being aggressive before, it's usually the little one who does because he's a late cut gelding. But the mare and him are okay with each other. Maybe the big guy doesn't want to "share" his buddy?

Last edited by Cruiser; 10-24-2013 at 12:56 PM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-24-2013, 01:03 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
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at my barn the mean gelding would be facing solitary confinement, and some major groundwork sessions. In fact there was a gelding that was chasing some new horses, and he learned pretty quick that bad behaviour got him locked in the naughty pen for a few days.

The issue is not your mare, its a mean, dominant gelding that obviously has no respect for people on the ground, either.
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