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Small horse, big attitude.

Discussion in 'Behaviors & Handling Techniques - Horses, Mules, a' started by MaggieSims, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Sep 8, 2016
    MaggieSims

    MaggieSims Overrun with beasties

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    Hello! I have recently purchased two mini horses, oh about a month ago. I bought from a lady who had them together from weanlings, both full blood brothers. They were sold together as she wanted them to be together. But the older brother, Jazz, is a little naughty. He chashes the other around, bites him, tries to back up and kick. The younger brother is 9 and bigger than him, but a push over. Jazz also has taken a liking to backing into the fence and pushing the wire down with his back legs.

    Maybe they were sold together because she knew Jazz has issues and would be a tough sell alone? He is good for me, doesn't bite or act aggressive when haltered. In fact, he acts like a different horse when I'm working with him. Is he just bored? Should I separate them for a while? I'm a beginner, so any help is appreciated!!
     
  2. Sep 8, 2016
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    Chasing, biting and kicking is 100% normal horse behavior - they just do that. Somebody has to be the dominant horse, and in this case, it's Jazz. What's the saying, "it isn't the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog?" Since these two have been together for this many years, it would be cruel to separate them, particularly since you have no other horses for them to be with.

    I'm also wondering if you know the difference between fighting and playing. The minis of my experience have generally been more playful than the "bigs" that I have known, and boys seem to like horseplay more than mares. It can get rather rough, sometimes they may even leave marks on each other, but if you see it happening, there isn't as much energy as there is in true aggression. My girls love to run and buck and play, though they have pretty much outgrown the more physical stuff.

    The fence may be a different issue. My minis are shedding their summer coats and the winter coats are coming in, and they always seem to get itchy when they are shedding. They will rub on anything that will stand still for it. Rubbing on the fence may start there, but if Jazz figures out that he can mash the fence down and get out, you may have another issue to deal with . . . my answer is an electric fence. A hot wire installed at shoulder height tends to keep everybody (goats included) off of the fence, and I don't have problems with fences getting knocked down.
     
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  3. Sep 8, 2016
    TAH

    TAH Herd Master

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    These are car washers. Any car wash place should have these and they like to give them a way for pretty cheap

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. Sep 8, 2016
    Kusanar

    Kusanar Ridin' The Range

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    I second the idea of electric fence to stop the fence pushing. Might want to worm them or do a fecal to be sure that he doesn't have worms making his butt itch, also, if he'll stand for it, give him a bath and scrub his tailbone down really well, itchy tails make them go nuts trying to find somewhere to scratch, so will dirty sheaths.
    My mini grows a super heavy winter coat, to the point where our barbed wire fences don't phase him. Since he gets hot and sweats most of the winter here anyway, I keep a 3-4 inch stripe clipped across his chest and butt so if he tries pushing on the fences the barbs can get through the hair, otherwise, you can't fence him in!
     
  5. Sep 8, 2016
    Kusanar

    Kusanar Ridin' The Range

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    Also, street sweepers, your local city or town may give them to you for free or cheap if you ask.
     
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  6. Sep 9, 2016
    MaggieSims

    MaggieSims Overrun with beasties

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    1: by separation, I was thinking a shared fence, but separate areas. And not always, just on trial basis. I have noticed Jazz does this more in the morning before I first go out, or when he gets ansy when he wants out.
    2: and I haven't seen this much, so I might not see the difference in fighting or playing until I see an actual fight. But it seems like Pistol, doesn't like being picked on, but he's not defending himself either. They came from a multi horse home, so I'm thinking they're working out the pecking order now that it's the two of them?
    3: fence.... I will be adding more supports in the spots they are working on, and i know I saw a post on CL for rollers a while ago, I'll see if I can track down some.

    When I see Jazz acting out, I try to go in there and do something. I don't punish, I just distract. I'll clean feet, brush, get one or both out for a walk. When he's really grumpy, I'll make him work, we go for a run, will until I'm to tired to run anymore, and he'll usually take a nap after, instead of pick on his brother.

    My father in law is a self proclaimed expert, I call him an idiot, he tells me Jazz must be proud cut? Does that mean half gelded?
     
  7. Sep 9, 2016
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    :he:he:he:he:he

    "Proud cut" to a lot of people means that the vet didn't know how to do his job, and left parts of the testicles in place. People who actually know what they are talking about know that it's very unlikely to have that happen accidentally; and the surgery involved is a lot harder than doing the job right (apparently, at one time there was interest in still having a studly attitude in a show horse that wasn't intended for breeding). I have known a lot of "studly" geldings that didn't have anything like that going on; way more than the ones that seem like they are "dead from the waist down," lol. IME, boys know that they are boys, and simply removing certain body parts doesn't change their basic nature. A longtime mini breeder once opined, "the only real difference between stallions and geldings is that stallions can settle mares," and to a certain degree, I think she may be right, at least as far as minis are concerned.

    That said, there is an unfortunate condition that seems to occur a bit more often in minis than in the larger breeds - cryptorchidism. In a crypto, one or both testes remain in the abdomen, and don't descend into the scrotum as they are supposed to. In theory, such an animal should be sterile (since the temperature in the body cavity is supposed to be too warm for sperm to be viable), and undescended testes frequently don't develop properly. Because certain glandular tissue is still present, a crypto will have a lot more testosterone in his system than a true gelding, and may behave more like a stallion as a result. Basic gelding is a very straightforward and simple procedure, and is relatively cheap to have done. Going hunting for an absent testicle is a lot more involved, and therefore much more expensive. It is highly unethical to have the visible testicle removed, and call the animal a gelding, even though he still has the other in his body - though just because it's unethical, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. If an owner really believes that this is what is going on, there is a blood test that will show just how much testosterone is present in the horse's blood stream (a certain amount of the hormone is produced elsewhere in the body; even females have some). If he is a crypto, you then have the choice of leaving the missing testicle where it is (knowing that those things have been known to turn cancerous at a higher rate than normal testes) or paying to have major abdominal surgery done to get it removed.

    How docile or difficult a dominant animal is to deal with depends on a lot of things, not the least of which is their temperament, and that goes for the kind of behavior a lot of people think of as "studly." When Syd was a youngster, she liked to rough house every bit as much as a colt; most people were scared of her, with good reason (even when they are playing, it's no joke to get bitten or kicked by a horse, no matter how small). I'm against leaving a horse haltered as a rule, but I left one on her just so we could have a "handle" to get hold if when we needed it . . . :barnie Though as I said, she has pretty much outgrown that kind of play, I still occasionally see her mounting one of the others when someone is in season.:rolleyes:

    And as for biting and kicking, Sunny (QH) is almost always dinged up from Latte's teeth and hooves (also a QH). Most of the time, it's not bad - Sunny generally listens and gets out of Latte's way - but I can remember going out one morning and counting 12 hoof marks all down one side of Sunny. Some were just ruffled hair and dirt, but some were bloody scrapes, or noticeable bruises. Latte is bossy, but Sunny is distraught when we take Latte out and she can no longer see her. I know, with friends like that, right?:th
     
  8. Sep 9, 2016
    MaggieSims

    MaggieSims Overrun with beasties

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    Would gelding time, as in how old he was at time of gelding, affect his overall personality? The last owner did say he was gelded at the same time as his younger brother, meaning he had more time with testies?
     
  9. Sep 9, 2016
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    It can, but if both of them were, say, less than 2 years old, it really shouldn't matter much. If he was several years older (so fully mature when Pistol was still a baby), it would be different, but aren't they full sibs from subsequent pregnancies?
     
  10. Sep 9, 2016
    Kusanar

    Kusanar Ridin' The Range

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    If they were both outdoor horses and in a herd, even if he was still a stallion it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Stallions that are raised with other horses are just one of the guys. I have a stallion that lives out with one gelding now, when I move them to my place, he's going in the entire herd.

    Now, I will muzzle him for a few days when I put him out, just to give the others a chance during the pecking order change because he's so much younger and stronger than the other guys (he's less than half their ages) and he doesn't kick, only bites, but when he's settling a pecking order issue, he will bite the withers and drive the other horse to the ground, so it's dangerous, but muzzled, he can't do that, worst he can do is chase them around and they can kick him and tell him to knock it off.

    This is a stallion that has been handled by kids, was actually kind of afraid of a toddler that ran into his stall with him one day, and has never had a chain over his nose in his life with me. He's a doll, mostly because I don't take any lip from him about anything, when I got him, he bit, kicked, and chased people as a yearling, he got over those tricks REAL fast when I took him home... lol