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  1. #1
    Schoolmaster ElvisandTilly's Avatar
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    Default Help! My horse suddenly attacking my other horse!

    I have Flin a 6 year old gelding and Carma a 26 year old mare. They have been in the same field for nearly a year, with 5 other horses in a 13 acre field. They have got on ok for all this time until last night. My two are nearly always the last out and I went to fetch them as normal and Flin followed me along the wall to the gate whilst I walked on the path. Shouted Carma and she came up from a distance. Flin stood at the edge of the mud at the gate rather than coming to me, then as Carma got nearer he just flew at her!

    He normally pulls a face as he wants to be first in, but last night he just went for her and chased her around the field and wouldn’t stop. She is an old lady and struggles with her back legs but he just kept chasing her relentlessly. Thankfully she kept running and he didn’t actually get hold of her to hurt her. This went on for over 10 mins when he got so tired he stopped and a friend managed to get hold of him.

    I went to find my mare and she was fine although on edge. He had just lost it and it was like a switch had flicked in more normally laid back softy of a horse. He was very tense and on edge also. Carma had also come into season yesterday and its her first season of the year, which is usually the worst for her mareish behaviour, and Flin had the physio yesterday morning. Not sure what has started this behaviour on his part.

    He has again done it this morning. He walked up to the field fine with her but as soon as he was let free he went for her again. He just flies at her with ears back, then just runs and runs after her. The other horses all came round and protected Carma but he was still trying to get at her. Carma has been taken out of the field and put on some grazing next to the field but this isn’t anything I can do long term.

    Anyone got any ideas why he could have suddenly started like this with her and what I can do? Could it just be because she is in season, although she had seasons last summer and it never bothered him then? Just at a loss at the moment with him and what I can do to get them settled again together. It’s just so not like him. Carma despite her age is very flirty and very mareish when in season so not sure if this is what is causing his behaviour. Any advice would be appreciated.

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Help! My horse suddenly attacking my other horse!

    Oh dear - that doesn't sound good!!! Poor Carma - I hope Flin got a telling off!!

    Funnily I had this problem with 2 of mine a few years back, although it was 2 boys, they were completely best friends, wouldn't leave each other alone, hated to be apart. One day my older boy got very possessive (sp) of me and would attack my younger one as soon as he got close, similar behaviour to yours, I believe that it was due to me spending more time with the young one as I was breaking him in and my oldie getting jealous!

    Could it be that you have spent so much time with Flin's rehab and then suddenly as Carma went downhill you started to spend more time with her - could he be jealous?

    I do think you need to get going on Flin as soon as possible, as all the irritability hopefully will go - he's just a baby with too much energy and sounds like he is feeling rather well.

    Good luck xxxxxxxxxxx

  3. #3
    Sport horse
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Help! My horse suddenly attacking my other horse!

    It must something in the air, because my TB just put my other horse through the 5 bar gate, after chasing him and getting him on the floor!!

    If i hadn't have been there, i really think he would have killed him.

    I had to punch him hard on the side of the head to make him let go!!
    Getting in the middle of a scrap between 2 16.3 hh horses is not one of the brightest things i've done, but needs must and all that.
    No field sharing for them for a while!
    Formerly Barkinghorse

  4. #4
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Help! My horse suddenly attacking my other horse!

    That must have been really scary have never heard of a horse getting another on the floor. My ginger horse pulls faces at my bolshy two year old to protect his old best mate but would never hurt him.

  5. #5
    Schoolmaster ElvisandTilly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! My horse suddenly attacking my other horse!

    I did wonder if it was jealousy but didn't think a horse could get jealous! But like you say through his rehab and box rest he has had my attention for most of the time. Nothing has changed in the routine and he is out in field now and Carma is not too bad so they both get the same attention now.

    It was my friend who turned them out this morning so I wasn't around for him to be jealous of Carma being near me. He went for her again, just the same as last night. The only thing that has changed is Carma coming into season.

    I'm at a loss! Carma is going back in field with rest of them tomorrow and he will have to go in another until she is out of season and try them together again. Very strange behaviour

    Flin is back into work from yesterday and is having his shoes on tomorrow so hopefully can get some focus on something for him. Although it is only very gentle hand walking.

    How did you manage your two when they started? Its not just the attacking and chasing away, he continues chasing until he is so tired he can do no more, despite her age she seems to be the fitter one as he was covered in sweat and she was fine! Not good for his operated on legs or her old arthritic legs!! They want their heads banging together!!

    Thanks Miranda. Hope your two are doing ok. xxxxxxxx


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  6. #6
    Schoolmaster ElvisandTilly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help! My horse suddenly attacking my other horse!

    OMG! just read other postings! I'm scared of it getting to that stage if Carma stops and Flin gets her not sure what the outcome would be. Just so glad she has managed to continue running!

    Does anyone know if this suddenly stops like it suddenly started or is that it, they will never get on because this has happened?? Not sure what to expect next.

    Must be something in the air or the grass sprouting up!

    JS65 do hope your horses are ok and they behaving today.


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  7. #7
    Sport horse
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Help! My horse suddenly attacking my other horse!

    I have to now put them out seperate, on alternate days.
    I put them in fields next to each other to start with but William only has to look at Dusk and Dusk bolts up to the other side of his field in terror!
    He won't settle if William is out, even though it's a different field!
    Formerly Barkinghorse

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help! My horse suddenly attacking my other horse!

    In the end, the youngster used to get his own back when Josh was rolling or on the floor - he would then attack him back!! Funnily they did sort themselves out pretty quickly but then they didn't have any other horses in the same field.

    On another note my friend had 2 geldings, one older one and one that she had as a 7 month old with her older one - they had been together for about 3 years. She then had one on loan and her youngster was at a yard where he was out with mares. She had to take her older one back at short notice as he was being badly treated in his loan home and she put him back out with her younger horse and the mare - the younger horse attacked the older one, he chased him round till she managed to catch him about 30 mins later, older horse was petrified and weeing whilst he ran. This was due to boundaries as he didn't want him near his mares.

    she moved both horses a few months later and they were out together with other horses and mares and they were fine. Perhaps it is this season thing - fingers crossed anyway.

    Great news about Flin - come summer you'll be out and about again!!

    xxxxxx

  9. #9
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Help! My horse suddenly attacking my other horse!

    When mares have their first and last seasons, their hormones are not fully settled, so from Flin's point of view, she may be giving him some confusing hormonal signals which trigger aggression.
    Have you considered Regumate, if she has odd seasons? Other than that, I'd separate them til she is out of season (might be longer than normal for the first season), then watch carefully when she is back in.
    S

  10. #10
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Help! My horse suddenly attacking my other horse!

    Oh dear, not good. I cringe every time I hear of this happening.

    You are lucky that neither have been injured so far.

    I think you'll have to very much play it by ear, but be prepared to make plans to keep them separated if this continues, it is too much of a risk to leave them together if it carries on. It is only your mare he does this to? Is he generally quite a randy gelding? From personal experience I wouldn't be risking it again - ever.

    Tragically I lost a little arab mare due to crippling injuries (hind tendons) caused by exactly the same behaviour, a stonking great big ISH gelding (would actually cover mares properly if he got the chance too) He ran her into the ground, literally, through a fence and through a bog, despite people being there my mare (17) was too terrified to have the wits to run out of the gate they held open for her. It is one of the main reasons I am so pro single sex herds now.


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