aggressive stallion.

Discussion in 'Horse Breeding' started by mcc, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. mcc

    mcc Registered

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    I've had my stallion 10yrs, since he was 10 months old, he has always lived out with friends, never near mares, hes is perfect.....

    but we now have hit a problem and i don't know why....he has become aggressive towards his mates and i cant understand why?

    before anyone starts having a go about having a stallion, he was kept entire because we could, he missed out on nothing growing up, he was never shut in, has plenty of boy-friends, worked and loved, treated like a gelding, i would have had a foal from him one day but unlike may im not in a rush, hes a horse first, stallion 2nd, he has never bred yet.

    his aggression is bad, it is like a switch has flicked, one moment hes fine next he isnt, taking chunks out of them, i dont want to geld him but if it stopped the attacking then i would, spoke to a vet and she said gelding would not take the aggression away, as hes older and that part of him is in him now, she said to seprate him when he is like it ( i have been rotating them around, hes in with the littlen who hes fine with during the day in the paddock, others out in the field, then the otherway around at night so they all get grass) they do this is the wild so cant see it changing him, she said anything can start it off, i had a horse communicator out and she picked up on me taking his best buddy away, which i did as he gets lami so has to go on the bare paddock during the day.
    i dont expect to have a miracle with asking this but need to know if anyone else has been through it.

    so there is is, dont expect to get an
     






  2. coloredcowhorse

    coloredcowhorse Senior Member+

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    If you are changing around his immediate herdmates, even though he knows them all, he may be working at keeping the "newcomers" away from those he's with most of the time. If there's one that cannot go out on the grass with the others it might be best to permanently remove that one from the herd rather than take him in and out. A bachelor herd in the wild stays pretty stable until one leaves and attempts/succeeds at getting his own mare herd....even if it consists of only one mare. Once one leaves the bachelor herd he will have to reassert his position if he wants to rejoin that bachelor herd as others have changed their position with his absence.
     
  3. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member+

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    both my stallions are kept separate.

    IMPO, he's 10 and you haven't bred him yet. just geld him. if he's superior quality and you REALLY want a foal from him someday, you can always collect and freeze some.

    having a stallion takes a lot of extra care, a LOT of extra precautions, etc... so not sure why you would want to keep one if you are not going to breed
     
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  4. Equine Repro

    Equine Repro Senior Member+

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    A few things. Stallions are creatures of habit and disrupting their routine can trigger some really undesirable behavior. And what YOU consider routine and what they consider routine are two very different things.

    Secondly, while you discuss rotating him and his pasture mates, you give no indication where the mares are in this whole scenario. If you are, at any point, putting him in the "middle" so to speak - mares on one side of him, other horses on the other side of him - Regardless of the distances involved, you "are" creating a threatened herd environment.

    As a matter of course, we separate intact colts from each other when they hit about 2 years of age. While stallions in the wild live in bachelor herds, they don't have the human influence and dictating of who goes where. Regardless of what you "think" they do in the wild, you are NOT creating a wild herd dynamic because you "are" moving horses in and out.

    Owning stallions is not for the faint of heart. And the aggression will, more than likely get worse as time goes by. I disagree with your vet, as well. While he certainly will have "learned" stallion behavior, remove the testosterone (testicles) you also will remove a goodly portion of the aggressive behavior/motivation. And, as Lopeinslow noted, if he truly is exceptional and you wish to use his genetic input at a future date, freeze him and geld him. If he has begun attacking his pasture mates, it may be just a matter of time before he takes it to the next level. :(.

    We currently have 12 stallions ranging in age from 4 to 22 on the property. We also have a few yearlings and two year olds. Stalliosn are maintained in a quasi bachelor herd environment where they are quartered in the same general area, but there are 12 foot alleyways between each of their paddocks. We watch the herd dynamics and we move stallions that behave aggressively towards each other. They usually develop "friendships" with each other and will "hang" together in the corners of their paddocks. But we are very, very conscious of the fact that EVERY TIME we move a horse on the property, it does disrupt the status quo.

    Good luck!
     
  5. equinitis

    equinitis Senior Member+

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    I agree with the others, adding or removing one horse from a herd can cause some dramatic changes in herd dynamics. We don't have ay stallions in our herd but we do have a mixed herd with males and females, horses, mules and donkeys. Any change in herd members can, and has, caused some sporadic violence as the remaining herd tries to re-establish the pecking order.
     
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  6. Rhodons Knight

    Rhodons Knight Senior Member+

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  7. mcc

    mcc Registered

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    Look, I posted this as a last resort I really don't need to feel like I am a awful owner because I own a stallion.

    I guess you think I am a inexperienced kid, with a stallion, this isn't the case at all, stallions is what we have always owned and we have never come across one, that one day decided out of the blue to take chucks out of his mates.

    No he hasn't bred yet but at least im not one of these owners that will breed to anything and just let him cover a field full of mares, I was in no rush to cover him, if the perfect mare came along then yes I would have bred him when he was 6yrs + (i personally don't like breeding anything before the age of 6yrs.)like I said I kept him entire because I could and he is a saint, he had earned the right to be intact in my eyes, did I expect to have this trouble with him 10yrs on? No, I think we have done bloody well to get here.

    There is NO mares in the field, or around him, it is not like he is trying to cover his mates either, when I shared a field with my geldings and friends mares, they did try to mount them, not in a riggish way but at the end of the day they ALL get fruity at some point.

    I only said about wild stallions etc because that is how the vet refereed to them as, I agree that obviously he isn't wild so things are very different, I am going to speak to a few more different vets and get this opinions on it.

    I would never keep a stallion on his own, nore would I keep them shut in, I would geld, that's no life, I have always kept stallions/geldings together with no trouble, its the ones that were on their own that were a right pain in the ****.

    Its not like hes chasing them away from "his" mates, there is one that he loves too much, not sure if its because hes the littlest and the 2nd boss of the field? maybe i did start it by putting the fatties in during the day but it couldn't be helped, we did in fact have a horse from up the road bolt and jump into our field once, which in fact did start my other stallion off fighting but his was more down to he had one ball up (he was due to be castrated a few days later anyway) this is were its all came from I believe but they were fine and went a year or 2 without anything until now.

    The trouble is I have read so much of the net this past week saying gelding won't change the aggression, obviously it is down to the individual horse but I just don't know what is best, maybe its because its summer, heard of a few stallions going through this right now but then have heard alot of it going through geldings too, gelding isn't something you can go back on, apart from this he is a super boy, you might not feel he is exceptional but people like different things in afraid, as far as I can see he is a good stamp and have been told this on many occasions. Either way I will regret gelding him but knowing that the aggressive would go I would feel 98% better about it, knowing it wouldn't do a darn thing just makes me no want to do it.

    Surly there is somethings they could give to help him? he won't eat any calmers, only thing is he drinking right now is "valerian tea" which i thought was helping, the HC said he can't control it and he hates him self for it as he doesn't understand why hes doing it, whether you belive in HC or not will cloud your judgement but she picked up on his mate.


    Sorry for babbling on but I am super stressed right now, just feel like everyone is against me.
     
  8. Equine Repro

    Equine Repro Senior Member+

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    <sad smile> No one accused you of that. It's unfortunate that was your take home message from this.

    See, here's the thing. You're taking all of this personally. Unfortunately, with horses, you can't. They don't CARE what you think! However, you are making assumptions about past behaviors and current behaviors and trying to extrapolate from that! I can't speak for others, but when I post here, I make absolutely NO assumptions about the level of expertise or skill of the poster. And I also assume that there are going to be others that are going to read my response who may have more or less skill than you do!

    Okay, let me present something to you that "may" help you understand things a bit better. Do you understand WHY your horses were behaving in the manner they were? I can assure you that they weren't being silly or "fruity". There's a reason for the behaviors. And sometimes it "is" aggression.

    You would do better to contact an animal behaviorist. Drop Dr. Sue McDonnell of the Havemeyer Equine Behavior Lab at the University of PA an email. She is very kind, very approachable, very knowledgeable and hopefully will help give you some insight. She also teaches a couple courses a year on stallion handling that I would recommend to ANYONE that has or plans to keep a stallion.

    Never say never ;). And unfortunately, you are now dealing with the reason that our stallions "are" kept in separate paddocks. NOT solitary and NOT shut in, but separate paddocks with buffer zones between them and other horses. They also live out 24/7 ;). But you also have to ask yourself if being in with other horses and his savaging behavior is appropriate either? No one here can answer that question. You truly MUST take a giant step back from the situation and think about what needs to be done to change the dynamics! And the use of drugs, herbs, calmers, behavior enhancing hormones, etc., are NOT the answer. Drugs are NOT the answer.

    I don't feel anyone was disrespectful of you or against you. I do think that you're taking everything said here personally without thinking it all through. Take a step back, BREATHE, and think! It's not just about what is in the best interest of the stallion, but what is the best interest of the other horses that are being housed with him? And I will offer one other small bit of insight. We don't keep stallions together or with geldings past the age of two. Period. There's a reason for that. While you may have stalliosn that will live happily together or with geldings their entire life with no transgression or mishap, there are also those that will, out of the blue, snap. Their reason may be legitmate, but I'm not a horse. I only get the phone calls from people that are mortified to go out and find their favorite gelding has been savaged and kicked to death. May not be the scenario you are looking at, but by the sound of it, you probably should consider that it may also be a possibility.

    One last thing, gelding does almost universally change behavior. Period. There are a handful of stallions that it won't. In the grand scheme of things, if I can't manage a stallion of my own because of behavior issues, the testicles come off. If after their removal, the stallion still isn't able to behave appropriately and safely, we take other, much more dramatic measures to insure that he does NOT have the opportunity to EVER hurt either a human or another creature.

    Good luck!
     
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  9. mcc

    mcc Registered

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    Sorry, its all just gotten to much for me atm, to many people having digs and most of them are scared of stallions, they don't like them at all.

    I defiantly don't believe my stallion is getting fruity, sorry I was just stating that a lot of horses, even mares on mares, tend to get fruity now and again, without the aggression, my stallion actions are pure aggression, i tried the supplements because they were meant to be good and safe, just herbs but if he won't eat them I can't give them a good chance.

    Sorry I wasn't getting at you about the way you have your stallions set out, although I do prefer them to be together, your set up is a lot better then many, their take on this is shut him in, I won't do it, I would rather geld today then do that to him, he is a good horse and he doesn't like to be on his own but that's were I see a problem with people owning stallions, most are shut in, 24/7 and then the owners wonder why they are a handful.

    Just wondering why you own so many stallions? do you have mares about/breed as well? I'm guessing by you nuts off, if that fails then... comment,you pts but don't you feel that their behavior could have been solved through them being socialize? I've found that most with attitude like that are the ones that never get to be a horse and socialize....but I do understand your comment there are many that just can't be with others.

    Thought I better say they are in separate fields now so hes not out there beating them up, they are all safe and unhurt.

    I will contact Drop Dr. Sue McDonnell now, thank you for the tip, I didn't know there was anyone about like this that we could contact.
     
  10. meljean

    meljean Senior Member+

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    Many of us have worked with stallions...and if we advise caution it is BECAUSE we have worked with stallions, not because we know nothing about them, or the handling of them or are scared of them.

    Gelding will do quite a bit for this behavior usually.

    It could also be his testosterone levels are out of whack, could have many things going on.

    Could be one of the other males is secreting more "female" scent too, possible as is anything with animals.

    But I can almost guarantee that if you don't do something to stop what is going on? You will go out one time and have a dead horse, or several to deal with.
     
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