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my mare was attacked in turnout today!!!

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  • my mare was attacked in turnout today!!!

    we tried putting her w/ two other mares that have been turned together only about 3 weeks. she got alone fine with one. she seemed to fine w/ the other. but when we put all 3 together, after about 5 minutes, the TB mare began a full attack on my mare. she chased her down and kept kicking at her w/ both hind legs. the moment my mare would slip away from the attack the TB would chase her down again kicking. my mare would run to the end of the pasture but then, thinking that the only way to be saved is to run for the gate, she'd return to the gate only to be attacked by the TB over and over.

    i was there when it happened. at the sign of the first attack i ran in screaming and waiving my arms hoping the TB would let up but she could care less. it was horrific. i couldn't get near my mare to get her out. the third mare ended up getting kicked by the TB at one point as well. i still see my poor mare squatting down at the gate with the TB just laying one blow after another at my mare's body.

    i felt so helpless. i could not get to them fast enough. i could not get my mare to stay away at the lower part of the field so i could get to her to lead her out safely.

    my gf flew in and after what seemed like eternity we managed to get my mare out of there.

    my mare is 18 years old. she's been in all types of turnout situations, mixed herd, one on one, etc. yes, she's had scraps here and there, i know it's expected sometimes. but i have NEVER EVER in my life seen a horse so set on killing another. the TB kept on kicking and chasing her down and kicking again, and more and more.

    incredibly it appears that my mare got out of this w/ "only" a deep cut on her left shoulder and a badly bruised rump. she is very stiff walking. but she did get a once over by the vet who happened to come shortly afterward. she's on SMZ's and bute.

    i can't keep the images of this fight out of my mind. it's nearly 7 hours later, i'm home and i keep reliving this awful scene.

    my poor pony. she was in shock when i got her out. she stood shaking in her stall. she wouldn't even take a mrs. pasture cookie. took her good while to start nibbling at her hay.

    sigh... the only silver lining in this situation is that we were there to see it happen and intervene immediately. i cannot even imagine what would happen if the fight broke out after we walked away...
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

  • #2
    Sorry that happened as it did.

    I had a new young horse that seemed to get along fine over the fence with the other three older geldings for a few days.
    One morning I turned him out with them, as we do with new horses, without ever having any problem and that horse went over to eat like all of them and five minutes later, without warning, he ran across the lot, grabbed an old, very gentle horse in front of the withers, knocked him into the fence and on the ground and proceeded to shake him violently.

    I was close, cleaning around and ran over and ran him off and isolated him again and he was gone that day.
    My old horse thankfully was not hurt, other than a sore bare spot where the other horse bit him.
    He didn't need to live in fear with such bully around, so that very aggressive horse is living now in another home, with some old rank ranch horses and they keep him in line, for what they tell me.

    I, like you, had seen horses beat each other a little up, but not the intense, violent attack without mercy that gelding used.
    Very disturbing and hard to forget.


    • Original Poster

      yeah my girl was over the fence with them, too.

      they all seemed fine.
      and the TB has only been with us 3 weeks. when we turned her out with the arab mare there was no squealing or fighting. we had no reason to suspect she would get that vicious. and for 5 minutes she didn't...

      i so wish i could have my mare at home w/ me tonight. just so that i could keep an eye on her. i've been in touch with the barn help and the BO and i know they will check on her again tonight but it's still not enough of a consolation can't wait to go see her tomorrow a.m.
      TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


      • #4
        I had that happen once with two of my mares. The older mare got the younger mare in a corner and just kicked the snot out of her. I finally managed to get her out of there but it was awful to see. I won't turn those two out together still today and that was over two years ago. I refuse to risk it...both are very nice mares, produce outstanding foals, and interestingly half sisters.

        I'm glad your horse will be OK and was not injured badly.


        • #5
          Horses seem to take such in stride, so I would not worry now, other than watching as she is healing.

          Just be sure all there know never to put those together again, just in case.

          Take a deep breath and try to put that behind you now.


          • #6
            I have two alpha mares who have never kissed and made up in all the years they've lived together, and there've been times over the years when they were accidently put together by someone, and tried their best to kill each other. ONe of them evidently made her point at last, but I don't believe it's totally accepted. At best, they give each other a very wide berth. I turn them out together only in places that are over an acre in size, and they're both approaching 25 yrs old. (Give it up, girls!!!)

            My advice is not to try to put them together. They might be okay, eventually, but you never can tell what would set the older mare off.
            Barbaro Cultist, Metabolic Nazi


            • #7
              Welcome to the Wonderful World of Herd Dynamics.

              Glad the mare was not hurt but this is one of those things that WILL happen when horses are turned out in groups.

              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


              • Original Poster

                we have no intention of trying this again.

                sounds like attacks like that are not as rare as i thought, but this is the first time in my horsey life that i've witnessed that level of aggression. and unfortunately my horse was the victim.

                i'm going to get a big jug of sore no more gelotion since her rump is badly bruised and i'm sure tomorrow it's going to feel even worse.

                her shoulder wound is draining. she's on SMZ's and bute. of course we have some crazy cold forecast for the next 2 days (calling for wind chill of 2F for monday during the day!!!!) and i know wounds don't heal well in the cold. hopefully the extent of her injuries is what i've found and nothing else will pop out tomorrow.

                did i mention that she's recovering from a suspensory tear? we're 7 months into rehab and now this!
                TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                • #9
                  As the owner of a gelding who would attack horses in that manner, I can only tell you that there are horses that will kill another horse under the right circumstances. The attacking mare obviously felt threatened and retaliated. My gelding could never be turned out with any other geldings although he was okay with mares. He could be quite studdish although he was gelded at a young age. I thought he had mellowed at the age of 17 so I tried it in a huge pasture with another gelding who was very aggressive. My gelding ran the other gelding thru a solid four board fence so I had to wait another 10 years before he mellowed enough for me to try it again.

                  My advice to you is to never put your horse out with that mare again - the risk of injury or risk is too great.

                  I have a herd of broodmares who beat up on each other frequently, but I will not put a horse out that will be terrorized to that extent. It's not fair to the most timid of horses and you stand to have too many vet bills.
                  Susan N.

                  Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


                  • #10
                    Yikes. I'd keep them apart, and best thoughts to your poor mare for a speedy recovery.

                    I've only seen one serious horse fight, and I'll never forget it. Mare #1 refused to foal on foal watch all night, foaled in the paddock next morning as I ate breakfast and was inside 30 minutes, foaled right next to a fence I would swear even afterwards looking at it was foal safe, and the foal somehow went underneath and got up next door with Mare #2. Mare #1 got up, saw Mare #2 licking off her foal, and obviously decided that Mare #2 was a foal thief, caught red hooved. She was literally trying to kill the other mare. She didn't even want her foal, just wanted to kill the other mare, with the other mare trying to back down, and me with the poor, confused colt (Milk? Where's the milk? ) hanging around the edges trying to get her attention and get her to notice her foal. I think that morning took a year off my life.

                    Given the obvious precipitating factor there, I did rejoin the two of them several months later, but I spent almost that whole first afternoon watching. No further problems.

                    But I'll never forget the viciousness and all-out war. She really wanted to kill the other mare.


                    • #11
                      I had my mare in a pasture environment once. She wasn't used to it at all coming from a stalled situation. The other mares snubbed her and wouldn't let her eat. Then my mare, who was a talented jumper, regularly started jumping out of the pasture. I was horrified, not used to dealing with a horse being in pasture. I gave up after she started losing weight and would not stay in the pasture.


                      • #12
                        It's startling to see, because we so rarely see horses get all out aggressive like that except in movies about wild horses or something.

                        I remember a friend's stallion who was always turned out with a gelding buddy - and that one day I was there, for some reason, he was jealous or pissed off about something and he suddenly started chasing his buddy hard. Twice he caught him and grabbed his neck and the gelding laid down and squealed like a frightened dog, clearly submitting, but the stallion wouldn't stop going after him, and the owner had to beat him off with a whip and separate them. It was scary.

                        Another time I was visiting a friend and she'd had her really old gelding babysitting three new yearlings, and all seemed fine. I was chuckling with her about how the one filly kept bothering the old gelding, jumping up and down in front of him and tossing her heels - just pestering him to play, I think, and suddenly he'd had enough and came after her with more teeth than I knew horses had. She ran for her life (nearly running me over) and started trying to get over the fence, which was tall panels. The gelding wouldn't stop. The owner got a gate opened into a second paddock and managed to let the filly run through the gate and shut it on the gelding. I'm surprised he didn't have a heart attack from the exertion, as he was really really old. Again, he had never acted like that, and had babysat youngsters many times.

                        Always scary to see it when they turn that corner from slightly pissed off to "I'm going to kill you now!"

                        I hope your poor mare feels better soon!


                        • #13
                          Jeepers, some of those TB mares sure have artistic temperaments, don't they? I witnessed something similar years ago when my gentle pinto mare lost it and went commando against my very bratty AQHA filly. The filly was cornered in large walk-in area and it was a contest as to who was yelling louder-me or the furious mare. She screamed and screamed in rage and pounded the filly's hindquarters for what seemed like forever. Miss Jet Brat came through it okay but I still have an occasional flashback half a lifetime later. It really was terrifying; thank goodness your mare didn't get badly injured.
                          Proud Anti-Slaughter Handwringer http://www.tbfriends.com/


                          • #14
                            get some elecy fencing with engeriser and sectin off some of the field ie a corner
                            so the mare can go out and get socilised into the herd without being beaten up, when they get used to her then try removing the tape and poles


                            • #15
                              I'm sorry your poor mare had to go through that. I saw my gelding get the snot kicked out of him by a mare he knew and who had always been friendly towards him. It's a horrible, helpless feeling to see it happen and not be able to stop it. My guy fortunately was fine, a little bruised and sore but luckily nothing broken. I hope your mare is feeling better soon.
                              If I wanted to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, I'd put shoes on my cats.


                              • #16
                                When my old appy gelding was still alive if I brought in anew horse I always put
                                him with the new one and then put the two of them in with the herd Chipper was my
                                herd leader so he would protect his new buddy.

                                After I lost him i began to use my other appy gelding cherokee to do the same thing
                                so when we got my daughters new horse I put the two of them together then
                                turned them out with the other two all went well.

                                You definatly did the right thing by watching the horses I hope your mare is ok.


                                • #17
                                  I have never seen anything like that, but my Uncle and my Dad armed themselves with longing whips when they introduced a mare with foal by the side to 2 weanling fillies. Just in case.

                                  It went over ok but it would have been freaking scary!


                                  • #18
                                    I'm so sorry you had to go through this. My first mare (Libby), who was the typical alpha mare, but not really aggressive and a mustang I had for a brief period of time went at it in the pasture. Just backed into each other and started kicking the crap out of each other with both hind legs. THANK GOD neither had hind shoes at the time, but Libby had open wounds and was pretty lame nonetheless. The mustang didn't stay too much longer and Libby never had a serious problem with another horse till the day she died (ironically enough, the same day her pasture mate was being put down.) Mares certainly are strange creatures....jingles for a speedy recovery for your girl.
                                    It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      i like the idea of arming yourself w/ whips when introducing horses.

                                      that would work as an arm extension and probably get the TB's attention faster.
                                      she is shod on all 4!

                                      i woke up last night and couldn't fall asleep my mind just rewinding the events from saturday.

                                      before this incident my mare was getting turned out in the field next to the beastly TB. so yesterday a.m. they turned her out in that field again. when i got there around noon she was standing at the gate. didn't look like she ever moved for 4 hours! i moved her back to her dry lot where she walked around more from hay pile to hay pile. now i'm concerned that she's been so traumatized by this event that she will not be able to be turned out in the pasture next to the monster. is she going to get over this???
                                      i think i'm going to go there tomorrow a.m. and watch what happens after she gets turned out. i don't want her paralyzed in fear standing at the gate all day long. that's not the purpose of turnout!
                                      TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique