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Gelding attacks new mare out of the blue??????????!!!!!!!

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  • Gelding attacks new mare out of the blue??????????!!!!!!!

    OK has anyone ever seen anything like this before, and if so what do you think caused it and what did you do?

    New 4 yr. mare goes in with 2 geldings. Absolutely NO excitement except a little trot around to see the surroundings. Younger gelding is more in love, older gelding is more aloof. All three eat near one another, they are fine for several hours before they are put in for the night. Next day turn out goes fine. BO is at work all day. Then tonight, I go get my young guy and put him in the stall, he's a bit cranky and fussing because mare is not there. After 10 -15 minutes he calms down. BO takes new mare in dressage ring and lunges for a bit, turns her back out in field with older gelding. My gelding is still in the barn. Older gelding goes Ape s*it and starts chasing mare around like he is going to kill her, flat out ears pinned running her around and around the large field, around trees and against fences. BO runs out and yells at him, throws the halter at him to distract him as he's racing past. He is not discouraged. We're at a lost standing there, calling and calling and yelling, and he's still chasing her down, out for blood, literally it was very frightening.
    After a few minutes more I decide to distract him with my gelding (it was a risky idea and stupid I might add), I turn him in with the two running horses and he runs interference between older gelding and young mare. The older gelding does not stop chasing, my guy keeps trying to place himself between them, it's VERY nuts. A few minutes of that, and I tell the BO to get a bucket of grain, while I run out with a halter, and a handful of treats (we had been trying that all along) to see if I can distract killer gelding toward me. He finally sees me and slows down and lets me go to him and put a halter on him and lead him out.
    Mare and my gelding calm immediately and start to graze. It was NUTS I was so afraid for the mare and then for my guy, the older gelding wasn't trying to get my guy, but he was definitely getting his legs run off and had to keep doing quick turns etc. to keep from getting pinned to a tree or the fence. Now we dont' know that that didnt' go on all day, but things looked peaceful when we got there. And the older gelding was not trying to keep the mare away from the younger gelding because my guy wasn't even in there when it all started. We just think What The HECK! Older gelding got banished to another field, but geez, what would cause that to happen? Any ideas?

  • #2
    Clearly, he doesn't like her and without the younger gelding out there to act as a buffer from the get-go, he expresses that.
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    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by danceronice View Post
      Clearly, he doesn't like her and without the younger gelding out there to act as a buffer from the get-go, he expresses that.
      Clearly, but it goes WAY beyond not liking her, he loathes her. I have seen a lot of horses turned out with new horses, and I have never seen (other than in the movies) a horse just flat out chase another, ears pinned all over a 5 acre field for so long with no let up.


      • #4
        we had this happen once.

        turned out new mare adjacent to our mixed small herd of 5. after a day of calm greetings over the fence put her out with them. our youngest gelding chased her literally into the ground.

        we couldn't deter, prevent or stop it until she went down and he tried to savage her, at which time we could chase him off the non moving target. he was a dominant, bratty little pony, but never mean and got along with all the others.

        we ended up selling him. he got along fine with his new pasture mates at new home.

        i'd never seen anything like this either, and it was terrifying. in the year we had them both, he never got over his hatred of this mare.

        not a help for you, but hopefully they don't need to be out together.


        • #5
          Is he great buddies with your younger gelding?


          • #6
            I've been reading of more of these incidents, on other forums, too. It's the same scenario of an out-of-the-blue, inexplicable attack.

            Methinks that knowing how to rope a horse, by either neck or leg, is a valuable skill to have at one's disposal, when one is involved with horses.


            • #7
              I saw that once and it scared the crap out of me. Mare and two geldings had been turned out together before. No problem. Then one day, they turn out mare and two geldings in arena. One gelding starts chasing mare and trying to bite her. Mare is running, panicked, and gelding is acting like he wants to kill her. He was biting chunks out of her. We tried to get them stopped, but if mare slowed down, gelding was right there. I don't remember how we broke it up. Mare had pretty bad bites all over her, and was almost going into shock. It was awful. No idea what caused it. Never turned her out with them again.


              • #8
                My gelding was kicked out of the herd for attempting to kill one of the other horses. My boy is a bit dominant, but nothing excessive. Other horse had a stroke and my boy went absolutely nuts. Chased him around the pasture attacking him. Drove the poor thing to it's knees. It took them 30 minutes to catch my horse and get him out of there. My boy hasn't attacked any other horses before or since, other than the occasional pasture tussle.
                For the horse color genetics junky


                • #9
                  I would say the your boy transferred his affections to the mare. So once alone the older one ... I do believe that horse have feelings.


                  • Original Poster

                    My gelding does get along with the older one. We thought it might be a jealousy thing too, but we weren't really sure if horses have the ability to feel jealousy as we do. Also, the gelding is the BOs horse since birth, and she had just been working with the mare, so maybe he's jealous that the owner has another horse. Although I really doubt it because she has had a couple other horses over the years and she has never seen that behaviour.

                    Anyway, thanks for all of your input, they are certainly interesting to read, albeit rather scary.


                    • #11
                      Since we do not have now and never will have equine senses it's all conjecture.
                      All the NH ion the planet can't really tell us how their brains process information.

                      Not just a mare/gelding thing either.
                      DH & I had 2 geldings who got along in T/O peacefully for 5 years before we introduced a younger guy.
                      At first they were fine in adjoining pastures - some posturing by my horse (the dominant in the "herd" of 2) but nothing violent across the fenceline.

                      When we decided to try putting the 3yo in with them, all Hell broke loose.
                      TG I had the 3yo on a lead, because my horse went straight for him: ears pinned flat, neck snaked, teeth bared, full out attack mode.

                      I swung the end of the lead at him and TG (again) he swung away at the last minute - giving me enough time to get the 3yo O-U-T of that field.

                      In over 10 years of owning him, I had never seen my guy express himself that way. He had been in mixed groups w/o a problem as well as Boys Only T/O groups.

                      When the Rage Switch flips, we puny humans better have Plan B.
                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                      • #12
                        Moral of the story: Always have a lunge whip with loud popper readily available.


                        • #13
                          I had two geldings together, then introduced a young filly. They outed her from the get go. The two geldings would be close side by side most all the time, and she was the odd one out (big pasture btw). One gelding was more ugly than the other one about their love affair with each other. Let's say it rained, and they were going to stand under a tree, she was not allowed under the tree and they were. We have lots of lightening here so maybe that was good for her. But I never could pin point which gelding it was. She just stayed away. I never saw the gelding try to attack her, she stood her ground or something so she didn't get hurt, but I was so worried being just a long yearling. But something must have gone on.

                          I thought it was the one bigger gelding being ugly, but it turned out to the be other smaller gelding who was the nasty one in the end. I finally saw something going on.

                          I sold the bigger gelding. The smaller gelding has never been quite right in the head after the big gelding left to go to a new home. I can NOT put him with anybody because he is so ugly to them. Talk about a jeckle and hyde. For instance, he will run others into the fence and then when they are caught in the fence (mesh), or in a corner, he will try to kick kill them while they are penned in the corner or fence. Also seen him chase other horses (they were faster than he was - ha ha) and they ended up jumping clearly and cleanly over a fence to get out. Seen it in horror, glad I stay home all day and keep and eye on them. No horse was hurt. He seems to have become extremely insecure, spooky, and odd since the big gelding has left, no other horse can fill that hole for some reason. If there is another horse in another adjoining pasture, he completely ignores the other horse and gets as far away as possible. If the other horse cries for attention, he ignores. If alone he screams, and runs the fence running ruts. But instantly the other horse comes back (like from being ridden), he is far far far far away from the other horse. Odd to me. He won't act ugly in front of people, but when you turn out the lights or turn your back, he goes into ugly mode.

                          And people THINK mares are weird. I think geldings are more weird than ever. I am now a mare person forever. He will be my last gelding for the rest of my life.

                          Moral of story: He lives by himself always now at all times. I won't trust another horse with him, period, ever. Geldings, watch out.

                          Sorry this got all dr. phil.


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by rmh_rider View Post

                            Sorry this got all dr. phil.
                            LOL, it's quite alright!


                            • #15
                              Yes I've seen it, except it was with a long time herd mate. My dominant gelding (born here, as well as the mare) out of the blue started on this little mare. She was probably 6 years old at the time, lived with this herd her whole life once he started they all turned on her. I had to pull her out. She WAS savaged, beat to hell actually.

                              Since then she can pasture with any of the others but I will never put her in the same pasture with him again.

                              My sister who is also a horsewoman said, "she stinks." Which makes about as much sense to me as anything else.

                              I'd be interested to know more theory's.


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by sunridge1 View Post
                                My sister who is also a horsewoman said, "she stinks." Which makes about as much sense to me as anything else.

                                I'd be interested to know more theory's.
                                This new mare is in heat, maybe that had something to do with it, who knows.