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  1. #1
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    Default Gelding-on-Gelding Action.

    So my horse (12 YO TB Gelding) has a best friend (5 YO QH/Trak Gelding). My horse won't get in the trailer without his best friend, is depressed if he can't get turned out with his best friend, etc. And the feeling is mutual- his best friend freaks out when my horse isn't around. They're endearingly, yet annoyingly, connected at the hip/head/heart.

    So last summer, my horse was seen mounting his best friend while turned out one afternoon. That was the first time any of us had seen it happen. But my horse did it again last night- mounted his best friend. Of course, this could be happening all the time when they're turned out together and nobody is around, but regardless, I'm baffled by the behavior.

    I have a female dog who mounts our male cats, and the vet has told us that it's a dominance behavior. My horse doesn't display any other 'studdy' type tendencies other than mounting his BFF, so could this be a dominance issue? Should I have his hormones checked?

    The only other 'off' behavior I've seen out of my horse is that he is constantly putting his face in his BBF's groin region. For a while I thought that perhaps it was an 'identification' behavior, like dogs who sniff each other's rear ends; but I'm no equine behaviorist so I have no idea what he's doing under there.

    I don't want him to hurt the other horse's back with all the climbing on top of him; and let's be honest- his hock injections are only going to last so long with this kind of nonsense.

    Any input or thoughts would be appreciated. I'm not quite sure what to do about this. Thanks in advance!
    Quote Originally Posted by Martha Drum View Post
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.



  2. #2
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    bumpin this because I'm also curious as far as hearing thoughts on this... I've seen it before, not with my guy though. Though my friend's youngster (brand newly 4 yo gelding) was stickin his nose in my guy's groin the other day, almost looking like he was trying to nurse. In the pasture, my guy, the baby, and my other friends new OTTB are inseperable, but they don't have attachment issues.... yet...
    proud momma of an evil grey QH/Arab who can jump the moon... and he stole my heart



  3. #3
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    Emma, thanks for the bump!

    Like you describe with your friend's horse, my horse actually does look like he's trying to nurse when he does the whole 'groin investigation' thing too.

    I'm interested to hear others' thoughts on this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Martha Drum View Post
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.



  4. #4
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    Oct. 27, 2010
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    Sounds like normal horsey behavior to me.....see it among other animals as well and although not gelded, see it in the bachelor herd of mustangs that hangs around here and in my bachelor herd as well.
    Colored Cowhorse Ranch
    www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
    Northern NV



  5. #5
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    My gelding likes to be the mountee, rather than the mounter...

    Silly boys. But I'm kinda curious too. I've just always chalked it up to him being speshul. He also doesn't like mud, cold, hot, wet, too much sun, too little sun, too much work, tool little work, flies, snow, wind, etc. And wants his stall bedded just so. I joke that he's my delicate little flower. And yes, I make him wear rainbow stuff occasionally. But I loff him dearly.
    Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

    You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.



  6. #6
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    There was a rather famous ASB stallion who they could only collect if he was teased with his favorite gelding. This stallion was syndicated for a million dollars. Come breeding season, the new handlers couldn't get him collected. They had to go back and buy his old gelding boyfriend.
    Why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?
    ~ Dave Barry



  7. #7
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    Dec. 29, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmartAlex View Post
    There was a rather famous ASB stallion who they could only collect if he was teased with his favorite gelding. This stallion was syndicated for a million dollars. Come breeding season, the new handlers couldn't get him collected. They had to go back and buy his old gelding boyfriend.
    Interesting (&odd)!!!!!



  8. #8
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    Jan. 19, 2009
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    Well, around here Mr Moo mounts the Fjord....so it's steer on gelding.....

    But it's all typical animal behavior, not that odd at all.... Dogs do it as a dominance behaviour.

    Steers and horses often do as well....
    Turn off the computer and go ride!



  9. #9
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    We got one such gelding not long ago, that was picking on another gelding and kept bothering it, even if it was not really willing, was trying to get away, kicking at the offender, but was submissive, so just was not fighting back enough.
    The offender would not quit, so we sold him, since we only keep one small herd with three or four geldings at once.
    He is now in another kind of herd, without a funny smelling submissive gelding.
    He is very sweet and nice with people and wonderful to ride, just a little bit of a management problem with certain other geldings around.

    Generally, for that to happen with horses, it takes two, a very submissive horse that maybe smells different and an over the top, overly sexual gelding.
    Either one, without the other, in a normal group, won't be a problem.

    With cattle, you have to separate them immediately, or they will mount the one they choose to pick on until they cripple and kill it, in a day or two.
    Now, that is different than a herd of cattle walking up to a water source and some mounting others to jostle for position to get to drink first.
    When you see that happening, you double check, to be sure there is not more going on, they don't keep following the mountee thru the pasture, after they leave water or that he already has some hair scratched off his back.
    Some pastures have a kind of vegetation very strong on phytoestrogens that will put one of those borderline funny smelling steers over the top, where it causes those other steers that still think they are bulls over the top too and that starts trouble.
    I wonder if that may also have some effect with geldings?

    Sexuality is a large continuum, from few in any extreme and most in the normal middle.
    We need to recognize those in the extremes and if the behavior becomes problematic and it is hard if nothing else on the back and hocks of the one being mounted, we need to avoid putting them together.



  10. #10
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    Interesting info everyone, thanks!

    Bluey, when you say that the violated gelding smelled different, do you mean he smelled different to the point that you noticed it? I'm just not too clear on what you mean.

    I told the owner of my horse's BFF (who, incidentally, is my BFF) that I was worried about her gelding getting hurt; and we agreed that we will separate them if the mounting becomes a more frequent occurance. For now we'll just be keeping a watchful, albeit confused, eye on the two.
    Quote Originally Posted by Martha Drum View Post
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReeseTheBeast View Post
    Interesting info everyone, thanks!

    Bluey, when you say that the violated gelding smelled different, do you mean he smelled different to the point that you noticed it? I'm just not too clear on what you mean.

    I told the owner of my horse's BFF (who, incidentally, is my BFF) that I was worried about her gelding getting hurt; and we agreed that we will separate them if the mounting becomes a more frequent occurance. For now we'll just be keeping a watchful, albeit confused, eye on the two.
    Well, with cattle, when we have those problems, that I guess are about one "funny smelling" steer every 250 or so, that attracts the attentions of maybe 10 to 15% of the rest of the steers in a group, we humans think that there is some to do with pherormones and so smell guided.

    Some times, you can spray the smeller with pine sol or certain hair sprays, each cowboy has their own product they swear by and they can't "find" him any more to mount him, with him right there in the middle of them, but that doesn't always work either, so maybe there is more to that than smell.
    You also have to keep respraying them to keep them from being attractive to those other busy body steers.

    That is temporary at times, after several months, the funny smelling steers quit being funny smelling and can be reintroduced without problem.
    Maybe it would be so with geldings also?
    We just don't know enough about this to even guess if it is similar in horses as in cattle.

    We have a small pasture we put those smelly steers in, so the others won't injure and kill them and in cattle feedlots, they have special pens just for those steers.

    When I say that one gelding being mounted regularly may smell funny and attract interest of some other gelding, I am extrapolating from cattle when I say "smelling funny", but who knows what it may be causing that.

    Some of the mounting is pure horse play.
    When it becomes a regular occurrence, then you can try other, like maybe hormone shots, spray to change smells, I don't know.

    This situation with this two geldings we had was the first time in my whole life of caring for pastured geldings that we had a problem.
    Then, we don't run gelding herds by the hundreds or thousands, so maybe that is why I have not seen it before, if it is very rare in horses.
    Most geldings don't fall in either group, the one being mounted without objecting effectively or the one driven to mount that one specific gelding.

    We had to separate them, it was not good for either horse's peace of mind and too apt to cause someone injuries.
    Easier to change how we manage them that try to change who they are.

    I would just separate them, but if you want to try to see if you do indeed have a problem or not, was not some isolated incident, do keep an eye on them, as you are and probably whatever is causing this may go away, but if the mounting becomes frequent, better separate them.

    You could run this by your vet and see if testing that one mounter for too much testosterone may be indicated, but I don't think we know the mechanism for those behaviour well enough to intervene thru that route.

    I suspect that, if we kept gelding herds of several hundred of them, we may have the same situation we do with cattle, with a few "funny smellers" and a few obsessive mounters responding to that causing ocassional trouble.
    Since we don't, those situations with geldings are very rare.



  12. #12
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    Absolutely fascinating. Thanks, Bluey!
    Quote Originally Posted by Martha Drum View Post
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReeseTheBeast View Post
    Absolutely fascinating. Thanks, Bluey!
    Ditto!
    proud momma of an evil grey QH/Arab who can jump the moon... and he stole my heart



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