Ok this all started day before yesterday and I kinda hit on it in another post...but here goes..
Day before yesterday everything seemed fine in the morning, I fed, brushed the mare out and then took her and baby to the pasture...they were there most of the day...I went out to get them to lead them back in for the night and she didn't want anything to do with me(turned her back to me)...she kept a good 3ft away from me while walking..at first I thought is was so she could keep an eye on her little one..yesterday it was nothing but rain here so they stayed in...but again she didn't want me to touch her, or be near her..I would reach out to pet her and she would turn/pull away(not in an aggressive way)..well also last night I went in to feed and she was real aggressive with trying to get to her feed (which when she first came here she was that way but hasn't been for quite some time now) so I just put my arm up and pushed her head away while I was hanging the bucket but she kept getting pushy so I took ahold of her halter told her whoa and made her back up and wait until I could see she relaxed after a minute or so..this morning I went in and she did fine with the feed but after hanging her feed and getting my gelding fed I went over to spend time with her and the baby...the baby is wanting to eat Momma's and I can't do that right now because I have to put Momma's meds in her feed right now due to the infection she had after foaling..so I have a small bucket that I hold with a couple handfuls of feed for the baby and today I just hung it on a ring that we have just inside the stall door to use the stall web with...baby did great tried a little bit..so I knew I was taking them out after they ate and I wanted to put the fly spray on them..I did the gelding and then came to do the mare and I know she doesn't like it much but will usually walk around and try to get away even if we hold her..but before I even got into the stall she saw me coming and started turning away from me and when I tried to get in front of her to get ahold of her halter she was getting very irritated and kept putting her butt towards me..so I thought maybe it was the bottle...I put the bottle away and just sprayed a towel over in the tack room and went in the stall to try and get her with that...no luck...so I put it all away and went back in to just talk to her and get ahold of her and let her see I wasn't gonna do anything at the moment but she was still trying to pull her head away..more like she was scared of me though not mad at me...so I thought well I will just take her on out to the pasture and I got the lead and usually she meets me at the stall door with her big head sticking over it to go out but..she just kept putting her head back to her neck and kinda moving back sideways like she didn't know what I was going to do to her(the only kind of punishment I have ever done to her is what I mentioned above and when she first came here we couldn't walk 2ft and she would try to stop to eat grass so I would give her a good yank on the lead rope and say let's go)( I haven't had to do that in a long time either) anyway...she tried to attack the gelding over his stall door again as we walked out...I gave her a yank and said let's go but all the way out she was doing everything she could to stay away from me and by the time we got to her pasture I wasn't sure she was going to let me get close enough to take the darn lead off...now...she has always been pregnant since I have known her..so I don't know if this is her normal personality coming out..(which I do not think it is) or what it could be...I am her main care taker..occassionally my husband will go out and help feed but for the most part I do it all...and she has always seem to have complete trust in me...could it be that she is relating all the bad stuff that the vet did to her with me because I was always holding her when he would be doing everything to her so she thinks I did it to her..or????
I know this probably sounds simple to most of you but I have been trying to think of everything that I have done with her within the last few days but I am totally confused by her behavior...the only other thing is the medicine...she has to have the pills broke up and the paste put in her feed right now...and she loves her feed so she eats it regardless but she knows I am the one giving it to her(or maybe she smells it on my hands).. and she does not like the med..???? I think one of the meds is BUTE(SP) it is a paste..but could it be making her on edge??
Well any suggestions as to why she would do this or how to win her back over would be greatly appreciated..( I am begining to wander if I will ever feel experienced at this whole horse thing) LOL (Sorry so long)
Do you know anything about her past owners? And how old is the foal? It could be that her old owners abused her and/ or her previous foals and she is acting this way to try and protect herself and the foal. Has she had any other foals while you have had her? I believe that 'yanking' a horse around is never a good idea... and as she is already nervous around you I would definately stop that right now. She could be reacting to you giving her the meds- trying having your husband do all the 'bad stuff' with her and you only doing the 'good stuff'. I would also make sure that foal is very well handled (not to say he's not!) with the mare behaving like she is towards you the last thing you need is for the foal to pick up on her behaviour and start to copy it.
Wanda, this is not so uncommon. I have a mare who won't come anywhere near me until she's late in pregnancy....then she wants scratched, and loved, and brushed. The thing is, mares go thru hormonal changes too, just like women do. And there are alot of different personalities in there. My husband often goes to the barn after foaling and says, "I'm going to go see which mare Candy is today..." Meaning, after foaling, you never know if she's gonna come love on you or try to take your head off. She'll level back out soon, just be as patient and calm with her and baby as you can. When she doesn't want to be messed with, give her a little space. Do what you need to do, and try to be understanding. Naturally, horses teach their babies to run from everything right from the beginning. My calmest most friendly mares will turn away from me with a new baby at their side. No matter how THEY act, it's very important to form a good bond with baby. This way, they react to you, and not to what mom is trying to teach them. I have a mare who is this way, and will circle baby, and try to get her to run away from me...fortunately, I've had enough hands on time with baby that she doesn't want to run with mom...she stays with me instead. Mom is a complete nutcase with a foal at her side, whereas usually, she's the first one to me, and in my pockets all day. You just have to be diligent with working with baby, and give mom her space. She's hormonal,and naturally protective, and maybe even a little resentful of the attention shift, but she'll come around. Just let it be.
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