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journey

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Okay..Here is a few questions...

Harley seems to be very happy at our house, eats well, has plenty of room but in the past week he has gotten loose twice. Once we found him down the road at the Convience Center (the garbage drop off out in the country) he was just walking around happy as could be. The second time he went to a horse farm about 5 miles from the house (while he was gone, he got into a fight with a stallion). Thankfully, the man had seen him in our yard and came to the house to see if he had run off. We had searched for him for 9 hours and figured we would never see him again, but this man brought him back. We have the issues fixed with the fence now and he can't get out unless he breaks the hinges off the gate. Do you think that he is getting out because he has never been breeded before and he might be in need of female attention? Or do you think that he may just be free spirited?

Second question. Harley does things to get attention. Like he will carry around my 4 year olds little lawn tools, or carry the dog's bowl around. He will also nibble on your clothes if you are out with him. He has bit me twice, not sure if it was intentional or not. How do I break him from biting? I don't want to be mean to him, but I don't want him biting the kids for attention. He gets plenty of love.

Third question. Harley will not let me brush him. He will let DH, but not me. I don't know if it is because I am pregnant and he knows I am pregnant or not. His mane looks awful and it is tangled because he won't let me touch it, same for his tail. What can I do to detangle the mane and tail and why do you think he will let DH brush him and not me?

Harley is gentle most of the time and loves to be rubbed on. He will come and knock on the door if he thinks we need to spend time with him..
I think that is so cute. I am very new to having an horse and I am looking for answers for my questions.
 

rabbitsfizz

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Hallo there, sounds like you have a handful there, what with a new horse and a baby on the way- Congratulations, by the way!!!

First off, horses are herd animals and, if Harley is on his own, this will keep happening. Some horses are content (I do not honestly think they are ever happy) on their own, but some are not. Gelding him would be a very good first step, as that will curb his instincts to seek mares, at least. If you have no other horses there is little point to keeping him intact and the nibbling will surely turn to biting as he gets older and his instincts develop. If he had his little herd he would develop his instincts with them, and it would then be fair for you to demand that he stop nipping at you. Whilst you are standing in for his equine companions it is not fair to reprimand him severely when all he is doing is extending the behaviour that you, by being his only company, are encouraging him to exhibit. So, in short, he needs to be gelded and he need another horse to play with. Then you can get tough with his naughtiness. I am assuming he is a baby?? Foal/yearling?? The toy thing- well, give him toys of his own- Milk jugs, Footballs, you can get expensive toys made for horses but I would make sure he will play with them before I spent all that money!! A strong tub half full of water always gets my lots attention- they love to put two feet in and splash!! As to the brushing, if he lets your Husband do it get him to get all the tangles out and do all the unpleasant bits, then have him stand there, cross tie Harley and you just brush away and ignore the antics. I think it has more to do with your Husbands approach, (which I will assume is stronger than yours) than the fact that you are female and pregnant- my Stallions are always very respectful of anyone who is pregnant. I think you are quite understandably, less firm than your husband, as you are going to be much more wary. If you are not in a position to buy another horse is there one you could borrow as company?? If it is a big horse it would not be wise to put it in with Harley, even when he is gelded, but they could share a fence line and still be best buddies. Hope some of this helps.
 

ChrystalPaths

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Welcome! Fizz has given you great advice. Congratulations on the baby first.

Second I would geld this fellow asap. It will help him settle down and be the man you wish he were. If you can't get him a mini friend; many do well with a little goat. Goats are fun and busy and play and would give him something to play with.

Toys are easy. Empty milk jugs, cut off the handles, remove the caps, empty soda botttles with rocks inside to rattle, stuffed animals, go to walmart and get big balls for $2.50, doggy toys are usually 88cents. Pick safe ones.

Leave a radio on for voices. Be sure he has enough to graze on or give him frequent small meals of hay. When you want him to stand still offer a treat, either from your hand or a shallow dish. Cheerios are super treats.

Be sure to have a farrier every 8 wks, a vet for necessary yearly shots, 4 way and rabies at least and available for emergencies. Worm him every 8 wks alternating with strongid or similar product and then an ivermectin product.

He sounds like quite the fellow but you will be much happier and you and your baby will be much safer when he is gelded. Having him gelded costs around $100 and well worth the wonderful change he'll make into a beloved companion. Keep us updated, and welcome to our forum family.
 

Sonya

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Hi and welcome to the forum....I agree gelding first, a buddy second....mine love to play with toys and will steal things that aren't theirs too. I think that is just mini nature, even more so than being young. Minis seem much more inquisitive than full size horses. DH means "husband"???? I was wondering about that....OK, I've got the H for husband, but the D...what does that mean "dumb'...just kidding!
 

journey

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Thank you so much for the tips..I really appriciate it. He has made buddies with my dog, who is a mixed up mutt..They sleep together and I think it is hilarious. My only problem is, we have to tie Harley up when it is feeding time for the dog, because he tries to eat dog food. I read that it is not healthy for Harley to eat dog food, but he thinks he should eat it...That only happened once for a small second. I took him away and gave him a treat.

Harley lived alone at our Uncle's house. With no other horses. I have noticed though, because we live next to a dairy farm, that when the cows are in the field next to ours, Harley kinda hangs with them near the fence. We have been considering buying him a buddy. My DH's supervisor at work has a Mare, she is not a mini, but she is an 8 year old pony. I am not so sure of that. She is just as small as he, but I don't want him to be aggressive with her, because she is a wonderful pony and is a very gentle girl.

I wanted to get Harley gelded, but his Uncle does not wish for us to do so, as Harley has papers and could be breeded. I want to get the papers so I can see his full name and all that good stuff, but his Uncle is never available, hence the reason we have Harley now.
 

ChrystalPaths

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Ok, if your Uncle loves you all and values that great niece/nephew and wants what is best for the horse and all of you...you need to seriously discuss this further. If he is to be a family horse he should be gelded. This is just my opinion, thebest stallions sometimes makes splendid geldings. Just think of how much better you will feel with a horse you can trust 100%. Best of luck.
 

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