Possible "riggy" Gelding, advice needed!

Jackie72

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Hello :)

I am new here and I am seeking advice about dealing with a "riggy" horse. My safe, sane, plod has turned into an ASBO cob! He has always had a bit of a stroppy side and could be bolshy to handle. I have had to move to grass livery and he is turned out with a couple of mares and he has lost the plot. He eventually hacked out on Sunday, with an experienced rider (I am experienced, but nervous...) and called the whole way, he napped really badly going out and was backing up and spinning into traffic. Yesterday he threw my friend off in the field. He has only been moved here for a week and a half and I have him on a calmer and I have ordered Agnus Castus from Hilton Herbs. I will get my vet to blood test him. I just wondered if anybody has experience of this and has any ideas to help? He is out with another gelding who he knows from the previous yard. Help Please ... Thank you Jackie.
 

Micropony

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IME, mixed turnout just doesn't work for some horses,and this has to be the most difficult time of year for a gelding who has an eye for the ladies. You might find he settles, and the supplements might help. Or you might need to manage him by keeping him well away from mares especially in spring.

My last horse was a lamb when his life didn't have mares in it, but was downright dangerous on the ground in spring when he was briefly on mixed turnout. Never caused problems under saddle though, with tack on he remembered his manners thank goodness!
 

Nicnac

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Is it just the Spring grass rather than the laydees? Being a cob he may be full of good grass and desperate to get back to it. The only way to find out if he really is a rig is vet and if positive; he would require very different management.
 

starsky

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I just moved mine from mixed grazing when they refused to allow me to separate him and a mare he was mounting (she was a more than willing participant). He has now returned to being the normal, laid back character he was. Mixed herds just doesn't work for some horses.
 

applecart14

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My previous horse Billy was ten when he came to me. He had been gelded late at 7 and I believe he was used as a stallion for a time as he had such good breeding. He was very stallion like when I had him, typical arched neck and arched tail. When he went out with the other horses for the first time(about 30 geldings) in some 40 acres I stood there on my own watching him. He rounded up some fifteen or sixteen of them, and ran around them with his nose to the ground sniffing. There was another horse in the herd that did the same with his 'gang', so they were both very stallion like in their behavior. When one of his group tried to break free from the circle he rounded them up by nipping at their heels. I had never seen this behavior before and I was fascinated. I ran back excitedly to tell the other liveries what I had seen, some dismissed me as exaggerating, some just didn't give a stuff, no one was really very interested.

Over the next few weeks horses started coming in with their rugs torn at the withers and they reckoned that something had been trying to mount their horses. My conversation about Billy when he was first turned out and his behavior was suddenly remembered (unbeknown to me at the time, I had made a rod for my own back) and he was blamed for all the torn rugs and injured horses even though no one had seen anything.

To cut a long story short the YO said he couldn't be turned out with the others so he had his own paddock half a mile away from the others, but was really unhappy on his own and jumped out a couple of times. I was then forced to put him on box rest. As it so happened there was a long period where no other horses got injured so of course everyone thought it was my horse, even though I just knew in my heart it wasn't him.

I was told to get him tested for a rig. He came up as a 'false rig' in the blood test. This meant a horse that had not retained any testicular tissue but behaves like a stallion. If he had retained testicular tissue he would have been called a 'true rig'.

The vet said there was a female hormone injection he could have which would curb his 'sexual activity' so I somewhat reluctantly signed a disclaimer as it was unlicensed for use in horses at the time. It was called Depo Provera. He had three lots of injections.

One day my so called friend who was one of the ring leaders who had accused my horse of mounting her horse and ripping his rug and causing teeth marks on his withers was at a show that I attended with my horse. Her horse wasn't at the show but she was there in person watching. Her horse had been badly hurt during the period my horse was allowed in the field with the others and she reckoned that her chiro had gone so far to say that my horse had broken her horses rib by mounting it and squeezing its sides, (despite the fact horses are unable to 'hug' due to their confirmation/skeletal makeup!!!)

When she got back to the yard she found out her horse had been practically mangled in the field. When I arrived home from the yard she apologized to me and it was obvious to all and sundry that it was not my horse who had caused the damage, I think it was the other horse who was rounding up his geldings that day when my horse went out for the first time. My previous horse who had been kept at this yard previous to me having Billy sustained a fatal compound fracture of the tibia whilst playing with other horses and was PTS in the field. I wonder to this day if it was that horse.

In the end although my horse was allowed to return to the herd the damage had been done, my trust in my fellow liveries had gone, I had no respect for them and was deeply hurt about it all. I left the yard.

Only 12 or so months later my horse dropped down dead with a suspected heart attack. The YO was with him when he dropped to the ground after grunting in the field when she turned him out. I often wonder if it was to do with drug he was given.

So my advice to you OP is if it comes to giving him a drug for his riggy behavior DONT DO IT.
 
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Vanha12

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Had a very 'riggy' pony that blood tested negative. He mounted anything and everything. We managed him perfectly well with Global Herbs rig calm and lots of work on the ground with a rope halter (Richard Maxwell).
 

Equi

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Bad behavior would not necessarily mean rig - in fact many stallions don't get on like that anyway. I would say it's more a mix of new environment, separation anxiety and spring grass.
 

Serianas

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I would get him tested.. its a simple blood test and doesn't take long... mine came back that he was rig despite having no testicles, but having active tissue. Hes now on a supplement to help calm his urges, as no mare, gelding or wheelbarrow was safe... Never said he was very bright lol
 

Jackie72

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Thank you for your reply, I will get him tested for sure by the vet. Its just so dramatic. I have always felt that he had the potential to throw his weight around, but this is dreadful. I am a nervous rider anyway (15 year break). At our previous yard the summer turnout for the mares was next door and he was not interested at all. The YO has said she will split them if necessary. :)
 

Serianas

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Thank you for your reply, I will get him tested for sure by the vet. Its just so dramatic. I have always felt that he had the potential to throw his weight around, but this is dreadful. I am a nervous rider anyway (15 year break). At our previous yard the summer turnout for the mares was next door and he was not interested at all. The YO has said she will split them if necessary. :)

I was also very nervous when I got ratbag and honestly I think its a case of better the devil you know. You will get there, just give yourself a break, Iused to cry when sitting on his back... we got him just coming out of winter and then when Spring hit, he turned into a humping, bolshy monster, which made me believe I had no idea what I was doing after being around horses just over 20 years (with breaks). We now compete dressage at the local yard, and if you had seen him as an iron mouthed 6 year old, you would never have believed it would ever happen :) If you need to talk feel free to PM me... I have been in your shoes!
 

Jackie72

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Just out of interest has anybody managed a riggy gelding, on supplements, while out with mares?

This is all so frustrating as I was just beginning to get my confidence with him, now I am terrified again, I did some groundwork with him yesterday and will continue to do so until he calms down, he was fine doing this and seemed to accept everything I was doing. I will have only owned him for 2 years in July. He was sold as a complete plod, but he never has been with me. He has always been a show off, but he is a cob x shire and can be quite intimidating!

Thank you all for your responses, its nice to know that others have had this issue.. any ideas welcome! I am not sure if its best to continue trying to ride him or just allow him to settle and get the supplements into his system. I am worried that he will learn to avoid work by throwing a strop and I am not sure I have the confidence to deal with him. I do have a wonderful instructor, but right now I would fear for my safety riding him!!
 

Jackie72

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Oh thank you!! Its such a relief that there have been successes... I think he has had a few homes.. I guess this may be why! His previous owner had no problems at all (no mares) and actually sold him because he was too slow and boring. He has never been a problem on spring grass, maybe a bit more willing to actually move :) but nothing that has ever bothered me!!
 

Kezzabell2

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when i thought my gelding might have been a rig, the vet assured me that its very unlikely these days and she wouldn't blood test him because she knew it would be negative

give your horse time to settle down, its always exciting moving yards and if he's with mares he might get a bit excited, they might come into season but I'm sure in time they will all calm down! my gelding has been out with lots of mares and has always been fine, apart from with one, who was very flirty when she was in season, so we just made sure they were separate.
 
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