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Gelding love sick over a Mare

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  • Gelding love sick over a Mare


    I have a 9 year old gelding that has gotten love sick over a mare that is in our barn and in his turnout. There are only 3 horses in our little barn, one other gelding, mine and the mare. Yesterday he broke thru his stall guard to go find her up the hill. Lately, if she is not around in his view, he won't stand for the farrier, won't stay in his stall without her in hers (right next to him), and when we go places to together he can be a real butt head. The Mare is owned by a wonderful friend and my daughter's instructor. We love her to pieces but my geldings behavior has got to go.

    I have an opportunity to move to another barn and turnout on the same property. This would be a bigger barn, and a heard of 6 horses (all geldings). I am thinking that this gelding is love lorn for this mare. I think the opportunity to move him would benefit him and the bigger heard and all geldings will be good to?


    We buck for Joy!

  • #2
    If it's that simple to move him, I'd move him.

    I have something of the same situation here. When I ride out alone on the mare, I must first tie the gelding up or he'll tear out of where ever he is and follow along. Riding out on him isn't so bad, as he's then distracted by the job at hand.
    There's another mare in this group of three, but she is no comfort to him. If "Lady" isn't where he can be near her, he's all out of sorts.

    You're lucky to have such an easy fix. This farm is situated with one facility for horses, so I've just got to cope with this situation as best I can.
    "It’s a well-documented fact that of all the animals in the realm of agriculture, Bulls have the highest job satisfaction rate."~~Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman


    • #3
      I'm bumping this (am the owner of the "irresistable mare" in question ), hoping that more people will weigh in with suggestions...(and thanks, MikeP )

      I've dealt with general "nappy behavior" in horses (and that can be worked with, of course, over time), but this situation is a tough one! My one concern with moving him to the upper barn would be that he might try to "get back to her" by jumping paddock fences; stranger things have happened!

      If anyone has successfully dealt with this obsessive type of behavior, we would love to hear from you!
      "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

      "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")


      • #4
        People who haven't seen it may think its crazy, but a few years ago I was riding a mare who had a gelding "in love" with her. Our riding ring was fenced in a feild and this gelding would jump the 5foot fence to get into the riding ring so he could follow the mare around the jumps! If you were riding him and she moved out of his sight he would pitch a fit.

        When he was sold he had a rough time transitioning, and ended up coming back to the farm for another year. The mare was eventually sold, and the gelding moved on as well.

        The mare hardly noticed the gelding, really couldn't care any less. It was amusing so long as you weren't riding him when she dissapeared.
        Riding the winds of change

        Heeling NRG Aussies
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        • #5
          we have had the same problem , the only solution was to put them in seperate fields, they got over it pretty quickly ! we currently have 2- 20+ acres fields 9 geldings in one 2 mares in the other, tried to even things out by putting a couple of the quieter geldings in with the mares, but it did not work well, they would call for each other, race along the fence line when they were not together.....i actually just got a call today from someone asking if we had room for a pony mare because her geldings were acting stupid around the pony and she needs to relocate the pony because they only have one field.... in the past we had mixed herds but this group just can't handle it!!


          • #6
            My 17 yo TB gelding did the same thing to a pregnant 16 yo mare next to him. He wouldn't eat, would stalk around his corral madly, whinnying as if his heart would break every time she was away. I worried because I knew she was moving to another barn to have her foal, but my horse was absolutely fine. He's fallen in love with at least 4 other mares since then (he's now 18) and we joke that he hangs out in his stall wearing a smoking jacket and drinking courvoisier (The Ladies' Gelding!)


            • #7
              Originally posted by Iwantapony View Post
              My 17 yo TB gelding did the same thing to a pregnant 16 yo mare next to him. He wouldn't eat, would stalk around his corral madly, whinnying as if his heart would break every time she was away. I worried because I knew she was moving to another barn to have her foal, but my horse was absolutely fine. He's fallen in love with at least 4 other mares since then (he's now 18) and we joke that he hangs out in his stall wearing a smoking jacket and drinking courvoisier (The Ladies' Gelding!)

              Thanks for the great guffaw!
              "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

              "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")


              • #8
                At one point this summer, my 24 year old mare was sharing attention from my 3 year old gelding and a 30-year old geezer. My three year old was insanely jealous of the 30 year old gelding and the old guy had to be removed from the paddock because the 3 year old was fighting him for the mare.

                My mare and gelding are now separated and the 30 year old is out of the picture entirely. Now the 3 year old could care less about my mare. In fact, he's taken quite a dislike to her.

                I find their loyalties are quite short lived.


                • #9
                  I am in the same situation. I am at a self care barn it has been my mare and a pony. My mare has been by herself for about 4 yrs. and has done well by herself. But found someone else to move in with her gelding to help with shifts. Where this gelding came from he has a bad habit of pacing. I did not realize how bad until he came here to the barn. My mare is pacing now if she can't see him and he does the same. They are in seperate pastures but next to each other. I don't know what to do either. Do not want to put together to many cons.


                  • #10
                    I have had geldings that have been in mixed herds/turnout groups. There was always some "love affair" going on. I am all in favor of separating the sexes for turnouts. The gelding will get over it when he makes buddies with other geldings.
                    Founder & Donor/Account Advisor
                    Brennan Equine Welfare Fund


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks everyone

                      Yea, it is not so much when he leaves her but when she leaves him. It is funny.. to watch him. He really adores her and she barely gives him the time of day. There are 2 other geldings in the turnout with him. He likes them to, but he loves the mare. It also does not help that my gelding is stalled next to the mare, and in turnout with her. Just too much for his smallish brain, and he is love sick. Some of these boys just can't handle it. In making the transition, what I would do is take him back to his breeder not to far away for a couple of nights, let him detox so to speak, then bring him back straight to the upper barn. Almost to say.. humm.. kind of a new place, but smells familiar. He has met most of the horses in the top barn, and he would be out with 5 geldings, no mares. I am sure he will bond with one of the geldings which is normal, but it is a bigger barn with 14 stalls, so he would see lots of friends at the same time.

                      Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it
                      We buck for Joy!


                      • #12
                        I'd seperate them. It's hard having a small herd/barn. They become more attached to each other than the horses at large barns (in my experience).
                        When your gelding broke out of the barn and ran up the hill to the mare, was he alone in the barn? You mentioned there are only 3 horses in the barn total. That is probably the reason for the extreme attachment.

                        For a while we had only 3 horses at our barn. We had issues with riding one horse or two and the remaining horse panicking alone. Now that we have 5 horses it is much calmer.

                        My old gelding (not old in age - only nine, he's old as in I used to own him, gave him up and now he's mine again) is here now at the private farm where I keep my 4 yr. old mare. He did not seem to be forming a friendship with the other geldings on the property so he was put out with my mare. They ended up looooving each other, and nearly ended up "consumating" the relationship.

                        He was removed from the pasture and has since become at least somewhat friendly with another gelding. He was miffed at first for being moved but got over it quickly.

                        My mare is fine with the other geldings on the property because they ignore her advances even when she's in heat. She's big but she's also the youngest in the herd. I can just imagine the geldings and what they'd be like as people, rolling their eyes and snickering at her behavior.