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Studdy, herd-bound behavior

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  • Studdy, herd-bound behavior

    Any ideas for herd-bound, studdy-type horse behavior? Pie is being an absolute nut job having been separated from his 'herd'. I.e. running, pacing, rearing and striking at fence, going THROUGH solid wood fencing...ONLY when the other horses go out of his sight. He had to be separated from the others after he viciously went after the elderly Arabian gelding in the field.

    Going back with herd is not an option. He has a lovely, safe, separate field for turnout with my other gelding Mullie. (Who is calm, quiet, and NOT acting herdbound) Pie is running Mullie ragged every time the other horses go out of sight...i.e. full body sweat, herding him around, rearing and striking at him. Mullie is my pasture sound boy, and it is terrible for his bad knee to have to endure Pie's idiotic behavior.

    Right now I'm bringing them into stalls during the day, and turning back out at night which seems to be curbing the behavior so far. However, I would like them to be able to live out 24/7. I'm not paying for full care, so the bringing in stalls during the day means that I'm at the barn 2x per day, cleaning stalls providing shavings ETC.

    I'm starting Pie on Mare-magic at the suggestion of a friend to see if that helps.

    Any ideas for my nut job horse??
    Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
    Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
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  • #2
    Why is going back not an option? Why can't you move the elderly arabian he attacked in with Mullie instead (which sounds like a better option) and put Pie back out and see how that works? Granted I don't like herd bound behavior but it also isn't fair to keep a horse completely separated from something that is in their nature to have. If his behavior while riding and grooming is fine away from the herd and he is only acting up when turned out without them that would seem like an optional fix. Obviously there may be info we're missing there.
    The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.

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    • #3
      I have a gelding who was cut late and is SURE he's a stud. He can't be turned out with any other horse, period. he gets turned out half the day in a fairly large paddock right next to his former gelding herd. Everything is fine. I'd try turning your guy out alone.
      What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

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      • #4
        Are you absolutely sure they removed both testicles? I only ask because I went through a similar situation with my old gelding. We did bloodwork to see if his testosterone levels were abnormally high. They weren't, he was just always a very studdish gelding, though he was never as violent as it sounds like your guy is. Even with both testicles removed, they can develop testosterone producing tumors,etc. Not trying to scare you, just be aware that there are different sources and bloodwork may help determine that. Good luck.

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        • #5
          How long have they been separated? Maybe it is something that will get better over time and hopefully not at the expense of your pasture-sound horse's knees. My gelding tends to act the same way, however, he is slowly getting better, I am able to keep horses in his sight but in conjoining pastures. This doesn't sound like an option for you though.

          Maybe a calming type supplement (you suggested Mare Magic?) while he is transitioning to his new pasture-mates will work. I have used the Mare Magic...but with mares and it seems to only really work a little. But that is just my experience.

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          • #6
            Have you tried him on depo?

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            • #7
              Has your stud had any time off?

              My horse has done this in the past with a change of environment (and location of girls). I've put him on a course of Depo and marched his ass back into a work program pronto, where he MUST focus on me 100% or there's hell to pay.

              He usually comes around quickly. And I find reminding him how to behave while with me usually diminishes the wing-nut-stud act when he's on his own as well.

              Shy of that, get him off this farm for a month or two to where he has no 'claims' on anyone, and in a situation where he's in visual range of others, but not close enough to bond to anyone in particular. Then, once the naughty has subsided, move him back.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nike13 View Post
                Are you absolutely sure they removed both testicles? I only ask because I went through a similar situation with my old gelding. We did bloodwork to see if his testosterone levels were abnormally high.
                Second this-
                We found out my gelding, whom I had owned for 12 years at the time, was a unilateral cryptorchid (at least!). He was 18 when we found out, so we decided not to go "fishing". Explained a LOT of behavior over the previous decade, for sure!

                Same study herd-bound behavior as yours. I simply succumbed to it and try to manage turnout around him. However, he will bond with whatever buddy he's turned out with after a week or so. My problem is if I turn a new horse out with him and his buddy: he protects buddy like a mare. It takes some serious juggling on my part to make it work (I liken it to that riddle where you have the wolf, chicken, and chicken feed and you have to get them across the river with only 2 in the boat)

                Perhaps that is the case with yours? He'll eventually grow to love his new pasturemate? Can you dose him with ace until then?

                I also second Sansena's method of intense ground manners training. Seriously helps curb some of the crazy if he respects you.

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