Monday, March 5, 2007

Twins Saga Delayed for Life Turns with Arabian Horses and Stallions Part 2

This picture is (obviously) NOT my Arabian horses (I will write a post about the picture later this week) but it does display the violence happening at my farm on Saturday. (without the audience)

Part 1

The trouble making colt that had started this whole trauma by taunting the Arabian stallion, Scandalout Legacy, has been returned to the barn. But my problems with my Arabian horses are far from over. I still have raging hormones to deal with in a number of horses. So I headed back out to break up the two stallions. Thank goodness there is a fence in between them.

When I arrived back at Storm's paddock, (stalllion) both horses were standing on their hind legs locked in battle even with the fence in the middle. The horses' heads, necks and front legs were enmeshed together as I ran through the gate. The chesnut horse (Storm) did not want to be caught. The horse ran off as soon as he saw me approaching. This young stallion saw his chance to take over the herd and the horse was going for it. This young stallion didn't plan on letting me interfere.

Unfortunately for the horse, he's a wuss about mud! If you can picture this, the young stallion is fighting for his own band of mares (and from his look, willing to fight to the death) and the horse doesn't want to get his feet muddy! (Thank you, Lord! I have something to work with) There's mud along most of the fence line between the two fighting stallions. The relatively dry spots are the two corners. So as I'm trying to catch up the red horse, the stallion shakes his head at me and runs a big circle off and around the mud to the get to the other corner where the horse can again make contact with the other stallion. Thankfully, there's deep, squishy mud in front of the manglaed gate. Storm, the big, brave stallion that he is, is not going anywhere near that gate. From this side, that gate is not only manglaed, it's pretty flattened. Either of the two horses could easily have crossed over it. Fortunately, neither of the raging horses got near enough to figure that out.

After a couple of attempts to catch the red horse, I climbed over the mangled gate. By the time I got over the thing both Arabian horses were back fighting again. Up on their hind legs, biting, screaming and striking with their ears pinned flat to their heads locked in combat. This was as serious a stallion fight as I have even seen. The only thing keeping the two Arabian horses apart was a 4 foot fence. Both rearing stallions seemed to tower over the top of it.

My heart was in my throat. My dream of breeding great Arabian horses is trying to crash down around me. I took a deep breath. I walked confidently up to the bay horse (my great wonderful kind senior Arabian stallion) and hollered his name over the screams of the fighting horses. Legs turned and looked at me. The Arabian stallion took a step back, dropped down to all fours and walked to me leaving his competitor behind. As I lifted the his halter, the horse put his face squarely into it. There was blood gushing out of both nostrils but the horse's eye was instantly soft as he came to me. I patted the Arabian horse on the neck and reached into my pocket for a cookie. I glanced over my shoulder to check out the other horse. The stallion was clearly upset, running around the paddock but the horse didn't try to follow us. The silly stallion was still trying to avoid the mud.

I led the foaming Arabian stallion, Legs, ( 10 year old horse) around back through the gate he had demolished just minutes before as a raging stallion. We stopped at the horse trailer to grab a cooler. The sweaty horse snuffled my pockets looking for treats. My raging stallion had turned into a puppy solely because I had asked him. I thanked my lucky stars.

It took all my muster to walk back to the stallion's stall. I wanted to run but didn't want to excite this horse again. It was safer that we walk, even though I knew I still had crazed horses running around my fields.

As we walked back to his stall, the stallion spoke softly to the mares as we walked past. Telling the broodmares everything was all right, I would guess. The horse's turnout coat was torn and all lathered inside as I stripped it off the frothing stallion. I tried checking the horse over quickly for injuries as I threw on the cooler and tied the Arabian stallion to the wall. Other than the blood still running from his nostrils, the quick once over revealed nothing.

I didn't have time to examine the stallion closely. All of the Arabian horses on my farm were upset by the commotion. The mares outside were running and talking. The red stallion, Storm, was still screaming and racing around. There was another Arabian stallion right across the drive from Storm (the red horse) that most likely was disturbed as well. Even the horses in their stalls were protesting, some kicking or rearing. The entire herd needed to be settled before more damage was done. When a herd of Arabian horses or other horses, stampedes like this, horses can be injured. I had to get this under control. So I raced to catch the red horse. This Arabian stallion was the most upset, settling this horse would surely help settle the other horses.

This time, without the older horse to fight, the red stallion was ready to be caught. Agitated, the horse wanted back to the safety of his stall. Once there, the Arabian horse (stallion) began to settle some. I tied the horse to the wall. Just to make the Arabian horse stand in one place would help with his calming process. I still had more horses I needed to bet in before the my herd would quiet down. Only when all the Arabian horses were safe would I be able to go back and check what kind of injuries the stallions and the other horses might have.

The next horse I wanted to catch was the other stallion (Scandalous Reflection) that was still left outside. Since stallions can easily get the whole herd excited, controlling them is always the best way to quiet the other horses. This horse had been the closest horse to the fighting stallions. How much of the excitement this young stallion had taken on, I didn't know. I had been too busy to notice. When I walked up to the paddock, I was suprised to find this stallion (horse) looking rather puzzled. The young horse has such an expressive face, he was easy to read. The stallion was standing quietly and he was completely cool. The young stallion hadn't been running around like the rest of my horses. Evidently the horse couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about. This young stallion, at least, had not gotten caught up in the turmoil with the rest of the horses. I was relieved. This was one horse I didn't have to worry about being injured. I put the young stallion in his stall, gave the horse a cookie and ran off to catch the mares still left outside and still running their hearts out.

All three of these horses were glad to see me and eager to be caught. Each horse went quickly into her stall, glad for the peace, comfort and security. Other than being a little warm, these horses appeared fine. Now I could go back and check the stallions for injuries.

As I checked the youngest horse, Tag the 2 year old colt, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and heart ringing in my ears. Sheer adrenaline had carried me through the crisis but now that it was over my body shook from the excess hormone. I found a flap of skin right down the middle of the young horse's face. It was approxinately an inch and a half in length but too narrow for stitches to be any help. Other than being a little sore and the injury to his face, this horse looked like he was ok. I wonder if he's a little wiser about messing with the big boys (the older horses, stallions).

The next horse, Storm the red stallion, had some swellings on his neck but no hide removed. My guess is the swellings are from bites. If the fence hadn't been between the two horses, there would have surely been missing hide and more trauma to these sites. By now Storm was settled and cool enough to untie. Checking the horse over thoroughly, I couldn't find any other injuries on this horse either, not a single cut or scrape.

The last horse I checked was Legs, my breeding stallion. The horse still had blood coming from his nose but it was much slower now. I washed his face and examined it closely looking for tears to his nostrils or evidence of a kick. I found nothing. I checked the rest of this horse over carefully finding a few swellings on his neck like those the red horse had. Other than that, this stallion (horse) looked good too. The stallion was still very warm and would need to cool down. The horse was fit enough that the Arabian stallion could stand tied until he was dry. I didn't want to take a horse back out of a stall if I didn't have to. I wanted to be sure the Arabian horses continued to settle down.

I lucked out, all of that commotion and terror and all I had was minor injuries and some torn horse turnout coats. I had one horse with a cut on his face (probably caused by the electric wire over the gate the horse jumped through). Two horses had mild swellings from bites on their necks and a bloody nose. I would need to watch them for edema but it was a miracle that this was all I needed to do.

Usually when stallions fight, you can figure on hundreds of dollars in vet bills, if not a dead horse or two and sometimes permanent injuries. What saved me from something that could have been very ugly, was the training and remarkable disposition of my breeding stallion. His willingness to please me had overtaken Mother Nature's urge to defend his herd. Without that, there's no way I could have broken those two raging stallions (horses) up. It's one of the remarkable things I love about Arabian horses, their unique dedication to man.

I've had more than my share of life's little lessons that have involved the instincts of the Arabian horse (and other horses). I understand how vulnerable we, as human beings, can be when confronted with the forces of Mother Nature and the instincts she has given to horses. As much as I love Arabian horses and want to share that passion with other people, (which is why I write), I also know that it is equally important for us to understand the facts. We must never forget that these magnficient creatures are horses and capable of great violence. Even the sweetest kindest horses, given the right circumstances, can be deadly. Because of this, in future posts I will share the other life lessons I have learned about horses and their instincts. So stayed tuned. You won't believe it. I wouldn't if I hadn't lived each story myself.

Tomorrow, I'll return to posting about the Arabian twin foals, Scandalous Trouble and Scandalous Surprise, and their newest challenge.


  1. "It's one of the remarkable things I love about Arabian horses, their unique dedication to man."

    Good way to put it. I'm so happy things turned out as well as they did! Sounds like you've done a good job training those stallions.

  2. Wow MiKael that had my heart pounding too, I so know that feeling. I am so glad that you managed to get it under control so easily thanks to the respect you have from your breeding stallion (I am still trying to get all their names in order LOL).

    See ya and the twins tomorrow.



  3. You just never know what you're going to get with stallions. I learned this the hard way once with my gelding. At the time he was boarded in a barn owned by a good friend of mine, and she also had a breeding stallion. I had been riding the stallion as well as my horse for a few months. The stallion and Kaswyn were regularly turned out next to each other and would play halter games over the fence. So one rainy day I thought I'd turn them out in the indoor arena together after they had both been ridden. They enjoyed playing together, both having a good roll in the dirt, and all was well.

    A few weeks later, and after turning them out together a few times, I noticed a glint in the stallion's eye when I turned him loose with Kaswyn. He started chasing my horse around, and suddenly reached over and grabbed a hunk of Kaswyn's back in his teeth. He would not let go, and Kaswyn bolted in a panic. Both horses were at a full gallop around the arena, with me yelling "whoa!" and trying to jump in front of them to stop them. The stallion lost his bite once but grabbed again and hung on like a pit bull. Thankfully my horse was more fit than the stallion, who eventually tired and released Kaswyn.

    Needless to say, that was the last time I ever turned the stallion out with anyone. Unfortunately my horse bears the scars - two big ones - on his back for my mistake. All I can figure is that one of the mares was coming into heat and the stallion decided it was time to get serious. It was super scary, even though Kaswyn didn't fight back at all. I can't imagine trying to break up a real fight. Terrifying.

  4. Great Story! Its hard enough just keeping my mares and geldings from scrapping. I cant imagine trying to keep two stallions apart. I suspect quick thinking and your ability to collect yourself saved the day (and the stallions!)

  5. We had an experience similar to this. We used to breed horses as well and had a band of mares with a stallion in a rented pasture. If there wasn't a witness we wouldn't have believed it, but the owner of the land was in the pasture picking berries and he told us that out of now where the stallion ran up to this mare and grabbed her by the neck, snapping it and killing her instantly. It wasn't too much longer after that that we had all the stallions and geldings back at the ranch. The mares were still out in pasture and we were able to put our stallions together in a pasture as long as they all went in at the same time and that there was no mares around. So we had seven stallions together and they all broke loose through the fence and into the corral that had the geldings in it! Luckily we were at a nearby corral when this happened and when we had gotten in our one dog....very well trained dog... was trying to get the stallions away. In the end we were able to get things under control although we realized how close we actually came as one gelding had very deep puncture marks on his neck so we can only assume that the stallion was trying to break his neck as well. Very scary though!

  6. Wow! What a story!

    If it was my herd, I would be looking for some pipe corrals that didn't depend on electricity.

    You be careful with those boys!!!