Amorous gelding getting aggressive around his mares.....any tips?(9 Posts)
Hi there, me again. Sorry this could be long while I explain the background but some advice on how to deal with this would be v much appreciated.
I have had my 15.2 bay Thoroughbred X only 2 months (on permanent loan).
He has a lovely personality with humans (and me), very affectionate, does not kick, bite, stands still to be groomed etc, hacks out alone, jumps, schools. Sounds like the dream horse.....
however....he is turned out in a field with my friends 2 mares. He is very fond of them both but likes to be the boss (which they seem to accept).
Whenever he returns to them from a ride he immediately gets his willy out and acts like a moody mare (his willy even gets a bit hard sometimes), sniffing them and squealing (I have never seen him try to mount them though). Is this normal?
The main problem though is he is very possessive of them and if I ride out with these 2 mares plus another friends horse he gets very agitated and aggressive with the other horse. Ears flat back, snapping with his teeth, trying to swing his hindqurters to them etc while I am riding him. I keep him moving in small circles to distract him as I fear that if he gets too near the other horse he will lash out. He seems to want his mares near him and takes exception that anyone else is joining in. He really does get upset and anxious about it and throughout the whole ride is a real handful.
He hacks out alone beautifully and also just with the 2 mares he is turned out with, this problem only occurs when a 3rd friend joins us. He seems to do it with both mares and geldings too so it isn't that he's took an excpetion to a particular horse IYSWIM.
Any tips to solve this problem, do you think as I bond more with him he will trust me more, see me as his leader and stop panicking and being aggressive towards others? Any tips on how to deal with it in the mean time?
His owner says to smack him on the shoulder to get his attention every time he puts his ears back or starts playing up.
I would describe his behavious as quite 'mareish'...would a supplement help calm him down?
I'd like to do fun rides and go to shows but at the moment I can't see that happening as he'd be a nightmare if his 2 mares were there and all those other horses! Help!
Sorry this is so long, I really want to try and solve this as he has so many good other qualities.
I think what his owner suggests might be worth a try. It is possible that as you haven't had him very long he is just testing you. It may be that this is how he would like to behave, but you have to stop him doing that. I'm not sure that any mareish supplements would help, although i have heard good things about Nupafeed. Apparently it just chills them out a bit and stops them stressing. It may help whilst you and your horse get used to each other.
We had an appaloosa who was exactly the same. We suspected that he may not have been gelded well or gelded late. Anyway we didn't like to take chances, especially with a young daughter at the time, so moved him on. He got very shirty if we tried to get between him and our connemara filly and was nasty to the pony geldings - wasn't acceptable but now he has a very happy life in a mare-free environment.
I was going to say what Butkin said, can you ask your vet to check that things have been done properly?
Other than that, I agree about slapping him on the shoulder out riding, however not too often and don't push it if it seems to be making him more frustrated.
You have an instructor don't you? (Appologies if I have got this wrong) do they have an opinion?
Hi folks thanks for replying.
Yes I have an instructor, She says to smack him on the shoulder to get his attention and then keep pushing him forward, keep him moving in circles and listening to me etc. It works for a few moments but then he loses it again and starts playing up.
I guess it'll just take lots of exposure until he realises that he doesn't have to be so possessive and protective over 'his' mares. Its just a pain in the arse at them moment!
Oh instructor doesn't think he'a a rig by the way, apparently its very rare that they are not gelded properly and he does not do any mounting. He's just v possessive over his mares, he's like a jealous bloke not wanting anyone near his birds! If it carries on will defo be talking to the vet for advice though.
Lots of geldings get a bit fruity around mares. I have a rig and an amorous gelding. The difference is that the rig can cover a mare (albeit is infertile) whereas the amorous gelding can just do all the squeaking and willy waving (including climbing up hopefully) but that's about it. Yours doesn't sound too bad if he isn't mounting them but if he does start then you'll need to separate them as it can lead to accidents.
With regard to being ridden, that's just bad manners on his part and don't put up with it. Your riding instructor's advice is good and should work when he realises he's not getting away with it. I know stallions who are ridden out with mares and they don't get away with behaving like that! A tap on the shoulder and an "oi!" when he puts his ears back, a louder version of both if he snaps and if he swings his bum, have your leg there to block it.
Thanks Nekabu. Will see how I go with him, and how his behaviour improves. I have been doing some groundwork with him to improve our bond and him seeing me as a leader - getting him to move away from pressure etc. I can now get him to move back from me just by voice, etc if he is crowding my space. I'm hoping the groundwork will make him have more respect for me as his rider and stop this aggression to other horses when ridden (or at least make him listen to me more and understand I'm not having it).
He has previously been ridden by a 13 yr old and wonder if he was allowed to get away with it as I understand that she did not have much confidence with him.
Anyway, time will tell, its only been a short time and we are still both getting to know each other. He's a nice boy in other respects so he does have some redeeming features!
Just because he's being a bit rude doesn't mean he wouldn't be a nice horse! It could be the 13 year old let him get away with it and maybe he's also doing the usual try-it-on-with-a-new-rider a bit too. Just don't stand for it as it is sheer bad manners. Your instructor's tip for getting his attention back on you (a tap on the shoulder) sounds good and if you feel him about to swing his bum over towards another horse, block it with your leg. I'm sure once he's sussed that you're not having any of it that he'll pack it in!
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