My boss has just aquired a new broodmare and she was orphaned at birth, raised by hand and has had very little herd experience. She is straight from the track and has a reputation (deserved) for being a very nasty piece of work. I have done a little work with her and have discovered that she simply has no respect for humans. She figured out soon enough that bullying tactics would not work in her new home and is quite sweet toward me now, with the occaisional grumpy face being as far as she goes. I think her temperament is great, but she has learned to be a bully through bad handling. This has been backed up by those who know her history.
The thing that I am worried about is that she has had absolutely no contact with the whole nursing thing and being very aggressive and unsociable toward other horses, I wonder if she will be dangerous to her first foal or even people around her. I've never known a broody like this one and wonder if anyone can help with information.
Lisa, I do know that there is evidence in cattle and other bovin, because of early weaning for milking cows that they are seeing the cow not want to have anything to do with a calf, sortta the natural instinct being bred out of them. This is a concern, and for you in your situation, there would be good possibility that that mare would not know how to behave because she did not experience it herself. With good guiedence maybe she could be successful. but would surley be of some concern. If you try it once and don't succeed , then I would not try again as you are just setting yourself up for future problems with another orphan foal is she does not take care of it. Is there some way to try to get her into a small group of horses that will help her through her herd problems ? I guess I would suggest trying a couple of different herd mates out until you find something that helps her.
you need to take the upper hand as it sounds like you may have done to get the mares attention and not tolerate this type of behavior, but you will probabally see her test others as well.
sounds like you have some work cut out for you. good luck Kim
Hi Kim, She's in with a group of dry mares now and will be until she foals. (She hasn't been to stud yet and won't go till September). She just stays away from the others and calls out when a person walks by. She isn't picked on by any of them, she just doesn't seem to know she's one of them. Apparently when she was in a paddock of her own, she used to chase people out with teeth and heels...a game taught to her as a baby by a person who encouraged rough play and then ran when it got scary. She's good at the bluff, but if you stand up to her, she quits real fast and begs for cuddles. I think she'll be fine with people, but am concerned about what she'll do to a foal. We don't allow foaling out in company, so she won't see any nursing foals, except through a fence. I guess all we can do is wait and watch her closely when the time comes. Thanks!
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