Having problems, need some help :(

Sam_22

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Apr 6, 2007
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Sigh. I could scream and cry, I'm so annoyed and upset with Sweeney. We're having a few problems.

He's being a bad bully out in the field. He's with a herd of geldings and they have lots of open space to run around. But he's chasing the horses constantly, he won't leave them alone, he's literally galloping at full speed across the field and running at them with his ears back. He isn't kicking or biting, but the other horses arn't getting peace and other livery owners are obviously getting annoyed with him (I can't blame them). Can you stop a horse doing this?? He's been doing it for months now.

When he's in the stable he's snapping at both horses and human's when they pass. I can't tell you how many times people have come up to me to say that Sweeney is biting. He's fine as long as nobody passes his stable. He doesn't do it to me. But it's not the point, he shouldn't be doing it.

I just want to add at this point that there are no pain issues or unhappiness - he is a very happy pony (although he doesn't sound like it!), he's riding beautifully and freely and everything fits, he had his teeth and back done in October. He lets me touch him all over with no problems. He's fine to handle and he's turned out every single day and brought in overnight, it's not an option at his yard to keep him out 24/7. This has been an ongoing issue since I got him. Bit of background on him - he's 8 years old, was a stallion up until he was 3 or 4 and sired a foal, but has absolutely no interest in mares and even when the herd of mares broke in with the geldings he didn't go near any of them. He's fed 1 scoop of Spiller's Cool Fibre and half a round scoop of horse and pony nuts, twice a day.

Sometimes I just feel like giving up. There is ALWAYS a problem with me and Sweeney or always something stressful to have to deal with. I had a challenging horse for 4 years but had great fun with him and nothing like this bothered me. But over the past 3 years I just feel like it's getting on top of me and there's just too much to worry about. And now this field issue and the biting and everything else. I love him very much and he has brought my riding on leaps and bounds, but these other issues are taking over the pleasure of owning him.

Sorry for the essay. Help.
 

Tots N Dots

Active Member
Nov 27, 2005
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Planet Pickle
I know this might sound a bit daft? but have you ever tried him on Global Herbs Rig Calm? sounds as if he is just being a bit dominant.

my horse can be "challenging" at times and I really understand how frustrating it can be {{{hugs}}}

on moving my lad to a livery yard for the 1st time he went nuts around the other horses, yard owner insisted he was stabled and was rig tested, blood test done I had to wait for the results, as I too thought he may be a rig I stuck him on the rig calm till the results came in, anything over 12.2 is a rig and he was 0.01 roflmao

but the rig calm worked wonders in the mean time ;)
 

Dark Storm

Well I'll be a Krampus's Auntie! :D!
Jan 4, 2009
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Is someone in the field causing him to have to constantly assert his authority? If he feels he has to reinforce his leadership over the other horses, then he's bound to be reminding them constantly who's boss..
This could also be happening on the yard, he may want to be fed first, or if he see's other horses getting attention, he's jealous..

Another way, is to single out which one he actually pals up with, and separate him from the main herd, that way, he gets to stop worrying about what the rest of them are up to and concentrate on doing what he should be doing....eating.. and maybe make a real fuss of him when your around him and make him feel special, it should improve his ego:smile:
I'm not sure whether these suggestions will help, but they might it a small way:wink:
 

Sam_22

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Apr 6, 2007
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I know this might sound a bit daft? but have you ever tried him on Global Herbs Rig Calm? sounds as if he is just being a bit dominant.

my horse can be "challenging" at times and I really understand how frustrating it can be {{{hugs}}}

on moving my lad to a livery yard for the 1st time he went nuts around the other horses, yard owner insisted he was stabled and was rig tested, blood test done I had to wait for the results, as I too thought he may be a rig I stuck him on the rig calm till the results came in, anything over 12.2 is a rig and he was 0.01 roflmao

but the rig calm worked wonders in the mean time ;)

Hey, no I haven't tried him on any supplements, but rigcalm sounds like it might be useful. Vet assured me on his vetting that he wasn't a rig, but i'm guessing the dominent behaviour he is displaying might say otherwise! Is rigcalm something you can keep them on long term?? Is it ok for a horse if they arn't a rig? Did it work for your boy? Sorry for all the questions! xx
 

Sam_22

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Apr 6, 2007
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Is someone in the field causing him to have to constantly assert his authority? If he feels he has to reinforce his leadership over the other horses, then he's bound to be reminding them constantly who's boss..
This could also be happening on the yard, he may want to be fed first, or if he see's other horses getting attention, he's jealous..

Another way, is to single out which one he actually pals up with, and separate him from the main herd, that way, he gets to stop worrying about what the rest of them are up to and concentrate on doing what he should be doing....eating.. and maybe make a real fuss of him when your around him and make him feel special, it should improve his ego:smile:
I'm not sure whether these suggestions will help, but they might it a small way:wink:

Thank you for the suggestions :). Unfortunately they all have to go out in a herd and I can't separate him :cry:, but that would have been a great idea.

Sorry, I forgot to add, the other hoses don't even bother him or go near him, they are all so settled and quiet. It's only him who is causing the problems.

It's so stressful, he's a complete nightmare. xx
 

popularfurball

Learning all the time
Jul 18, 2005
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I dont think there necessarily needs to be a threat - he sounds very territorial - and sees the field and his stable as "his" space - a bit like a parent going into a teenagers bedroom! Sets red flares flying.

Some horses are territorial, and I think it tends to actually stem from insecurity - so for example he is comfortable with you and doesnt percieve you to be a threat, and respects you - wheras perhaps there is an "unkown quatity" fear with other people, and if he doesnt bully in the field he gets bullied as he didnt learn how to socialise?

Can you seperate him from the others, perhaps with one or two others who will protect him - so they form a bond to give him a sense of alliance?
 

eml

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Apr 29, 2002
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www.ivanhoeequestrian.net
I have a gelding that is a bit like that, lovely in every way but appears to hate all other geldings and will chase them but not actually fight/bite or kick. I put him out with a couple of mares and he is fine. I know that is difficult in a livery yard but worth a try if you can. Mine is not aggressive but defensive and loves having a couple of mares to look after. Problems on the yard are more likely to be associated with other peoples attitude to him than anything else as he is ok with you. Again getting away from the situation he clearly does not feel comfortable with will change others approach to him.
 

Tots N Dots

Active Member
Nov 27, 2005
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Planet Pickle
Hey, no I haven't tried him on any supplements, but rigcalm sounds like it might be useful. Vet assured me on his vetting that he wasn't a rig, but i'm guessing the dominent behaviour he is displaying might say otherwise! Is rigcalm something you can keep them on long term?? Is it ok for a horse if they arn't a rig? Did it work for your boy? Sorry for all the questions! xx
I was told it was fine to give him even if he wasnt, sometimes horses just have riggy behaviour without being a rig, Pickle was gelded later than normal as he was a twin and he was given a chance to mature out more, which may explain his, (also his twin was a mare which may also explain his like of females ;) ), Pickle only had one tub and never had the same problems again, its fine for them to be on longterm I believe. and I have always heard good things about it hence I got some (not always the cheapest choice),
if you google Global Herbs they have a website and I believe a very helpfull helpline :D

I have recently used their "instant supercalm" to be able to get my lad out to the field without me needing the casualty department and by goodness it does what it says on the tin!! he wandered out telling me all about the "pwetty clouds" and jeeze he had the munchies.... I was almost tempted to try some myself as I dont quite know who was "feeding" off who nerves, I dont help him much as I get really nervous when he goes hyperhorse and me being nervous just makes him worse.
 

cobmum

Member
Sep 13, 2009
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Middlewich
I previously owned a cob who was cut later on in life, he has very similar behaviour despite the other geldings being twice his size. I couldnt have him shod and was so worried about another horse getting hurt.

He was also funny with other people but me in his stable.

He did calm down with the others in the field but i did have to seperate with electric fencing for a while.

With regards to his stable, i got him used to different people doing and brining nice things to him, in the end he welcomed others coming into his space.

I hope things improve for you :smile:
 

showqa

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Jan 31, 2008
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What about eletric taping off and area within the field to keep him in away from the others? Even if only for an obersvational period whilst you try to understand what's going on?

Global Herbs helpline are very helpful by the way.

Just want to say don't give up. You do sound very down - which I completely understand as I've had moments with my horse that have really got me down. Explain to the others on the yard how you're feeling and ask them if they have advice. Good luck and chin up.
 

juliecwuk

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2006
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yes i was going to suggest various supplements - calmers etc

i was also going to suggest creating a paddock in the field, putting in different herd, or even moving yards.

with regards to the stable behaviour i would be tempted to swap stables to one thats not walked past as often, it cant be very pleasant for him having to 'protect his space' (if thats the reason) all the time...
 

Sam_22

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Apr 6, 2007
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I dont think there necessarily needs to be a threat - he sounds very territorial - and sees the field and his stable as "his" space - a bit like a parent going into a teenagers bedroom! Sets red flares flying.

Some horses are territorial, and I think it tends to actually stem from insecurity - so for example he is comfortable with you and doesnt percieve you to be a threat, and respects you - wheras perhaps there is an "unkown quatity" fear with other people, and if he doesnt bully in the field he gets bullied as he didnt learn how to socialise?

Ah I hadn't thought about it like that. That's a great idea about putting him in with another who he might then bond with. He's so strange, he has no friends and generally stands on his own grazing, unless of course he's chasing the other one's.

I have recently used their "instant supercalm" to be able to get my lad out to the field without me needing the casualty department and by goodness it does what it says on the tin!! he wandered out telling me all about the "pwetty clouds" and jeeze he had the munchies.... I was almost tempted to try some myself as I dont quite know who was "feeding" off who nerves, I dont help him much as I get really nervous when he goes hyperhorse and me being nervous just makes him worse.

Thank you Tots N Dot's, I will ring Global Herbs and buy him some, i'll buy 1 tub to start with. Was reading the reviews on the website and it all looks very promising. Glad to hear your boy is now settled, I think I need some instant supercalm!

I put him out with a couple of mares and he is fine. I know that is difficult in a livery yard but worth a try if you can. Mine is not aggressive but defensive and loves having a couple of mares to look after. Problems on the yard are more likely to be associated with other peoples attitude to him than anything else as he is ok with you. Again getting away from the situation he clearly does not feel comfortable with will change others approach to him.

This is definitely something i'd like to do, but I know the yard owner won't let me. Worth a try though!

With regards to his stable, i got him used to different people doing and brining nice things to him, in the end he welcomed others coming into his space.

I hope things improve for you :smile:

Aw bless, that's a lovely thing to do for him! Thank you :).

What about eletric taping off and area within the field to keep him in away from the others? Even if only for an obersvational period whilst you try to understand what's going on?

Just want to say don't give up. You do sound very down - which I completely understand as I've had moments with my horse that have really got me down. Explain to the others on the yard how you're feeling and ask them if they have advice. Good luck and chin up.

Thank you, and thank you for the suggestion. We have some electric tape at the yard that's sitting around doing nothing, i'll have to put it to good use :).

with regards to the stable behaviour i would be tempted to swap stables to one thats not walked past as often, it cant be very pleasant for him having to 'protect his space' (if thats the reason) all the time...

Yeah I was thinking of moving him stables to a quiet area, but the stables in the quiet area are inside and all he'd be looking at in front of his stable would be a concrete wall, at the minute he's on the front of the yard and gets to see all that's going on. As you say, I am worrying that if he's having to protect his space constantly then he's on edge all the time. So maybe I need to re-think the yard he's on.

Ok guy's so i'll get rigcalm and see how we get on, failing that I'll move onto all the other suggestions until I find something suitable. Thank's for all the suggestions, really appreciate it. xxx
 

Tots N Dots

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Nov 27, 2005
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Planet Pickle
at the minute he's on the front of the yard and gets to see all that's going on.
maybe its over stimulating for him?

I stuck Pickle in the instant calmer just for a bit of peace of mind, I needed a break from his idiot mode for a couple of days lol I find with Pickle that once he realises things can be done calmly he himself tends to calm down?

I have gone from having a horse that prefers to be out? to one that kicks of big style if I arrive at 4.30pm to bring him in rather than the normal 3.30pm, I have to admit I lost my rag with him last night and gave him a right rollocking (normally makes him worse) but I think he realised he had pushed it a bit far and he instantly behaved :D

I have worked with children a bit....
in general..... (and this really is generalising)
if a child is having/has had a bad time? people tend to cut them slack with their behavior? but children feel more secure if they know where the bounderies are, so they often misbehave to make sure the bounderies ARE actually still in place. by cutting them slack they dont find the bounderies and misbehave more. if you show them the bounderies are still there they feel more secure and tend to misbehave less, its not the telling off that does it so much as the fact they know there are limits and therefore there is security (sorry I am waffling this as I am tired, does it make sense?)

I have also found this to be true with animals too ;)
if they unsure of their place in the pack/heard then often what we see as "being naughty" is actually checking that the bounderies are still in place?
follow my thinking? :smile:
 

juliecwuk

Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2006
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Moet would kick alot when she was on a bigger yard in a busy positioned stable, she calmed alot when I moved her to a smaller yard. Now we are on a medium sized yard and although her stable is around the front I would say it's still a quiet stable, she's a million times more settled.

After the rigcalm could u pos temporarily swap stables for a few weeks to see if it helps?
 

kellybee

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Feb 13, 2011
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I used to have the exact same problem with my boy, he was used at stud and gelded aged 5, rig testing came back negative, but his every thought and movement was based on the mares around him and the geldings that got in the way.

Two weeks on the rig calm (apparently he is classed as a false rig), and my angry bolshy noisy and ignorant wannabe stallion was cool as a cucumber, never paying the blindest bit of attention to the mares since. He wont ever be able to come off it I dont think, but in himself he is a lot lot happier.

He still has an attitude when i get on him, and squeals like a stallion when he doesnt like or understand what I'm asking for, and i did try stroppy gelding as well just to take the edge of his tantrums but he went the other way and was far worse than before the rig calm was introduced. He even attempted to batter the poor old girl next door, much to my horror. As a result he's come off that now and is back to being Mr placid, with the odd tantrum thrown in, but I can live with that.

I have read so much about supplements that I can honestly say the number of threads and blogs I've read where horses can go the opposite way to that intended on supplements has kind of put me off experimenting with them any more. It seems that many are based on nutrients that horses lack. For example if you give a magnesium based supplement to a horse thats lacking magnesium the calming is successful. Give it to a horse who doesnt lack magnesium, it can tip the balance the wrong way and make him worse.

I guess thats why the stroppy gelding turned my Alfie into a psycho. One thing is for sure, Rig Calm changed my life lol
 
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