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Submissive Urination in horses

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  • Submissive Urination in horses

    Here's one you might not ever see--hopefully.
    My 7 yr. old TWH mare urinates if she is reprimanded.

    A good friend and long-time horse trainer told me not long
    after I got her that he thought she had been beaten. Now
    the only reaction she has to pressure, like a crop is to
    squat and urinate. She does this when I'm on the ground
    or riding her and does not move away from pressure.

    She seems oblivious to any kind of punishment and I can
    assure you she has been treated kindly for the past 2 and half years. I have a soft spot in my heart for her and just
    want to help her, not dump her on someone who would
    probably beat her to death. Her redemption is her perfect
    gait for trail riding.

    She has had extensive medical tests and nothing is wrong
    Has anyone else seen this in a horse and found a cure?

  • #2
    Could it be more passive-aggressive than submissive? I consider it passive aggressive if a horse pees in the cross ties or when it's stall is being cleaned, or when on the lunge line etc.

    If your horse doesn't move away from pressure it is not a submission statment.

    Mares peeing and stallions peeing are signs of ownership. Stallions pee on other horses manure, mares do this too. We had an old pony mare who went around and peed on hay piles at feeding time, so they would all belong to her.



    • #3
      Tough call without seeing the whole picture, but I think there's more than a fair chance that tuppysmom has it right. Peeing or not, an obedient/respectful/herd-savvy horse does not ignore a clear, fair signal to MOVE NOW from another mare . . . or a human. And peeing WHEN a request is made coyld very well be an "eff you" response, although again it's hard to say without a clearer picture of her behavior at other times.
      Click here before you buy.


      • #4
        I had a gelding who submission peed, and he did it while running from the boss mare, not while frozen in place. Same thing with a very mild mannered mare who was being picked on by a #2 horse in the field.

        I don't know that what you are describing is the same thing . . . maybe stopping to pee meant work stopped?


        • #5
          My TB gelding used to piss all over himself when my other gelding was in the habit of attacking him. I saw it happen quite a few times and it was definitely a sign of submission.


          • #6
            I've only seen something like that once: my older mare is always fairly submissive in any herd; a new short-term boarder brought in a mare that was very dominant, almost studdish in behavior, and on their first introduction my mare walked up to her, lowered her head to the ground with her ears flopped, clacked her teeth like a foal and peed. The dominant mare did not act aggressively toward her and didn't chase her away as she had the other mares. It was a smart move on my mare's part, I think, to go for an extreme display of submission.

            That said, she is willing to move over from any horse or human who asks her to - and she's not been abused.


            • #7
              "She seems oblivious to any kind of punishment"
              There are two responses here; peeing and not moving over.
              I'd leave room to interpret the not moving over as within the submission behaviors. Could be she was punished for moving (for example "stand still" in the crossties ).
              MistyBlue trained her horse to pee in a bucket (saves on bedding) and you could possibly use this behavior to your advantage (and use carrots as a reward for bucket peeing, but not under saddle).
              And I'd not use a crop or longe whip or any contact since its stressful to her. If she is boarded I'd be careful that the stall cleaners do not clean her stall with her in it (pitchfork fear).
              Lots of praise for correct behaviors sounds like a good way to go.