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The Alpha Mare vs The Stud

The Alpha Mare vs The Stud

I know that many people in the horse world would never own a stud or have anything to do with one unless they were running a breeding facility. But there are a lot of people out there with Alpha mares and don't realize that they can be as dangerous and sometimes even more dangerous then a stallion when mishandled or put into the wrong type of situations. 

Here are the pros and cons as I see them. 

A stallion is much like what people love about a gelding. They are the same horse every time you go get them. A stallion has one thing on his mind and as long as you never forget that you will likely never have a problem. Control the situation he is in by proper training and handling and you will never have to worry about him running up behind a mounted rider on an in season mare. You just have to always be vigilant as this is always his natural drive. 

Now what many people don't know and don't realize is that the stallion does not run the day to day workings of a herd. He is strictly there for protection and pro-creation. The leader, law enforcer, nurturer and director is the Alpha mare. 

With that information you have a lot of insight and can understand why they can be harder to manage and more dangerous for a beginner or uneducated handler. An Alpha Mare does not bend to your will easily, she will not take your lead easily, she will be very protective of you and her pasture mates, Her pasture is just that "HERS". She will be more aggressive in her actions when she puts her mind to something. "I don't like that horse" (not helpful in a trail ride or show ring)... "I don't like that saddle"... "I don't want to trot".... "I don't want to go that direction".... "I don't want to go over/thru _________"..... "I don't like this pasture" (over/thru the fence she goes). 

You get the idea. it can be as simple an argument as her stopping and refusing to move to Bucking/rearing/striking/bolting..... 

What should/can you do if you have an alpha mare? There are many things you can do and can lead a safe and happy life.

1) YOU (and anyone handling her) MUST BECOME THE LEADER! This is the most important step. 

2) You can use a herbal or medical supplementation like "Mare Magic", "Regumate"

3) Pregnancy- Some people believe that Alpha Mares do best when they are pregnant or have had at least one foal. Don't want a foal? You could try marbleing your mare. It is a medical procedure that is very simple and makes that body think it is pregnant. 

 

This is really just scratching the surface and I will continue to elaborate in future blogs. 

 

 

More about hormones, mares, domenant, stud

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I am just a girl who loves horses! Pretty much everything there is about horses from the hooves up. I come from a line of female trainers and horse lovers. I purchased my first horse when I was 15 and haven't looked back. :) I am married to a non-horsey husband who loves me even though he says I am a prime example of "My Little Pony" gone wrong. I am just going to share my feelings and experiences with you and hope that we can learn and grow in our passion for horses together.

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  1. spirithorserider
    spirithorserider
    I have an alpha mare and I adore her. I raised her from a weanling and she is now 15. You are right, alpha mares are not easy and take a great deal of understanding and finesse in dealing with them. Even as a little baby, my mare tested me constantly. I reached a point where I was having to reassert my dominance at least once a week, but that gradually became less and less frequent until she was about 3-1/2 and things were pretty settled. I then put her in training to start her under saddle. The trainer had never encountered anything like her and decided to treat her like a stallion, which did not work at all. To make a long story short, I ended up firing the trainer after she beat up my mare so bad she left welts on her, as well as nearly removed any desire for the horse to work under saddle at all. I then took over the training and we started over. While on my horse, I took off my spurs and threw them on the ground, along with my whip where she could see them, and felt a huge sigh come from her. I told her to let me know what she needed. I actually said it out loud and petted her. Everything changed from that day forward -- progress wasn't all a straight line, but we did progress -- and she has been the best horse ever since. She's still fussy about her space with other horses, but I am careful to keep others out of range or warn them, and she lives in pasture with another alpha mare. They are not buddy-buddy, but they share the pasture and eat together with tolerance and no issues since the pecking order is established (my mare is number 2 for the first time in her life). Knowing what you are dealing wtih makes all the difference in the world.
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  2. jst4horses
    When you do partnering, or join up with a horse, it gives in, and accepts you as the new alpha. I have had several alpha mares that from time to time had to have a discussion, usually when they were in heat. I even used my alpha mares to help me with really out of control horses, especially those pampered and treated like people who did not get that they were not the spoiled rich kid running the show. I constantly hear people tell me what their horse will or will not do. If you do your work and become the herd leader, your horse will do what you expect it to do. Sometimes with very spoiled horses it takes a long time, but I recently worked with a horse that bit other horses, I simply raise a white bag and he stops. We had a join up chat, I learned join up with no touching at all until the horse submits to your being the leader. This particular horse was very stubborn, but I will be moving the cue from the bag to something smaller and soon he will just give up his bad habit.
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  3. Timbermama
    Timbermama
    I have both, my Stallion is as gentle as new born baby, now my lead mare well she is one that you treat her as if she is a 13 yr old kid, if I must I will raise my voice generally though I look at that hip move her around 5-6 xs and she drops that head and gives because she does not want to work that hard and fast. But there is always that moment when you know something bad is going to happen and she is going to be the leader of it. Again I had a very well known vet and she came out she knew what to expect and she did as requested but the next time she sent her niece and wow my mare could smell her a mile away the eyes rolled back and she went up, mind you this mare is short and stocky built like a rock (15.2, 1220, and is 78 ) she reached the shortest part of the stall roof 14 1/2 feet and her hind never left the ground, she continued till I made it to the vets truck and told her tell your aunt to come out not you the mare will kill you and anyone else she does not like your smell. I was so correct they did not like it but owell the vet came out 2 hrs later and all was fine. Now when my stallion was injured very severe calm as could be, I was not home and my daughter had to address the situation and do emergency would care while waiting for the emergency team to arrive, not once she sais did he flinch, she put her hand into the side of him checked to see if organs were cut open she poured gallons of distilled water into his wounds, she shaved him etc all while the team was in route and she had no halter or rope on him the team arrived sedated him to the ground while under sedation as we arrived he heard our voices and nickered to tell us he was alright. After the surgery the emergency vet team said that was the first they had seen a completely drugged horse with a air tube in him nicker and not once but three times he nickered till arrived at his head at which he went back to comatose. So yes alpha (lead) mares are just as much dangerous as that locked up stalled stallion. I have found it best to let them run together just like a wild herd and I have had no problems since and the mares get locked up when in season not the stallion, makes for a more safer environment. Soon I will geld him as I truly believe he has sired enough and he is in need of the release.
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  4. jst4horses
    I find it scary, I do not mean to be mean, to have people allow horses to behave in this fashion. YOU are the alpha mare or your horses and everyone around them are at risk. This takes time and experience, but it also is learned in one lesson at a good training clinic with native natural horsemen. I am sad for the mare that was "trained" by someone who beat and welted her. I personally do not use spurs, except in old long ago when I wore them for exhibition because they were expected. I do not use whips either, except as above, old days when they were required in competition to be carried. I too have had alpha mares that would decide (usually when they got in season) that they were the boss. One good open hand smack, not hard, just "smack" on the big cheek bones, (which a horse interprets as I bit her in the face-watch them in the wild or in a field) and that was that. I do not allow my horses to ever have the thought that they are the boss, or that they get to bother other horses. I say NOT YOUR MARE, and stallions put their head down, say "shucks" and behave. They are taught to do that. This takes experience and saavy. Every horse owner needs to know the first day clinic rules on keeping a safe horse. If you can not manage your horse, that is an unsafe horse. I was given a horse that no one could handle. Her old owner had a friend who came down and thought she would give her a bath, and shoved a hose in her face, while she was tied to a tree. The horse exploded and tore part of the tree down as well as carving huge cuts in her head from the buckles on the halter before it broke. Someone called me and told me what had happened, they had chased her into a stall and slammed the door. I was NOT happy when I arrived and found the horse in a scene from the movie "Horse Whisperer". The horse was rearing, kicking, screaming and worst bleeding all over. I had only worked with her a short while. I said "you did this to yourself, you are not going to take it out on me miss". I can not , never could, rope a horse, so I put a noose on a mop handle and got it over her head. I spent a few moments reminding her I was the boss, and it was time to calm down. She then let me clean out all her wounds. When the vet arrived.........he did what he had to do. A lady said to him, don't you recognize this mare? He stared. He could not believe it. This mare had for two previous owners had to be tranquilized to be given her shots, or have her feet done. Now, injured and afraid, she knew when I told her to stand I meant it, and it was all OK, because, she knows I am the alpha mare and will protect her.
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    1. Timbermama
      Timbermama
      Yes this was a few years back just after the mare arrived, she had every reason to be upset her foal was dying, she was in a strange place etc. Since she has been taught in the field be as you wish around people feet and head down. I agree no spurs, whips etc, there is no reason for it they will give under time to repetitiveness and they will respect you more. Never have I hit a horse nor have I had to I was taught the right way, this natural horsemanship everyone talks about is a new phrasing, it used to be called "whisper", just like everything else all the people think things are new, its not the clinicians of today make it sound new when its not, I only in the past 4 years heard of all these clinicians (no computers or satellite tv) this method, jst4horses, has been around for over 100 years and I do agree 100% with it no matter who is teaching it to people as long as the owner is taught correct then the horse will follow. I am in hopes that the mare you took on is still a happy joyful companion, and it takes a lot to re-train those hopeless critters but well worth the joy during and after to show that the horse is not the problem it is the people.
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