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Discussion Starter #1
Went out to bring my mare in so she could dry off before I put her coat back on her and she acted as if she was going to charge me and actually jumped towards me a few times. I set the lead rope down and tried again to approach but she continued to do it. Thinking it was just me my teenage daughter tried approaching and got the same result so I went and got her night feed and lead her into her stall and once there she seemed perfectly fine. I'm thinking maybe all the new spring grass could be to blame because nothing else has changed and she has never acted this way before. I'm going to leave her in and check her feet after a cooking off period. Anyone think this could be the issue?
 

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I would guess spring hormones before spring grass. This is around the time mares start coming into season and the first one or two cycles of the year can produce unusual behavior in some mares.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was actually discussing the hormone thing today with her previous owner so that's totally possible. LOL I would agree with the coat thing also because she is one smart cookie but she couldn't have known since she hasn't had to wear it for a week. Our temp is dropping below freezing tonight though. I was just out with her putting it on after letting her cool off and she seems to be doing ok. I've never dealt with mares before as I've only had geldings so the heat thing is all new to me. Thanks for the heads up.
 

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Hi, without more information, I'm guessing you haven't had the horse too long, she doesn't want to be locked up/messed with, and has learned that asserting herself in this way intimidates you. Yes, good grass, if it's been lacking, could be motivating change, that she REALLY doesn't want to leave the paddock. If she's learned that being 'aggressive' works for you, I strongly advise you find a trainer to help teach you how to be safely assertive with her & correct the behaviour without causing her to just 'up the ante' with you.

Leaving her in a stable will mean she's likely keen for you to 'catch' her & take her out, but it's not good for horses to be kept in stables so best avoided as a rule, and it won't improve the situation when she is let out - on the contrary, she may be worse next time, as she associates being caught with being locked away too.
 

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At Loosie has said, while the spring grass or hormones might be a factor is this behaviour regardless of the situation horses should not be aggressive. The horse had the motivation to behave this way, and lacked the respect to know not to.

The best way to deal with this issue it to deal with general respect/handling issues.
 

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Be careful! You said she jumped at you, then you GOT FEED.
Please don't let her start to think that being witchy makes the food appear.

Once, my guy yanked the leadrope out of my hands, then double-barreled me with both hinds, so he could go nibble some new grass. We did have a "discussion" about his choice.
 

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I'm agreeing with everyone else that it could possibly be the new spring grass since it has such a high sugar content this time of year, or the hormones. The mares at the barn where my horse is boarded at literally become the spawn of Satan when they come into heat this time of year, excluding one of the mares.. She's always sweet. Haha

Also, I'm with Piglet on this one.. I never allow my horse near food after bad behavior, typically he gets thrown on the lunge line and gets WORKED, very hard. Even if it's around feeding time, I don't care. He will work first and then get his food after he's behaved. It could be extremely dangerous if your mare thinks she can push you around and get treated with food afterwards.
 

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Yes, regardless of whether the horse is given feed or something else - in this case I interpreted it that feed came much later, but she instantly 'won' her continued freedom with the behaviour - you need to do what it takes to ensure that behaviour doesn't 'work' for her, and only 'good' behaviour does. So often people inadvertently reinforce undesirable behaviour & wonder why it gets worse. Horses do what works & quit doing what doesn't work. It's as simple as that when you get down to the nitty gritty.

BUT *instant* consequences are vital for horses - they just can't associate their behaviour with something that happens later on - if only by a handful of seconds even. If a horse does something undesirable, by the time you 'throw a lunge line on', let alone start working, it's too late for the horse to associate the 'punishment' with the misdemeanor. So be aware of what it is exactly that you're punishing, or rewarding.

Another thing about 'working' a horse as punishment is that I don't want my horses associating what I ask of them as punishment either - I want them to enjoy their 'work' as much as possible, not think of it as punishment.
 

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Hormones...likely.
Got your number....absolutely now she does!

Next time you go out to retrieve her highness from the field go armed.
A lunge whip, dressage long whip, driving whip...
She is disobedient and "jumps at you"... she should instantly find out that you, " THE LEAD MARE" don't take that crap from her.
Put her in her place...immediately!
A snap of the popper, a strike landed....and make it bite....that mare of yours will think twice about challenging you.
That mare needs to think, "Oh my, what have I done" when you react huge, angry and ugly to her bad manners.

I don't care it is springtime and mares will be mares and witches....not to you, ever!

You demand her respect or you will be respectfully mowed over, kicked by that mare in a short amount of time.
Horses are quick learners and fast to push the limit farther and farther each and every time...escalating the danger to you!!

Put a stop to it now before a pattern is established and you get hurt.

jmo!
 

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If you have spring grass coming through then it could be a deficiency in Magnesium causing the unusual behavior - Magnesium deficiency makes horses jumpy and behave irrationally.

When you feed her add 1 Tablespoon of Epsom Salts to her feed each day while the grass is growing hard.

My mares can get a little cranky during the first heat of the season but you can usually tell because they are peeing and winking a lot. A year or so back one of mine was so bad she had to have bute as she was so uncomfortable. She wouldn't move all day.
 

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Went out to bring my mare in so she could dry off before I put her coat back on her and she acted as if she was going to charge me and actually jumped towards me a few times. I set the lead rope down and tried again to approach but she continued to do it. Thinking it was just me my teenage daughter tried approaching and got the same result so I went and got her night feed and lead her into her stall and once there she seemed perfectly fine. I'm thinking maybe all the new spring grass could be to blame because nothing else has changed and she has never acted this way before. I'm going to leave her in and check her feet after a cooking off period. Anyone think this could be the issue?
Thoughts-

Did you give her a bath (I'm just confused as to the fact that she's wet adnt he term 'coat'). Something with that could be annoying her.

Your mare tried to charge you and you not only ignored it but put down the "weapon" you were holding. Of course she would try again.... Dangerous behavior and a response encoraging it.

Her feet shouldn't be relative to the behavior but it's good to check them over every now and then. I'm missing why you think that's relevant though.

Has she been transitioned onto the grass slowly?

Sometimes they just get a little fresh in the spring. I know I'm feeling a bunch better!

Regardless the behavior is very dangerous and will escalate- it needs to be dealt with promptly and firmly. Be ready next time.

I don't see the behavior as something mare specific so doubt it's hormones though regardless that's no excuse.
 

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Here is a article you might want to read before giving anything to your horse in the "magnesium" family....
I came across it when my horse came up deficient and needed a supplement...
Hope it helps...
Feeding magnesium to horses - Health - Horsetalk.co.nz
Sorry but the first sentence is a load of rubbish. Magnesium Sulphate has been used for centuries to give to horses for many problems. It is good stuff.

Whilst the more modern, more expensive 'others' are supposedly better for horses the original Magnesium Sulphate actually works better.

I've used it for decades and when used to deal with Magnesium deficiency it's quick and cheap and people are more likely to continue to use it to help their horse.

The best recipe I was given by an old stockman was to give the affected horse twice daily 1 Tablespoon each, Epsom Salts, Baking Soda, Dried Yeast and Dried Thyme.

When one of mine went down with grass staggers, this mix worked faster and for longer than the very expensive commercial treatment.

I have read somewhere that the cheleting process is harmful.
 

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Good article to better understand difference sources, etc I reckon Horselovinguy. Confused by your response above Tnvas - "Sorry but the first sentence is a load of rubbish. Magnesium Sulphate has been used for centuries to give to horses for many problems. It is good stuff."

Which first sentence are you talking about?? "Epsom salts, or magnesium sulfate, is becoming an increasingly common supplement for horses." or maybe "Magnesium plays an important part in nerve and muscle function, and horses deficient in this important element can show signs of nervousness, wariness, excitability, and muscle tremors."
 

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Good article to better understand difference sources, etc I reckon Horselovinguy. Confused by your response above Tnvas - "Sorry but the first sentence is a load of rubbish. Magnesium Sulphate has been used for centuries to give to horses for many problems. It is good stuff."

Which first sentence are you talking about?? "Epsom salts, or magnesium sulfate, is becoming an increasingly common supplement for horses." or maybe "Magnesium plays an important part in nerve and muscle function, and horses deficient in this important element can show signs of nervousness, wariness, excitability, and muscle tremors."
Magnesium Sulphate and Epsom Salts are one and the same thing. The comment made was in regard to the first sentence in the article that refers to Magnesium Sulphate becoming an increasingly common supplement for horses. it's always been in use and is an important salt to have in the first aid box
 

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And this is why I'll never own a mare again... My 2 old mares were horrible when they were in season. My last girl was the most loving sweet mare ever with impeccable manners, until she came into season when she would corner you, double barrel you in the stable, bite you as you walked past, jump out her field to get to the geldings etc. She was HORRIBLE. I gave her Oestress and it helped a lot, I also put her out with my gelding who quite honestly couldn't give a monkey's when there's a mare next to him squirting, she got bored when he wasn't paying her any attention - he was more interested in his sheep friends that were out with them.

I'd personally give her a hormonal supplement (Agnus Castus is pretty good) and push her about rather than her pushing you about. Not being aggressive - just putting her in her place by being assertive, keep walking towards her, take a schooling whip just to tap across her chest if she runs at you and just not give her the chance, I'd probably get a trainer in to help if she's your first mare as well.
 

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Seems a bit of an academic nit in the article to pick on. Yeah, I know Epsom is Mg Sulph. & for people that didn't know that, the article did say so. Yes, I know Epsom salts has long been popular for various things, but it has been my experience, that since a lot of recent studies on supping extra Mg, it is indeed becoming even more commonly supped to horses, and also in human medicine. I'm not sure that for eg. it was commonly given to heart patients or diabetics more than a decade or so back, certainly wasn't routinely given to horses for the sake of 'EMS' & hoof development until reasonably recently.
 

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Please don't give your horse hormone supplements without having your vet determine it's a hormone issue.

Just because it's April doesn't auto make all issues hormone issues...

As I said I didn't see anything mare specific there and can just as easily see a gelding in the same position so don't know why people are jumping to "hormones". Imo most "mare issues" are training issues anyways unless there is a genuine medical reason in which case a vet should be involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just to update my mare is doing just fine now and is back on her daily schedule with the addition of raspberry leaf added to her feed. Her bratty disposition is for sure due to her being in season. As far as it being wrong to stall her at night it is in this case best for her and does not bother her at all, in fact she is much calmer since we started this and has taken to the routine really well. She is a rescue and requires daily handling and hoof care. Due to the wet weather here in Washington it ensures her feet are allowed to dry out. She goes into her stall willingly and even closes the door(half door). A few weeks ago my son didn't latch the door to the paddock very well and she figured out how to not only let herself out but she locked all of the goats in,lol Thank you for all of the advice but I think we have this situation figured out. This is my first season with Mares as I've always had geldings so I appreciate the help.
 
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