• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

OTTB: WHY is he like this & what can be done about it?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • OTTB: WHY is he like this & what can be done about it?

    Ok, most of you have probably seen my video tribute to my 6 yr. old OTTB, Beauseant...



    If you didn't see it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1_-DWUaiFo

    The boy in the video is the most people oriented horse you will ever see...he is unnaturally emotionally dependent on humans. He will come in off the pasture to the barn just to hang out with us. Today he came in off the grass just to stand at the barn where we were, stuck his head in the door so we would rub it, and promptly stood there and fell asleep while we were rubbing him. When he gets horseflies, he runs to us to kill them.....He nuzzles, he kisses, he licks, he follows.... sometimes we have to walk out to the pasture so he will follow us out there else he would just stand by the barn door and lick us.... He is THAT weird.

    He is truly more like an overgrown dog than a horse....



    BUT....with horses and dogs, he is the complete opposite. he gets along horribly with his own kind....he fights,he bullies, he bites....



    With dogs, it is even worse. Our BO has two dogs and he is always threatening them and even has tried to kill them.....both dogs bark at him and get in his face, but it is out of fear of him, not aggression. They are afraid and are trying to make him think they are not afraid........so he rears up and tries to squash them, once nearly succeeding, or he tries to kick them or bite them. Both dogs are smart enough to get out of his way..... but the neighbor's dog is an OLD lab with arthritis. Today he came over as he usually does to swim in the pond and hang out.....this dog never barks and acts like he is senile....he IS old.....well, Beau attacked him for NO reason. The dog was just in the field smelling the ground...Beau walks towards him and pins his ears, meaning MOVE. Well, the dog doesn't speak horse so he just stands there, which Beau took as a challenge, so he kicked out with his hoof and gave him a good "Thump" on the ribs. The dog is senile I tell you....he just stood there ..... my daughter ran into the pasture to coax the dog out, but he just rolled over onto his back, showing his belly....bad idea with an enraged horse after you....



    well, we did get the dog out of Beau's pasture, then hurried and shut the gate so beau wouldn't chase him from one field to the adjoining one....but the dog did get thumped. he seemed ok. This time. But this dog is old and slow....in body and mind.



    My question is: is there ANY chance of training horse and dog aggression out of him, or is it just how it is and we need to accept it?

    I thought it was only barking dogs that get in his face, but this dog today was old and harmless and minding his own business....

    As for horses, he is a supreme bully, a mega alpha....

    At our other farm, no one wanted him in with their horses as he would always hurt them.

    At his last home, he fought with a stallion and got tore up so bad he was put in with cows....to save his life. he would NOT accept his place in the herd. he wanted to be alpha and would fight for it....till the bloody end.


    in other words, is there anything you can do to teach a horse to get along with his own kind and with dogs? Or is it a lost cause?

    Is this an OTTB thing or what?

    HOW can he be so great with humans, so calm and loving and emotionally dependent....

    but with his own kind, he is a dictator.

    And with dogs, he is psychotic.

  • #2
    I don't think it's an OTTB thing per say. My one OTTB is a total sweetheart with other horses, never seen him give any horse so much as a dirty look. My other one however, is very socially inept. He went from being terrified of other horses, to being an aggressive bully.

    From what you said before about your horse being very skinny and being thrown out into a dealer pasture, it makes sense that he is so horse agressive. Especially if there was a stallion involved. For most of his life, he wasn't allowed to interact with other horses whatsoever. He had no hierarchy to deal with or learn from. So suddenly he's thrown into a field with a bunch of other horses, and has to fight for his food. It became fight or starve. Now that is his mentality, regardless of how much he gets fed now. And perhaps the dealer had dogs running around that chased the horses, or maybe he got bit once. Who knows.

    Comment


    • #3
      He is lovely, a great mover. You might want to have some blood work done to make sure he is a complete gelding. If he is'nt have the problem rectified. If he is you could try some prost or estrone to make him less aggressive.

      Comment


      • #4
        Some horses do not like dogs at all. They will try to kill them. Keep the dogs away from him as best you can. I had a horse that chased a black bear out of his field, right toward my sister and a neighbor who noticed the bear was in the field. They scattered. This horse did not like other beings in his field, he was not fond of our dogs in his field, and would chase them out too.

        Comment


        • #5
          Have you tried turning him out with an older alpha mare?

          Also, usually the horses at the top of the herd hierarchy are pretty suave communicators and don't tend to act like bullies. The top horses can usually communicate their intent very subtly, whereas lower horses communicate very physically and blatantly. Being a "supreme bully" probably means he's not a "mega alpha" at all.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            When he was in a large herd of about 8 horses, it was a mixed herd and he was showing even MORE aggression. The mares were HIS!

            and even if two other horses got into a squabble, he would charge right into the fray and proceed to herd both of the other horses. When we would turn him back out into the pasture after riding, he would run right at the herd and have them all running around the pasture. EVERYONE kept out of his way.....When he walked up to the water tank, they would scatter. And so a kind of peace prevailed.....stay away from the gray guy seemed to be the herd mentality.

            THe REAL problems arose when a new horse was introduced. Beau went ballistic....teeth bared, rearing.....and the poor new guy wasnt even challenging him. He was terrified.

            He's been pastured with Epona ONLY for the last year. This has gone somewhat better, but is not without problems. He does bully her and chase her....but that's normal.

            WHAT DOES bother us is that every so often he gets "fits". These fits are different than his normal bullying. He runs at her, rears, sometimes he bites her neck or butt, and he sometimes gets her cornered and will rear and come down nearly on her back....obviously we don't like this.

            I can't say for sure because I've never seen a stallion mate, but that IS what it looks like he's trying to do....or what I would IMAGINE it would look like....she runs off of course, and after about 10 minutes, the furor dies down and he goes back to eating like nothing happened.

            Before anyone asks, we do NOT know when he was gelded....

            And what did the other poster mean about having his blood tested to make sure he is a gelding? Can a horse be half a gelding even if he doesnt have "them" anymore. Cause "they" are definately not there.


            As for the dog aggression, I do understand his behaviour...I'm not sure the BO and their neighbor will, though.

            Horse on horse, though....I am not sure i understand. I understand herd

            heirarchy...I've seen other alphas in action. I knew what to expect from an alpha....I've just not seen it to THIS level before .....

            Even at play, he is rough. Our ex BO put him in with her non dominant gray tb of similar age. all was well....for a while. Next thing we know hooves were flying and the BOs tb ended up with a nasty gash on his cannon bone....and she said that "that "THING", meaning Beau, was never allowed in with any of her horses ever again. Normally I would think that is an overreaction....with Beau, maybe not.

            In short, NO horse can come anywhere near Beau for ANY reason or will suffer the consequences. The horse that had us rub him to sleep yesterday, will not let another horse anywhere near him, even for mutual grooming or reciprocal fly swatting with their tails....isn't that a bit odd?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Seal Harbor View Post
              Some horses do not like dogs at all. They will try to kill them. Keep the dogs away from him as best you can. I had a horse that chased a black bear out of his field, right toward my sister and a neighbor who noticed the bear was in the field. They scattered. This horse did not like other beings in his field, he was not fond of our dogs in his field, and would chase them out too.
              Yes, I have an OTTB like this. I used to fantasize about "desensitizing" him to dogs, until I witnessed him chasing a rat terrier at full throttle, teeth-bared, striking with his front feet. I decided at that moment that he could just go ahead and hate dogs

              As far as the horse aggression goes- are you sure it has nothing to do with food or girls? What is the feeding and turn-out situation?

              My gelding, while not as "bad" as yours, has been known to be pretty nasty to other horses, and really enjoys terrorizing the weak ones specifically. At the barn where he spent the first couple of years that I owned him, there wasn't a lot of consistency in the group turnouts, and mares and geldings were not separated.

              I moved him to a new barn earlier this year and poof- aggression gone. One major difference is there is no grain or hay allowed in the pastures at the new barn- all horses must be fed in their stalls/paddocks. There is ample grass in the fields. The 2nd difference is mares and geldings must be separated. For my gelding, it made all the difference. He seems happy and well-adjusted now.

              See if your BO would allow a trial period involving these two changes. You might be surprised.
              The best is yet to come

              Comment


              • #8
                Posted before I saw your response above mine! I think that pretty much answers the question- group turnout, especially involving opposite sex, is obviously egging this behavior on.
                The best is yet to come

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  But he is not in group turnout anymore....our horses stay at a private farm and they are the only horses on the property....

                  And with Epona, the only other horse he ever sees, he is ok...most of the time.....except for those "fits" i mentioned where he runs at her, bites at her neck or rump, rears, corners her and comes down on her back ....like i said, it kinda looks like stallion behavior....but "they" are missing so he is a gelding.....


                  And when he was turned out once with just geldings, the situation was SLIGHTLY better....but the ex BOs gelding got hurt by Beau nonetheless....one minute they were playing, the next minute her horse has a laceration over his cannon bone....

                  With mares, Beau is a nut case though.

                  So....logically speaking, I guess I can assume that while aggressive with other horses in general, mares make the situation worse.....and he is acting out periodically with Epona because of ...hormones? Next question:

                  If he is a gelding, WHY does he still HAVE hormones????

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mah Navu View Post
                    Before anyone asks, we do NOT know when he was gelded....

                    And what did the other poster mean about having his blood tested to make sure he is a gelding? Can a horse be half a gelding even if he doesnt have "them" anymore. Cause "they" are definately not there.
                    There are a couple possibilities as far as improper gelding - one possibility is a retained testicle, up inside the body cavity. Another is that he was "proud cut" and a small amount of testicular tissue is still there (which can still produce testosterone).

                    There are some other things that could be going on, overactive adrenal gland or something. Or it could just be who he is. Either way I don't think this has anything to do with his background as a racehorse. I've seen an lot of OTTBs transition to group turnout and never seen one like that.
                    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                    My CANTER blog.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      A "missed" testicle? why in the world would a vet about to geld a horse only take off one?? If one was "missing", shouldn't the vet ...ummm.....try to find it and remove that one also?? In other words, If I were about to geld a horse and could only see one testicle, I would definately find the other one ....and take that one off also. I wouldn't just leave him like that....with a retracted testicle.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He would have been a ridgling if the other had not dropped. They are sold at the TB sales as ridglings, not colts, when they have an undescended testicle. That gender distinction would have followed him until he was gelded. We aren't talking about a yearling here.

                        People call it brain surgery when they are gelded, however, while the majority of their hormone making machinery is gone sex characteristics are in their brain and other glandular tissue makes sex hormones. Some geldings are always aggressive to other horses when mares are around, even years after gelding.

                        I had another horse who I bought as a three year old, he was gelded, we used on occasion to tease the mares. He wouldn't back down when they were stamping and squealing at him. He was not in group turnout until he was an old man, and even then he would go after new comers if there were mares involved.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well if the horse did have a retained testicle (or two), it would be major invasive surgery to remove it, not nearly as simple/cheap as a regular gelding. Additionally a prior owner may have opted not to get the surgery, then passed the horse off as a gelding later since you can't tell by visual inspection.

                          It might be worth getting his blood tested - it's quick and simple, and could rule that sort of thing out. Also, testosterone isn't the only thing that could be involved in such behavior:

                          [FONT=Arial]Another condition in which elevated testosterone can lead to increased aggression is sexy gelding syndrome. This is sometimes seen in older geldings and it is thought to be caused by a tumor of the pituitary gland. This releases a hormone that stimulates production of steroid hormones, including testosterone, by the adrenal glands. Others signs of hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease) would be expected to accompany the behavioral changes, such as brittle coat, trouble shedding, a pot belly and sway back as well as increased eating, drinking and urination. The condition is treated with cyproheptadine. [/FONT]

                          [FONT=Arial]Another hormonal cause of aggression in horses is hypothyroidism. The aggression can be directed at other horses, people or both. Thyroid hormone levels affect the levels of both dopamine and serotonin. These are neurotransmitters – substances that transmit nerve signals from nerve to nerve – that are particularly important in controlling behavior. It also affects the level of other hormones that normally are released in response to stress. Hypothyroid animals seem to live in a perpetual state of stress, and may respond to this with aggression. Replacing the missing hormone can completely control abnormal aggression in these horses
                          [/FONT]
                          [FONT=Arial](from petshrink.com)[/FONT]

                          "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                          My CANTER blog.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Great post. But wouldn't abnormal aggression due to the things mentioned also translate to aggression with humans? It wouldn't be species specific aggression.

                            THis same horse stood in dry lot by the barn door for half an hour yesterday and listened to me read a story to my kids rather than graze in the pasture with his equine companion. He wasn't sleeping. He was alert and focused...on me reading. What the heck!??!!

                            THAT is weird. I want to help him learn to act more like a horse, but first I have to figure out why he DOESN'T. Normal horses do not prefer having stories read to them over grazing with other horses.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mah Navu View Post
                              Great post. But wouldn't abnormal aggression due to the things mentioned also translate to aggression with humans? It wouldn't be species specific aggression.
                              Not necessarily. Sometimes horses with aggression issues direct them towards people and not other animals (experienced that one myself and it was pretty terrifying). Sometimes they express those issues only towards other animals (and sometimes specific animals), and sometimes they have those issues with both people and animals.
                              "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                              My CANTER blog.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                As Beauseant is not his registered name I can't read much into a theory but I will say I've seen orphaned foals and rejected foals raised by people rather then a mare that are far more people oriented and never learn good herd manners. They integrate poorly with other horses later in life as well. Perhaps your boy was a bottle baby for either reason and people are his "family".

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Mah Navu View Post
                                  Great post. But wouldn't abnormal aggression due to the things mentioned also translate to aggression with humans? It wouldn't be species specific aggression.
                                  nope only two things to add:

                                  if all OTTB hated dogs,fox hunting would have stopped dead in it's tracks centuries ago

                                  and we don't ever keep mixed herds....there is nothing like a mare to mess up a good geldings work ethic..

                                  the US Army Forts and posts would not allow mares inside the walls (unless it was a remount breeding center) for that very reason.

                                  Tamara
                                  Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                                  I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Definitely not a TB or an OTTB "thing" at all - this is a horse thing. You can see posts like this about all breeds - on my FL horse board a girl is going through this with a QH gelding and another with a TWH.

                                    As for fixing it, the dog thing is a hard one - some horses just really seem to dislike dogs. Almost like donkeys that are really known for that - possibly a throwback to herd dynamics with wolves...

                                    Sorry to hear of these issues - neither are easy to deal with at all. I would agree to rule out that he is a ridgeling (doubtful) or proud cut (also doubtful) or just has abnormally high testosterone levels. Could be thyroid related etc. I'd start with the vet and go on from there.

                                    Good luck.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by caffeinated View Post
                                      Not necessarily. Sometimes horses with aggression issues direct them towards people and not other animals (experienced that one myself and it was pretty terrifying). Sometimes they express those issues only towards other animals (and sometimes specific animals), and sometimes they have those issues with both people and animals.
                                      Agreed. Also agree with those that indicated this isn't an OTTB problem - just a horsey one. I had a Morgan gelding that was as sweet as sweet could be to people but put him near a mare and he was aggressive and ugly towards any gelding that got near "his" mare and very protective and pushy with the mare. He could never be in mixed herds for this reason and was best with a large group of geldings, where he was usually top horse or second in command. He also was a dog stomper who deliberately and methodically stomped any dog that came near him on the trail or into his pasture.

                                      Horses are fascinating creatures .

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Please take this in the way it is intended, which is helpfully. The original post screams inexperience to me. I have never seen good things come from people whose horses LOVE to be with them and demand attention. It is usually a slippery slope from there to disrespect and misbehavior on the part of the horse. They are NOT big dogs and they should be discouraged from acting like dogs.

                                        I would treat each of your horse's issues as a separate problem/puzzle you need to solve. If he is going to attack dogs, YOU need to figure out a way to keep dogs out of his pasture, whether it is talking to the neighbor or putting up hot wire at dog level. If he is mounting a mare, get her out of there. Her back can be hurt, she can get scuffed up -- and that's IF he doesn't penetrate. If he wants to hang out with you, make it purposeful. Teach him to yield to pressure. Do showmanship exercises with him. Longe him. Stop reading to him. He is neither a person nor a dog, and if I had to guess, someone in his past made that mistake. It's up to you to stop it.
                                        Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
                                        Starman

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X