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Horse peeps need help please

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Lifesong Farm, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Lifesong Farm

    Lifesong Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2010
    Noble County
    I have a 4 1/2 yr Spanish Barb mare 2weeks ago we let someone bring their gelding to the barn to bored. The problem is I have goats and she thinks they are her babies. To the point that last spring she started producing milk and trying to steal the newborn kids. How do I get her to stop guarding the goats? I can't keep her locked up at this time and the goats need to be able to go in the pasture. Right now she tries to herd them all up and keep them in the barn so I locked them up in the new stall. (Brand new barn. We have the run in finished and 1 stall done.) Since they are locked up she stands guard by their stall and won't let the gelding in the run in or if she does doesn't let him near that side. How the heck can I break her of this because I do want to get another horse of my own so my DH and I can ride together.
     
  2. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    I believe this is being caused by a hormonal imbalance and you will probably need to have her seen by a vet. Wish I could be more help.


    Rusty
     
  3. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    I believe it's not always due to a hormonal abnormality. Of course she should be checked by an equine reproduction vet, but you might not find anything. If there are no other symptoms, it could be simply this mare's behavior.

    Most likely things will quiet down if you are not boarding another horse. Some people give mares a medication called Regumate to stop a lot of undesirable behavior. I always hope I can manage a situation by making some small changes, rather than using a medication for the rest of the animal's life.

    If you choose to buy your own gelding later, it's possible things will settle down given time. However, it also sounds like you have all the animals close together and this often causes problems.

    Having a separate run in and door for the husband's horse will prevent what you're describing; dividing your pasture in two will keep the horses from being so close and getting on the mare's nerves...especially if her door and his door are well separated.

    Mares very often can't be pastured or penned with geldings. There are too many fights and problems. At one barn, all the geldings fought over the one mare there - when she was gone at 4h, peace reigned. The minute she came back, it was kick wounds, injuries due to falls, and plenty of bite and cut wounds.

    Many mares have a lot of protective or mother behavior toward other animals. It isn't unusual. My mare has a fit every time the calves next door are moved to another pasture.

    All mares can't always be turned out with geldings without getting a lot of upsets. Some can, some can't. The secret with horses is finding out what works for the animals you have and sticking with it. 'What works' isn't always exactly what we want, but it's almost always possible to find 'what works'. Vets and professional trainers can often offer suggestions.

    In the old days, it was common to hear that the best thing for an overly motherly mare, was to breed her and let her have a foal. I'm not sure it always or usually worked, but like many 'rural legends', it was repeated often enough and believed too!. But with all the excess horses in the country today, we can't afford that kind of solution.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  4. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Some people give mares a medication called Regumate to stop a lot of undesirable behavior.

    ummm, WC, Regumate is a hormone replacement for progesterone. I have a spayed mare, so her body makes no progesterone. To use her as a surrogate, we would have to keep her on Regumate for the term of the pregnancy. It would replace the progesterone and without that, she would abort the fetus. I have no plans to use her for this. She is just retired, but this IS a common use for spayed mares.

    [​IMG]

    Rusty​
     
  5. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    um...I know that, LOL! Regumate has other uses, but people quite often will use it to influence mares' behavior - often, to attempt to address problems regumate couldn't possibly affect - and it's even given to geldings. Generally, the first thing anyone seems to say after "i have trouble with my mare" is "put her on regumate!"

    I myself don't really believe grabbing a drug for a behavior problem should be the first move...I hope management, changes in feed, turnout and work, can solve most behavior problems.
     
  6. Lifesong Farm

    Lifesong Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2010
    Noble County
    Quote:So it could just be that she doesn't get along with geldings? I do have a vet scheduled to come back out but so far he hasn't been helpfull. She never acted this way with the group of mares she was boreded with before we bought our land. I do plan to breed her when she is fully traided to ride. She is still green right now. She is going to be used in the carolla horse breeding program since there are so few of them left.
     
  7. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    My mare loves other mares.....not a fan of geldings. She tolerates them without aggression but she ADORES other mares. I assume it is from probably being used in a broodmare band before I owned her. She enjoys hanging out with the ladies.
     
  8. muddyhorse

    muddyhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2009
    Bloomsdale, MO
    my mare is the opposite she loves geldings HATES other mares. at shows she will "adopt" any minis she sees.
     
  9. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    7,261
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    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    Just remembered this..........my mare also loves babies....she was pastured with a group of mini donkeys. 2 geldings and 1 mare. Turned out the girl had been bred before the boys were gelded (whoops) and was pregnant. She had an oopsie baby one day....nobody knew when she was due so she was still in the field with my big 15 hand quarter horse mare and the 2 biggish mini donkey boys. My mare kept those boys on the other side of the field....ears pinned and chasing them down aggressive. Didn't hurt them, but definitely kept them AWAY from the baby. She did calm down after the baby was no longer so "new" and didn't have that issue anymore. She was trying to steal the baby, but is very docile and low on totem pole and so wasn't aggressive enough trying to take her....momma donkey kept her a kick's distance away and my mare kept the boy donkeys an acre or two away LOL.

    Here is a pic from a distance....at the very back of the field are the donkey mom and baby.....and you cant miss my crazy horse chasing down the boys who had gotten too close while I was there.

    [​IMG]


    Is there a way to keep the two horses together for a while to let them "bond" so to speak.....away from the goats? Maybe then she would not be so protective of the goats towards the gelding. Mares usually will calm down a bit once the baby is no longer "new".
     
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Can you send the goats to another place or unconnected building/pasture for awhile? If she has no goats she will turn to the gelding as her herd instead. Then you should be able to reintroduce the goats and while the mare may again make them her herd to watch she should allow the gelding too since he's also now accepted as part of the herd.

    We use this trick sometimes when introducing a new horse to a herd with a very bossy mare. Take the bossy mare out of the herd so she is no longer part of that herd and introduce the new one. Then when everyone is put together the new horse is just a part of the herd and no longer new so no reason to have issues with it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010

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