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Apparently pigs are terrifying?

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  • Danged Arab
    replied
    I live in Florida and there are lots of feral pigs at the preserves where we trail ride. Generally, the horses are terrified of them. Sometimes we see whole families of pigs. They almost always go the other way when they see horses, although I've come across a few that just stand there. Over the years, my gelding has gotten much braver, but I still am wary. Usually we seem them from a distance. If one popped out of the underbrush nearby - oh, that would be bad.

    The pigs tear up the ground pretty badly, and some horses are afraid even to go near that, probably because it smells like the pigs.

    And then about a month ago ... a pig wandered onto the property at the barn where I board. Looks like a feral pig, with long, coarse brownish hair and tusks, but he is castrated and acts like he's been a pet. The BO is keeping him in a paddock (which we have to go past to get to one of the arenas), and the first day I was pretty worried. I led my horse out of the barn, and when he saw the pig (about 75 feet away), he just about dragged me over to him! They sniffed noses and acted like they knew each other in a past life or something. Best buds.

    So ya just never know.

    Leave a comment:


  • cnigh
    replied
    I did meet a pot bellied pig on the trail once with my last paint mare. I'm very near sighted and didn't have my glasses on at the time.

    My horse wasn't reacting to the very ugly dog trotting up the trail, so I didn't either. Wasn't till it passed us that I knew it was a pig, lol.

    Leave a comment:


  • cnigh
    replied
    Ha ha, we just got a new pig at the farm where I board.

    This girl is HUGE! Her back is higher than my waste and her head is massive. We were told 400 lbs. But she is way bigger than that and too skinny.

    Lucky she is very sweet, lol. My Arab mare didn't take off when she saw her, but there was a lot of blowing and prancing going on.

    Leave a comment:


  • JanM
    replied
    On North Woods Law (the Maine edition) a Guinea Fowl beat up a Pit Bull, and we're not talking a pup, we're talking about a 60 pound plus adult dog.

    Leave a comment:


  • xeroxchick
    replied
    Guinea fowl are the pit bulls of the bird world. Horses are wise to be wary!

    Leave a comment:


  • skydy
    replied
    My gelding was terrified of Chickens, Turkeys and Guinea fowl. He would become even more freaked out when the made their noises, clucks and gobbles. He never got over it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wanderosa
    replied
    Yup. Looks like what is called a Guinea Hog in my neck of the woods. They're an old-school breed that precedes the practice of factory farming.


    It's common for horses to get freaked out by pigs. That and goats.

    Leave a comment:


  • fledermaus
    replied
    Where I used to live in California feral pigs were a thing. A scary thing, in fact. Wild pigs are truly dangerous, and I wonder if the reason horses so often react so strongly is a species memory (so to speak) of when they coexisted with wild swine and they had to keep alert.

    I never encountered pigs riding on the trails out there, except at a distance, but I have a funny-afterwards story about my young Aussie, when we were hiking in the woods near my house. A mama the size of a medium refrigerator walked across the trail ahead of us and we both stopped dead. My high-prey-drive stockdog just froze. Then came a long line of adorable striped piglets. There was a gap in the line and then the last wee piggie appeared, scampering to catch up, and Bonnie was inspired to cut that one out and drive it toward me, as I hissed NO, That'll DO, Quit! Expecting mama to burst out of the brush any second.

    That was a long moment.

    At a big camping ride I went on a few years ago somebody brought some donkeys. Horses who have never heard a donkey have strong reactions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mango20
    replied
    Someone has a pig stud service operation about 1/2 mile through the woods behind my house. It's pretty ramshackle pens and sheds in the trees, but apparently they collect and sell semen as a business. Sometimes, you can hear them squealing from here. I rode my horse over there one day and we watched the pigs from about 40 feet away. That's as close as I could get her, and even then, she wanted to spin and run away. I had her just stand and watch from the edge of her comfort zone for about 5 minutes. I'm hoping to return and get closer and closer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Emily&Jake
    replied
    My trainer got bucked off a horse and broke his pelvis, I believe, among a few other quite serious injuries, because he smelled like pigs.
    Apparently it is a common fear among horses!

    Leave a comment:


  • luvmyhackney
    replied
    My pony is pastured near pigs, he hates them. Only semi-used to them after 4 months. One of the babies piglets chased him around in pasture, funniest thing I ever saw in my life. I rescued him after laughing at him for a few minutes.

    If he sees one on a trail, I'm probably screwed.

    Leave a comment:


  • ReSomething
    replied
    We had full size tamworth pigs. When we brought them home the neighbor mares completely flipped out. Blow, prop, stomp whirl repeat several times. Our two horses did not care one bit. The pony observed the boar being fed grain in a pan, inside a low sided crate, and investigated with the obvious intent of driving the pig away or somehow getting at the food. You could see the little wheels whirling in his head as he pushed up against the crate, and he finally decided not to do it. The old guy did not care at all.
    DH told me that two of the adolescents had escaped the pen one day and were rooting in the pasture, close enough to the horses that initially he was thinking as he came up the hill we somehow had more horses. Everybody was chestnut, the sun was in his eyes etc.

    the mares eventually got used to them. I never encountered one as a surprise on the trail so that could have been quite different.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guilherme
    replied
    Originally posted by Southernboy View Post
    The above link references the story on the horse killings in SC by feral pigs. Has anybody on a horse ever been approached by a feral pig on a trail?
    A few years back we went fox hunting at East Fork Stables in Jamestown, TN; that borders the Federal lands. We didn't turn up any foxes but we did turn up feral hogs and a bear and a few deer. We gave the hogs a wide berth and bear took off when it saw us. The hogs were impressive. They were easily 300 lb. or more. One boar and two sows both with at least 8-10 piglets traveling along. And they produce two litters a year. They are a sad combination of danger and prolific breeding. The hogs did not attempt to approach us, and seemed about as happy to go their way as we were to go ours. The Huntsman kept good control of the dogs as the risk was a confrontation between 60 pound dog and a 300 pound sow. If that happened my money's on the sow.

    If you run into one then back off and let them go their way. This applies to bears, also. As a rule they want as much to do with you as you do with them. Don't be like the morons who are just desperate to prove that all life is good, true, and beautiful if you're nice the bear, or hog, they'll be nice to you. A bunch of people get hurt and few get killed every year for their efforts like this. Wild and feral animals are to be left alone.

    Should you want to make the world a better place if you know where feral pigs hang out then go there appropriately armed (with training and weapon and permission) and kill a few. They are an incredibly destructive, invasive species. They don't belong and should be eradicated.

    G.

    Leave a comment:


  • prudence
    replied
    I have been warned about wild pigs in of all places Northern California’s Bay Area. I was doing a limited distance ride in the East Bay, and was worried the whole time!
    Last edited by prudence; Dec. 22, 2019, 12:19 PM. Reason: I think they must have been wild pigs (cross between domestic pigs and boars) not boars. Never saw any...

    Leave a comment:


  • Southernboy
    replied
    The above link references the story on the horse killings in SC by feral pigs. Has anybody on a horse ever been approached by a feral pig on a trail?

    Leave a comment:


  • xeroxchick
    replied
    OMG don't get me started! Horses HATE pigs. We have had problems with neighbors being given pet pigs and the pigs always get loose and come over to my barn. My poor old gelding broke his stall door down and had to have lots of stitches. Neighbor mad at me because if I didn't want the pig on my property I needed to fence him out, plus called me a bunch of foul names and didn't believe that horses are terrified of pigs. I shot at it with bird shot and even a 38 but pig kept coming back. Had lawyer send him a letter.
    Another neighbor was given a pig raised in an apartment, stuck it alone in a pen in the woods where it was attacked by dogs. Poor thing. Got another neighbor to find it a home far away.
    We run into wild pigs while fox hunting and the horses go crazy. It's pretty scary. I hate those things.

    Leave a comment:


  • cattywampus
    replied
    You know what else is scary? Bells. The other horses at my barn have adjusted (to varying degrees) to watching my ponies trotting around with a cart or carriage.

    Two weeks ago I dug out the seasonal bells and put a teensy little strand on the harness. I decided to ground drive Mr O'Pony, who is young and has never gone jingle-jangle-jingle before.

    Mr O'Pony did not care. Mr O'Pony is a Good Boy.

    Everyone else? Mind. Blown.

    Apparently, the only thing more alarming than a pony with his carriage is the EXACT SAME PONY walking by with a few bells on his harness*.

    Mr O'Pony got serious props for handling his snorting, eye-rolling, skittering roomies quite well.

    I would like to mention that, because I am not a complete a-hole,^ all jingle action took place in sight of pastured and turned out horses, and not in view of anyone being ridden, etc.

    *You would have thought the very Hellmouth had opened.
    ^I'm maybe like 87%, depending on my mood and coffee consumption

    Leave a comment:


  • shortenyourreins2
    replied
    If the Dwarven cavalry ever attacks, I'm riding my friend's pony. Little guy is 13 hands of attitude and fearlessness.

    Love everyone's stories, thanks for sharing! Y'all make me feel better!

    Leave a comment:


  • prudence
    replied
    That pig looks like a moving rock...which would scare any of us!

    Leave a comment:


  • Toblersmom
    replied
    This reminds me, I need to spend some time with my horse and the barn pig so he gets better about pigs. If we’re ever attacked by. Dwarven army and we’re in the cavalry, we’re doomed.

    Leave a comment:

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