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a horse that won't budge
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PWinn
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 Posted: Tue Nov 11th, 2008 12:24 am
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Dr. Deb,

my horse, Linus, will not move when the herd boss mare pins her ears, then comes at him with teeth bared, then he gets bitten on the rump, and then he gets kicked. Just stands there. He has always been low man on the totem pole, but this is ridiculous. He runs and bucks around the pasture when he feels like it, without showing any lameness. What could he be thinking?

 

Attachment: Linus at school 60 days, and Jake 001.jpg (Downloaded 295 times)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Nov 11th, 2008 03:48 am
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PWinn -- He's thinking that's one helluva deal. Why don't that mare back off???! (LOL)

It is impossible, in other words, for me or anyone else to tell from your description what the whole situation is in your herd. I see the bite marks on his butt, so I believe you about him getting bitten. But you notice that when the old girl kicks him, she doesn't land a death blow: she doesn't kick him in the head, and she doesn't kick him in the hock. So she's telling him -- not killing him.

Things you don't tell us that would certainly have a big impact on how we figure this out include: how long Linus has been in with this group, how big the enclosure is in which they are all kept, when the confrontations occur (i.e. around feeding time, just any time, etc.), and whether you've ever noticed him back off WITHOUT getting bitten or kicked.

It's entirely possible that Linus has just about an equal amount of "push and drive" in him as the grumpy old mare. In this case, the kicking and biting is their attempt to work out the hierarchy: he doesn't give, and she doesn't give either -- until one day, you see that one of them DOES give. You must let horses work this out thoroughly -- which they USUALLY will without landing any death blows. If you don't let them work it out to a conclusion that satisfies them, then you can look forward to a repetition (like starting over from Square One) every time you turn them out together, forever. Letting them work it out is worth a little lost hide.

It is not, however, worth a broken leg, which will mean the death of Linus. So you will have to make a judgement call as to how dangerous the mare is actually to him, and how dangerous he actually is to the mare (presumably owned by someone else). -- Dr. Deb

Blue Flame
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 Posted: Tue Nov 11th, 2008 07:54 am
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PWinn, does Linus ever recieve bites/marks/kicks to his front end or only his hind end?

PWinn
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 Posted: Tue Nov 11th, 2008 11:35 am
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He shows up with scrapes around his head, too. 

PWinn
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 Posted: Tue Nov 11th, 2008 01:10 pm
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Linus is a visiting guest for a couple of weeks in my daughter's small herd (2 mares, one other gelding). They are all turned out in a 20 acre pasture. The bossy mare, Mrs. Brown, is very possessive of the other very old mare (age 30).

I asked my daughter, Holly, your questions.

Linus is respectful of the other gelding. when he says "move", Linus moves.

Mrs. Brown tries the entire list of "move"...ears, teeth, rushing, and kicking. When none of those works, she leaves. She isn't connecting with her kicks, thankfully.This scenario happens any time Linus gets into her space.

Holly and I wonder if this behavior has any connection to refusing to move when he's being ridden. When Linus is ridden, he will be fine for a while, but when he's done, he's done. I think he is way too smart. Holly thinks he's very dumb. maybe we should also remove those words from our vocabulary...just say "he's a horse."

 

 

cdodgen
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 Posted: Tue Nov 11th, 2008 02:38 pm
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PW, As we both know, I know Linus personally.  Linus is not dumb!   Linus has become resigned to endure what Linus cannot change.  So let us both become "resigned to change" for the sake of all the horses in our lives.  Cheryl

PWinn
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 Posted: Tue Nov 11th, 2008 05:19 pm
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Linus has been described as "lazy". I suppose that could be part of a horse's makeup. Maybe there isn't any such thing as a "lazy" horse, either. Just misunderstood. If that's the case, what a very special animal to put up with our misunderstandings!

pw

 

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Nov 11th, 2008 06:14 pm
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So, Mrs. Winn, if Linus is in Cheryl's neighborhood....and I'm going to come and do a clinic in that very same neighborhood this coming January....why don't you and your daughter, and Linus, all come and attend? That will be a MUCH better way to help Linus than trying to do it here.

Good old Linus. I'm already a fan of his. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

PWinn
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 Posted: Tue Nov 11th, 2008 08:28 pm
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Dr. Deb,

we signed up two weeks ago! Both my husband and I are signed up. And I have a 6 pm board meeting that night, Jan 8. hmmmmm.

 Holly is having a baby next week, Nov. 20th, or she would be there.......she was thinking about sending one of her young students to the clinic to audit.

and then.......We are also Texas Tech Red Raiders. If you've followed any of their football season this fall.....there is an exceedingly rare, but very good chance that the team might be playing for the national championship on Jan 8 in Miami. IF they are, I bet you won't meet my husband.

Life is just full of surprises and choices!!

 

neal
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 Posted: Fri Nov 21st, 2008 03:19 am
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sorry to hear your letting that horse gett all chewed up by that mare .when we had a new horse in the cavyy of 100 horses if there was bullys chewing on him , it usually happened when they were in a confind space like a corall , so when the horss were corraled we cauth the bullys an tied them outside the corral . we coulgnt afford to have our saddle horses backs chewed on ,in the open he could get away from the bullys, in time if left outside with plenty of room they would gett along after a fashion . its when there colse quarters that its serious.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Nov 21st, 2008 06:45 am
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Yes, Neal, exactly. This is why I asked Mrs. Winn and her daughter how big the pen is that poor ol' Linus is being kept in. They didn't answer that part: probably didn't really hear the question, because folks mostly only hear things that they were already prepared to hear. I am hoping to see the Winns when I go down to Cheryl Dodgen's this January: that is, if they don't figure football is way more important. -- Dr. Deb

p winn
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 Posted: Fri Nov 21st, 2008 10:52 am
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hey, Neal and Dr. Deb...look at Nov 10 post from me. Linus is in a 20 acre pasture. Not sure how you both missed that.

By the way, I've been here at Holly's house for a week to help with her new little son, and have had to opportunity to observe the herd, which is right outside of the house. Linus is now giving space to the mare, and he really respects the gelding. They nap and graze together and generally hang out like a decent herd.

pw

neal
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 Posted: Fri Nov 21st, 2008 09:16 pm
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 pw i been giving this biting somr thought as was thinking if you put a shock collar on that  mare an observe there behavior in the pasture, you might be able zap her when she challeges linus , only in a large area though not arund buildings , so linus got plenty of room to get away .im not an advocate of shock collars how ever in this case it might prevent an injury , tame that mare down a little , milt

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Nov 22nd, 2008 06:46 am
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Neal, as Mrs. Winn tells us that there is no longer a problem with Linus getting chewed on, let us leave the hot-shocker aside.

Hot-shockers work, you know. That's the problem: the hot-shocker works pretty well, but the person may not work nearly as well. Our elderly teacher used to say of whips that "they just seem to stick in peoples' hands". This goes ten times more for hot-shockers: they're liable to produce a new problem that's ten times worse than the old problem.

And yes, Mrs. Winn, I DID miss the fact that you had told us the size of the pasture; forgot it entirely, and I apologize for that. Given the large size of the pasture, I think we can chalk the situation up to the dominant mare being rather over-protective, and Linus being a little incredulous. Apparently he believes her now when she tells him to 'get lost', and I'm not too worried, as in an enclosure so big, there ought to be plenty of space for him to get away.

In the Birdie Book, I define a horse (psychologically) as being "....the kind of animal that lives by making adjustments". So if we do not provide a way for the horse to adjust -- meaning, to get away from whatever is bothering him, to physically distance himself -- then we can expect the problem to get worse. If on the other hand we always arrange for the horse to have room to adjust, the horse will find a way to live with almost anything. -- Dr. Deb


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