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  1. #1
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    Jun. 8, 2009
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    Default Newly Gelded 12 yr old...in a mixed herd?

    Here is a question I have been asked (multiple times) the last week or so...

    Horse in question is a 12 yr old gelding, who was used for breeding until this past August when he was gelded. His new owner is insisting to my friend that he needs to be in a herd environment or she will run into problems with him. The "herd" in question is a mixed herd of mares and geldings...and the geldins out in that herd are already agressive towards eachother when the mares are in heat...

    I have told them MULTIPLE times that this is not a smart thing to do. (And proceded to give reasons why not) Horse in question is happy as a clam in his field with his current pasturemate. Heck he still "talks" to the girls...

    The owner doesn't think that any of the reasons I have provided are valid and that all will be ok...she wanted to hear from someone with more experience on the matter...(though I have seen what happens...) she is also going by what her coach is telling her so...

    I have NO ties to these people, I am just renting the other half of the boarding barn...she is being pressured to make that change...she asked if I could provide any additional info for the owner in question...I really do not want to see anyones horse get hurt if it can be prevented!

    So any thoughts or reasons I can add to my list are greatly appreciated!! Thanks



  2. #2
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    May. 4, 2006
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    Seabeck - the soggy peninsula
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    Default

    Absolutely not, for one thing, and most importantly right now he is possibly still fertile as the sperm can remain febrile for at least 30 days. As far as in the future, one at a time and only if they want to risk him either hurting or being hurt by cycling aggressive mares and then you have to spend a good bit of time (and that means hours) watching the interactions. Mixed herds are always very problematical unless you have quite a lot of land relative to the animals, several watering spots and do not feed together in any manner. Silly idiots.

    If she wants an anecdote I can give her one. My gelding and his girl were turned out with at least 10 horses in a large 20 acre field, he is/was (he is not mine any longer) a proud, dominant horse, never bit, never kicked, arched his neck and ignored those who were lesser than he which was all equines. He loved the mares, he took care of the dumb junior geldings, and he protected the old, perfect. There was a older, very rangy, very aggressive older TB gelding who was herd boss, right away he wanted the mare, she did not want him and Sancho sure as hell was not about to just let him round her up, so I left him overnight knowing he would take care of her and they would get water, they ran quite a bit at first to find the perimeter and get away from the herd boss. Overnight Sancho kicked the crap out of the older gelding because he would not let them get to water, I watched the dynamic later, and figured it out from the posturing that went on, he also in the process kicked a sweet but very ignorant and socially inept gelding who already had a bad shoulder, his kicks were not disabling because he was who he was, but there were two slightly lame horses next day. Is that good enough? If he had been a different horse there would have been two probably needing to be dead horses the next day.
    "When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one represents danger, the other represents opportunity."

    John F Kennedy



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2006
    Location
    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
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    2,364

    Default

    You need to be very careful and I wouldn't do it with a horse that old.

    My story:

    My horse was a stallion until 3 1/2 and bred live cover. He was actually with a herd until 1 1/2, with a pregnant mare and gelding until 2 1/2 (he was bred at 2) and then pastured alone but near other horses until gelding. Granted he was a very agressive stallion - the reason he was gelded at 3 1/2. He was slowly intergrated back into my mare herd but it took a long time - luckily I had a mare that he was with first was one that knew him from a baby and kind of put him in his place. He is still agressive and I can't put another gelding with him.

    When the mares are in heat I often remove him from the herd just to avoid difficulties. But I can totally monitor my herd.

    I recommend that they not put the 12 yr old into the herd.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2000
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default

    I would also recommend STRONGLY against it. IMO it is a recipe for disaster, and not fair to any of the horses.
    A FINE ROMANCE - JC Reg Thoroughbred - GOLD Premium CSHA - ISR/OLDNA Approved
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  5. #5
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    Oct. 29, 2008
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    Default

    You say "Horse in question is happy as a clam in his field with his current pasturemate. Heck he still "talks" to the girls... .
    Then, why rock the boat? The stallion is enjoying a safe, happy, controlled social life. Throwing him in with a large mixed group is just too risky to everyone involved - the stallion, the mares and geldings, any youngsters, and any people who need to enter the paddock for any reason.
    I do hope your good advice is taken.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2010
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    1,699

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ElegantExpressionsFarm View Post
    Horse in question is a 12 yr old gelding, who was used for breeding until this past August when he was gelded. His new owner is insisting to my friend that he needs to be in a herd environment or she will run into problems with him.
    Was he in a herd before he was gelded? If not, he's lived 12 years in the current situation - what problems have they encountered so far (that will be fixed by herd)? Most riding horses are NOT in a herd setting, what makes her think it is so important to this horse? I would think as long as he can see and communicate with other horses, he'll be fine.



  7. #7
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    Jan. 29, 2000
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    Brownsburg, VA
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    Default

    I'm a little unclear? Is your friend the barn manager whol ultimately decides who goes out with who?

    fF that's the case, and your friend already KNOWS this is a bad idea - then she needs to grow a backbone and stick to her guns. Regardless of what the new owner desires, the barn manager has an obligation to all the horses in that field to try as much as possible to keep them safe. What is being proposed is not safe.

    I'm not a fan of mixed turnout anyway unless it's an extremely stable herd with very few changes.
    "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2003
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    We don't mix mares and geldings. Only time that happens is the mares with foals until the foals are weaned.
    It's just too risky as far as having episodes. And who needs horses injured when kicking and biting can happen for a variety of reasons.
    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
    "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
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    Default

    Throwing a 12 year old gelding who has been a breeding stallion all his life out in a field with a mixed group of mares and geldings is risky at best. It's the kind of thing you'd do only if you had no other options or didn't care a fig if a horse or two was seriously injured.

    In a boarding barn situation where the other horses are privately owned by other owners, it would be an unreasonable and unfair thing to do to those other horses and their owners. If I did such a thing at my boarding facility, I would fully expect to be held financially responsible (as the BO) for any injuries. For all intents and purposes except actual breeding, a horse that has been a stallion for 12 years is pretty much a stallion forever. Studdish behavior is as much a learned habit as it is hormonally driven. I'm sure there is someone out there who has a story of a sainted late-gelded gelding going out with mixed herds successfully, but I would consider that a happy exception.

    I can speak from experience that boarders sometimes have unrealistic ideas about horse behavior. It is the job of the person in charge of a boarding facility to make sensible decisions to maintain a safe environment for the horses, and NOT engage in dangerous turnout experiments to satisfy the desires of owners who don't know any better.



  10. #10
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    Jul. 13, 2011
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    East Longmeadow, MA
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    Ditto everyone who says it is a BAD idea. My 8 year old gelding (gelded at 3 and a half) can't be out with any other horse anymore, period. Humps mares and hurts other geldings. It's too bad but no one will risk another injury.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



  11. #11
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    Feb. 15, 2004
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    Ontario
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    The Belgian stallion at the barn has always lived with his girls. He was gelded 4 years ago and he still mounts them when they are in heat. He has never been placed in a field with other horses than his girls, but now 4 years later, he will "talk" to the geldings over a fence. I still don't know how he would react in the same field with other geldings, esp. if his girls are in the same field. He still herds them away from the geldings in the next field.

    I would be very uncomfortable with such a prospect!



  12. #12
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    Aug. 17, 2012
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    South Range, WI
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    Default

    My Arab was a stud for 17 years before he was gelded. He spent a couple months in a pen by himself after being gelded, then was turned out with some geldings. When I got him, I turned him out with my horses (all geldings). At one point I did get a mare in for training and she was in heat the entire time, but he wasn't overly pushy towards her nor did he react aggressively towards the other geldings.

    He was given several years to integrate into an all gelding herd before he was turned out with a mare, however.



  13. #13
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    Jun. 16, 2007
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    I know a stallion who was gelded in his late teens...had been used to breed and had terrible manners in hand so we turned the mares out with him( at about 15) and they taught him breeding manners. He then lived with his mares until just before they foaled...one he was with the foal after she foaled. When he was gelded(19?) he was kept seperate for 3 months and was then put in with the mixed herd which had a strong dominant gelding. No problem. The stallion had lost his libido faster that I could ever imagine. He was subtly dominant but didn't involve himself in day to day squabbles. Not a mark on any one. This stallion/gelding was the sire of nearly all the herd and they had known him though he never shared a fence line and was usually stalled next to mares.
    I knew another stallion gelded after many years of pasture breeding his mares and he was turned out with a herd of geldings and he seemed very good but there were signs he was trying to rip out their jugulars(he was short and it was all he could reach). He was then put with a herd of mares and did fine.
    I gelded my ID colt at three and he had an immense libido though was in general a very laid back guy. He lived with geldings as a ungelded colt then alone and after gelding was back out with geldings and played very very well though he longed for the girls for years after he was gelded(very very large testicles). That in no way indicated he was difficult in a herd. It was years before he stopped acting like a stallion for the girls.
    Ultimately every horse and herd is different. Just like some geldings and mares there are horses who don't work well together. We just put a tiny mare out with bigger dominant mares and thought she would get hurt...she is in charge within one evening feeding. PatO



  14. #14
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    Feb. 9, 2005
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    Upper Midwest
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    I wouldn't risk other people's horses...does she own all the horses in this field? It is one thing to go this route with your own herd, another to do so with other people's animals...
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

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  15. #15
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    Jan. 19, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunnydays View Post
    You say "Horse in question is happy as a clam in his field with his current pasturemate. Heck he still "talks" to the girls... .
    Then, why rock the boat? The stallion is enjoying a safe, happy, controlled social life. Throwing him in with a large mixed group is just too risky to everyone involved - the stallion, the mares and geldings, any youngsters, and any people who need to enter the paddock for any reason.
    I do hope your good advice is taken.

    Exactly. Having a mixed herd alone isn't great for performance horses (higher likelyhood of injury). Throwing in another horse will just create more turmol in that field.....regardless of whether he was a former stallion.

    It will not "fix" any issues whatsoever---I can think of NO training issue or other issue that will be fixed by turning out a horse (ANY horse) in a mixed herd and only likely cause the horse in question or another in the field to get hurt.

    If one of those horses in that field already belonged to me...I would be incredibly angry, if not litigious, if this was done and my horse hurt. It is just asking for trouble when you are already in a good turn out situation. Anytime you change a herd there can be issues....so it isn't something to be taken lightly or done on an experiement to "fix" a training issue.

    Honestly....with my performance horses, I don't turn them out in a herd situation period. They go out alone or with one or two others as they too often get hurt otherwise (they do go out for 8-24 hours a day though). I have tried the herd situation...and paid the vet bills. Now...they live in a herd as youngsters and when they start working....I try to minimize my risks.
    Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Oct. 2, 2012 at 07:33 PM.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  16. #16
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    Jul. 20, 2007
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    Rising Sun, MD
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    I gelded my previous Anglo-Arab at 5. He been turned out with a mixed group as a youngster and then with a couple of geldings as he got older. When I gelded him, I waited the 30 days and out he went with a mixed herd. No problems- in fact he was low man on the totem pole.
    Now I currently have a 2 year old Arab gelding that's only ever been turned out with mares- sweetest, most polite horse ever and he's certainly learned to say "yes mam!"
    So honestly it really depends on the horse and their personality.
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  17. #17
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    Jun. 8, 2009
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    Thanks guys!! I am going to print this off to show them I am NOT alone on this!!



  18. #18
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    Dec. 13, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElegantExpressionsFarm View Post
    Thanks guys!! I am going to print this off to show them I am NOT alone on this!!

    Good idea. I think the boarding barn issue is the most significant one here. If someone wants to take a silly risk with their own horses, fine I guess. But if I were one of the by-standing boarders in this scenario, I would be livid if it happened without my knowledge, would move my own horse out of the herd for a short while at best, and permanently at worst.
    An auto-save saved my post.

    I might be a cylon



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillnDale View Post
    Good idea. I think the boarding barn issue is the most significant one here. If someone wants to take a silly risk with their own horses, fine I guess. But if I were one of the by-standing boarders in this scenario, I would be livid if it happened without my knowledge, would move my own horse out of the herd for a short while at best, and permanently at worst.
    See that was my problem!! I didn't want the other borders horses to get hurt (pleasure/trail horse or not!)



  20. #20
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    Jan. 26, 2010
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    BTDT. My horses have always been in mixed herds of ages and sex. In this one someone brought in a 9 year old stallion (he got it from the Mexicans who don't geld them because it's a sign if their manhood, and learned all his horse knowledge from them) gelded him, waited about 60 days. Went into the pasture, mares back up to make him breed, him running like a fool, and geldings getting kicked off.

    The ANOTHER ex stallion came in, and they and the geldings were chasing and fighting all of the time, and the nice old 24 year old gelding wouldn't even come into the herd.

    Second ex left and still have the one, who doesn't scream for the mares as much, and the older gelding will come to the herd sometimes.

    I'm VERY tolerant of letting horses be and work it out. I wouldn't do it, especially if they don't want to pay someone else's vet bills or get sued.

    The mares WILL make him breed them, no matter if he is a gelding, and I can imagine how the other horse owners are going to like that.



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