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Archive for the ‘Mutual Grooming’ Category

Pacing
Dear Cherry,

We just purchased a two-year-old filly and brought her home. She is in a 24-foot by 12-foot outside stall. She paces back and forth. We tried putting her in a 50-foot round pen and she paced there. Do you have any suggestions? We love the filly and are getting her broke. Help!

Heidi

Hi Heidi,

Here are a series of questions that might help you pinpoint the cause and head toward a cure. Possible causes: Have you checked her ration to be sure you are not feeding her too much high energy feed, such as grain, concentrates, or alfalfa hay? Is she getting plenty of exercise with her training? Does she have time to socialize with other horses?
Possible cures: Can you turn this filly out with another horse, at least occasionally? Do you have any pastures or large paddocks that the horse can be turned out in for at least an hour or so a day? Is she the type of horse that won’t get too fat if she eats a little bit all day? If so, can you feed her some grass hay about four or five times a day?

Cherry Hill

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Hi Cherry,

I’ve noticed lately that my TWH mare seems to be rubbing her beautiful long wavy mane off.  I noticed several weeks ago that part of her mane near her withers suddenly became very short.  I figured maybe she got it caught in something and I did not really worry about it too much.  But now I’m noticing that the short part keeps getting bigger and bigger.  I suspect that she is rubbing it on something but I’m not sure what.  She is pasture kept most of the time with her buddies.  If she is not in the pasture then she is in the dry lot with her buddies with hay in hay nets.  I can’t seem to find any evidence on the fence or anything.  Her mane does not look irritated or anything, just short.  I never catch her in the act.  I’m worried that if this continues, her beautiful mane will be all straggles.  To make matters worse, I was planning to sell her in the next few weeks.  I know it can take years for a mane to grow back completely.  Is there anything I can do? 

Thanks,  Ingrid

 

Hi Ingrid,

It sounds more like your mare and one of her pasture buddies are participating in vigorous bouts of “mutual grooming” that normal social activity where two horses stand next to each other facing opposite directions and scratch each others neck, withers and back with their teeth. This results in lost mane hair right where you describe.

That’s one of the drawbacks of group turnout but the horses sure seem to enjoy it !!

As far as what you can do about it, you can separate the mare from her buddies, you can get her a textilene fly sheet with a neck extension, or you can spray a safe anti-chew product on her mane area. There are several products specifically designed for this.

 

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