OK so I moved to a new barn not to long ago maybe 3 months. My horse goes out with 2 other geldings - they were buddies and kinda pushed Hero away for the first few weeks.
I wouldn't say they are bffs now but they tolerate him - he still keeps some distance.
So new YEARLY mare comes to the barn and is in the stall beside my horse. They cant really see each other unless they stick their heads out the dutch door. I rode him the other day he was fine. Stuck him outside alone he was fine.
Today that mare happened to be in the pasture with the geldings. Apparently Hero protected her from the other two the entire time. They were latched by hips the entire time I did stalls. I brought him in to clean him off - BAD idea. I got him out of the gate and he kept spinning around to see her.
He was pacing and screaming non-stop in his stall. So I lunged the CRAP out of him he was actually well behaved on the lunged - didn't scream but soon as I put him back in he called.
Luckily the BO's came out and got to see how obnoxious he was. The mare could care less and was just hanging out with the other two geldings.
Anyways she is going out with the mares tomorrow I told them I can't deal with him being uncontrollable if I want to bring him in to ride etc. I'm sure tomorrow when he realizes shes not coming out with him he'll pace the fenceline.
Do you think he'll get over it?? Even if hes in the stall next to her can he stay attached? It was only one freaking day!! I've seen him buddy sour but never this bad.
Last edited by nativehiro; Dec. 12, 2012 at 06:42 PM.
My gelding had, um, an oral fixation with a mare in heat. Yes, it was X rated. He started kicking and prancing and still peeing near her stall (adjoining his fence line) until they were separated. Yep, he got over it.
Good idea to separate them before it goes on too long.
Try classic approach and retreat in reverse. You approach the "taking him away from the mare," then retreat by returning him to her when he relaxes.
What you want him to learn is that if he yields to you, becomes soft on the lead, lowers his head, gives you his eyes, he will always get to go back to the mare. You may have to start this at 10 feet and gradually move farther away, then purposely returning him to the mare the instant he gives you his attention.
Be patient. Don't put him out with her any more. Horses sort out social situations all the time. There are some parts of their personalities and lives, however, that are not under our control. A little fretting and sweating won't kill him. Just wait and see what happens.
It being the end of the year, she is probably in a strong heat, so it is likely that this is being driven more by biology and less by other factors. If he can be longed in front of her pasture without a problem, then if you can, put him back into work while he is with you. And be firm in the ground handling. If you want him walking with you and not staying near her, he goes with you. End of story. You'll have to put your foot down with some of this, or it will just go on and on. Ask me how I know.
This thread is timely for me. I am moving my OTTB gelding to an eventing barn next month and he has two pasture options: one with five other geldings, and one with one 28 YO mare and her gelding buddy. I would like to go with the smaller group if possible. I've never owned a mare so sorry for this ignorant question: but does an older mare mean less/not going into heat the same way as a younger mare? Does the fact that she is 28 make it less likely that same scenario as OP will happen?
"I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
as a thoroughbred horse."
I'm gonna cry . Last night we grazed behind the barn no panicking that he could t see her. Today the BO Son turned out and gues who he was with . Back to square one. I pulled her out and put her back with the mares and he had a frantic attack.
Screaming and running the fence line. It's one thing to be buddy sour but this is ridiculous. I don't know what is going on in his head!?! He can see her. He doesn't pay one attention to me won't even go in his stall to cool down cuz he knows hell have to take his eyes off her and pushes and pulls me so he cn see her.
He didn't get to eat cu completely sweated out again. I don't know if I should move stalls too cuz soon as she's in he just peaks over ad stalks her. She could care less about him.
Put your foot down that he is not turned out with this mare. Carry on. Horses develop fixations and friendships. They learn to cope with them. Just keep your normal routine with the horse and let it pass. They are not robots. They have feelings! Just minimize his exposure to his object of obsession and keep on truckin'.
I'd keep them separated as much as possible. I had to go through the lovesick frantic panic last year with my mare and young gelding. Only it was very mutual, with BOTH of them running, screaming, and being obnoxious. Complete separation was the key; they could see each other, but had a paddock between them so there was no direct contact. Their stalls were side-by-side, and at first riding/working with one made the other one stupid. But, like Deltawave said, they got over it. It took maybe a month, but they learned that the other one WOULD come back. I learned to just ignore the silliness, resigned myself to dirty stalls with poop flung everywhere, and it eventually got better.
It was largely driven by my mare's hormones...when she was in season, they were absolutely awful. Once she was pregnant (I bred her this spring), they both became a lot more stable. I was able to turn them out together, and they enjoyed each other's company without going bananas when I rode the gelding. But...any time you put them on a trailer together, they get super attached again; I recently moved to a new farm, and had to go through the "weaning" process again (no turnout together, kept the gelding in a stall by himself half the day). After a week, they were happily independent again. Horses WILL learn to cope, you just have to be brave enough to watch them run, throw a fit, get sweaty, destroy their stall, etc. Be patient, be firm but don't lose your temper.
To SaratogaTB: Every horse is different, but if it was my horse, I'd put him out with the other five geldings. Two geldings and one mare can be a setup for a fight... one gelding inevitably gets possessive of His Girl and it leaves the other one the odd man out. I turned my guy out, a month off the track, with a group of 8 geldings and he was fine. He got plenty of exercise and it was good for him socially: he didn't bond with just One Friend, and there were elder leaders to keep the peace. Of course it depends on the horses involved, you might have a troublemaker who picks fights and eats blankets.