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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would cause a horse to go completely bat-**** crazy on another horse? (pardon my language).

I literally had to beat my cousin's mare Patch off of my mare Gypsie with a pole about two hours ago.

I got home from work and had gone out to doctor my horses hooves and feed them. All of the horses were grazing on top of the hill above the barn, but my three came running down when I called them. I had already gotten Gypsie and Dakota haltered and tied at the barn and had walked across the Lot to get Joyce when Patch and the other horses came meandering down. Patch has NEVER acted aggressively, though she and my gelding Dakota have played pretty roughly in the past.

Patch didn't even stop, she made a beeline straight to Gypsie and rushed at her with her ears pinned and ran her into the barn, where she pinned her in the corner and began kicking the daylights out of her and squealing! Gyps couldn't get away 'cause she was tied and tried to run back and forth, but ended up falling down because the rope wouldn't give like it was supposed to (I tie with a loop that is supposed to give should my horses put too much pressure on it, but it somehow got twisted and didn't give like it was supposed to).

By the time I managed to beat Patch off my girl, she was back on her feet, thankfully. Poor Gypsie was shaking so badly, and Patch was still attempting to rush her (but not any of the other horses), so I decided it was safer to feed and doctor my horses in the front yard.

After spending time checking Gypsie over (after she quit shaking and flinching whenever I touched her), I fed and groomed them all, especially her... but still... I dunno why Patch, who has never shown any aggressiveness and is a passive mare in general, would suddenly turn nuts like she did...

My poor Gypsie is hurting and swollen up where she was kicked. She was kicked (with both back legs) on both shoulders, both sides of her butt, her left side, the upper part of both front legs, and on her back lower leg at the fetlock so badly that it cut her leg open (not horribly, but still...!). I doctored her up and am definitely keeping an eye on her and going to check her again tomorrow after work... but she's already walking stiffly and is already sore... I feel so bad for her and upset at the other horse....

I swear, if I had had a gun on me, my cousin's horse would have been dead.......... (that's how upset I am!)
 

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I don't know why, but let that be a lesson to you. Don't tie a horse where other horses are loose, horses are animals and they will play, fight, have spats, etc. if one horse goes after another and the other horse is unable to get away, you're set up for disaster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am! I've ALWAYS tied my horses at the barn with others loose, because they've ALWAYS got along... but from now on I'm not going to be doing that again. That was terrifying!

I've got plans to fence the barn OUT of the pasture, but those have been not high on my to-do list... Believe me, fencing the barn out has just jumped up to priority #1
 

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Some horses are like that. I had a horse I was free leasing corner my mare and kick her multiple times. I came out and thought someone had whipped my mare as her hind end was covered in hundreds of cuts. Until I realized they were hoof shaped cuts.

The owner of the free lease horse later told me the mare had knocked their new horse to the ground and stood on top of it! :shock:

Lucky for my horse it was all on her nicely padded rump and nothing worse than a good set of bruises, superficial cuts and swelling. Obviously I never put them together after that!

I once had a gelding who chased 2 weanlings through a wood fence. I think he would have killed them if he could have.

Can you set up an electric fence to keep them separate? I've known 2 horses who died from getting kicked in the leg. One developed a joint infection and had to be put down, the other a broken leg.

Horses that have a tendency towards aggression at that level are not trustworthy in my opinion. In the wild it is unlikely they would get cornered like that, but even a big pasture is a risk if it has square corners. I once saw a mare in a 5 acre pasture get chased, trapped in the corner, and kicked multiple times. It happens. Especially with a really aggressive horse.

Do not tie horses up with other horses loose. My farrier was kicked in the head doing that and now has a metal plate in his skull! If you had been near Gypsy when this happened it could be you who had gotten kicked.
 

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Hope your girls ok.. yes sometimes horses do the unexpected and a tied horse get the snot kicked out of it isnt good.

If i were you id be checking on your horse before tomorrow if possible. My hubby had a gelding who got kicked in the side next morning he was found dead...was a 3 year old.
 

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I had a mare where once she was introduced to another mare, and after I believe it was a few days/weeks of being pastured together, cornered her and beat the leaving daylights out of her. The other mare had bloody patches everywhere--but it never happened again.

If swelling starts, I would personally give some banamine (if you have it) or just give the horse a little down time. I would put them back in together afterwards. I would think that the fighting will be done.

In a book I have called Chosen By a Horse, which is a true story of a rescued horse. A part in it, the ladies mare had a foal, and it was time to put the herd back together. As soon as one of the geldings glanced at the foal, the mare cornered him and beat the heck out of him. After, the horses were fine.

I think some horses just establish their hierarchy a little..differently.

best of luck
 

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I would second going out and double checking the mare. I saw a horse a few months ago that had gotten in with a horse that was pastured next to him. The horse got drilled in the chest/barrel a time or two. The result was a rib fracture and punctured lung. The horse ended up dying but it looked like a horrible way to live for the 24 hours it took for the owners to make the decision. Horses are big, powerful and they have a whole group of social drama all to themselves.
 

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please go back and check on her! my horse had the snot kicked out of him. vet came out to do xrays and it turned out to be a fractured leg instead of lots of swelling and tissue damage
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What a horrible thing to happen. As the others said, it's a good reason why tied horses shouldn't be near loose horses.

Mares can be absolutely terrifying. I'd personally prefer to be near stallions fighting than mares. I remember seeing two mares than had been pastured together for weeks, both lovely sweet horses, start kicking the heck out of each other. One was a chunky 3yo Clydesdale, the other a 13-14hh fine boned 3yo. The fine boned one got the clydesdale cornered by the gate and flogged her. Once the clyde stopped fighting back the other filly just wandered away.

I doubt you'll work out why it happened. IMO it's just a thing that happens - Patch could have been in a bad mood. Heck, maybe Gypsie made fun of her mother in horse language, you'll never know. Just do whatever it takes to make sure it doesn't happen again. It could have ended so much worse.
 

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One thing to remember too, is that horses, (and other creatures too) KNOW when one of their own can't defend itself.

Most commonly you see it under saddle, on trail ride when one horse suddenly turns and waylays another, knowing that the horse is under control of rider who won't turn horse loose to battle.

And that is exactly what happened here I think. Mare rushed in and when found out other horse was trapped, decided to let her have it.

You were lucky this time, assuming vet doesn't find anything if they come out.

But good lesson to learn, working with horses in area where loose horses can get in there too, is a recipe for disaster.
 

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One think I have learned in years of training is that it doesn't even pay to be mad. Learn from this experience, and do everything in your power to keep it from happening again. I understand it is hard not to be, but focusing on the task at hand will make better of the situation. As others have said, tying a horse with others loose isn't a safe practice. Call the vet, assure that your mare is of good health, and continue on. Things like this, in hindsight, teach valuable lessons. Many times people get too careless with things and stuff like this happens as a reminder. I am sorry that it happened to your mare, but their isn't much else to be said. These things happen, some times inexplicably.
 

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What Palomine said was something that came to my mind. Maybe the mare acted that way /because/ the other was tied?
Interesting! Glad to hear they're both ok...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The vet is coming out on Friday. I made the appointment several weeks ago, but he is going to float my new mare's teeth and perform a preg. check on Gypsie and I'll also have him look her over.

She's still a little swollen and rather sore, but not flinching when I touch her anymore and she was willing enoug to trot freely in the pasture when ?I let her go earlier. I gave her some Bute.
 
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