Quantcast

Jump to content

Photo

do horses grieve


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 zbeyhorse

zbeyhorse

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 27 posts

Posted 15 May 2007 - 01:39 PM

i have heard of horses grieving for a pasture mate but has anyone ever seen it? and how do they greive? just curious

#2 azulmoreno

azulmoreno

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 30 posts
  • Location:warsaw, missouri

Posted 15 May 2007 - 02:18 PM

When my friend's 30-odd year old Belgian mare had to be put down, the herd leader, another mare, called and called for her for four days straight. My friend finally couldn't take it anymore and came over to my place.
My friend has reported that the lead mare is keeping all the other horses close to her, and won't let any of tehm out of her sight!!

#3 WarPony

WarPony

    Teeny Tiny Equine Of DOOOM!

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,598 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Michigan

Posted 15 May 2007 - 02:37 PM

Some do, some don't. When I was a teenager my best friends old horse died and her young colt stopped eating. He stood over the old horses grave for a week. Not crying, not running, not calling for him... just stand there head down refusing to eat or drink.

Then one day he was fine.

When my pony mare passed away her son, the pony I lost last fall, ran and cried and screamed for weeks. All day, all night.... he never stopped eating but he spent weeks looking for her.

When I lost my pony last fall my colt ran around looking for him for about a half hour, then seemed to shrug his shoulders and say, "OK, he's gone, where is dinner?" But he also seemed to recognize that something was wrong with ME and his behaviour with ME changed for a while until I got a better handle on my emotions. I think some horses don;t mourn the loss of a pasturemate so much as they are effected by the emotions of the human they care about.

In cases that I have seen where a horse really seemed distressed by loss it has been when they lost a long term companion that they were very closely bonded to.

#4 kewpalace

kewpalace

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 446 posts
  • Location:Tehachapi, CA

Posted 15 May 2007 - 02:37 PM

quote:
Originally posted by zbeyhorse:
i have heard of horses grieving for a pasture mate but has anyone ever seen it?

Yes, I have with my mare, when she lost her half-sister/corralmate.

quote:
Originally posted by zbeyhorse:
how do they greive?

She just gave up. Had no spark to her. Lost all interest in any activity. Lost all interest in food. Slept ALOT. Moped around. It was heartbreaking.

#5 littlebayroan

littlebayroan

    Staff Sergeant of the Wheelbarrow Brigade

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 856 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:somewhere hot & sunny...

Posted 15 May 2007 - 05:17 PM

Yes, my old gelding grieved - went off his feed, stood out and just gazed in the distance - when he lost his pasturemate. They were only together for about 1 1/2 years, but evidently they were close.

We recently lost a mare at the boarding barn, and buried her in the pasture. All the other horses stopped and spent time looking at her grave and just kind of hanging out around the tree we buried her under, the day she was put down.

#6 lynnehall67

lynnehall67

    I am still alive.... and here's proof.

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,280 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Arizona

Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:38 PM

I think they do... at least the sensitive ones. I lost a stallion in 1999. I had a mare the same age as him (he was foaled two weeks before her) and they had been raised together, and later bred to each other to produce two beautiful fillies. While she sustained a career ending injury in her four year old year, he continued to show. We happened to load horses just outside of that mares stall, so she often saw him loaded on the trailer for trips to shows. While I always noted that she watch the stallion load, she never once called to him and once the trailer was gone she always returned to her normal routine. The day he was loaded on the trailer for his trip to the hospital she was absolutely frantic, running in circles and screaming in her stall (she had never done that before that day and has never done it since). When I got back from the hospital (after losing my baby (he was rejected by his dam and I had bottle fred him for 4 months), my mare was standing quietly staring out her window. She wouldn't leave the window for weeks unless you actually walked in her stall and got her. I even had to go and get her and stand with her by her feeder to get her to eat. Gradually, she got better, but I know she knew... and I know she was sad.

#7 OkieCG

OkieCG

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,455 posts
  • Location:Chandler, OK

Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:48 PM

I believe that they do. When I lost Cassi, Libby and Romy were in the pasture with her. They stood over her until my father buried her, then they would stand over her grave, and even now I occasionally see them over there just standing looking at the ground where Cassi is.

#8 Guest__*

Guest__*
  • Guests

Posted 15 May 2007 - 08:50 PM

We lost my daughter's gelding, Greyson, just a week ago. He and my mare, Camryn, had been together for a year and a half and were extremely close. We buried him in the pasture next to hers and every once in a while she will still go over to the fence and call out to him.

#9 zbeyhorse

zbeyhorse

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 27 posts

Posted 15 May 2007 - 09:16 PM

wow! it is realy intersting how much horses know or seem to know. Thanks for responding. When i sold one of my horses last year my two year old filly called for him for almost a week and they had only been together several months. But i wanted to know what others thought of horses greiving. Anyways thanks again.

#10 CatNip81

CatNip81

    The Distroyer of Threads

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,660 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The Moon

Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:02 PM

I think any animal that is capable of having a bond or relationship is capable of grieving. Horses are social animals by nature and companionship is a very important component of the equine social structure.

I had a paint mare " forged Hancock" that seen our dog get killed and it had a profound effect on her. She would stand in the corner of her feild and look at the spot that the dog had died and snort and make squeeky sounds like half nay's. It was a sad thing to see and it took her a month come out of it.

When I worked on a breeding farm in Texas, we had a problem with a mare not responding to the stallion that we wanted to breed her. When we would take her out and put her in the stock she would get responsive and start acting like a mare in season so we would try to breed her again. She was adamant about not being bred by this stallion. We took her back to the stock to undo her tail and I noticed she could see through the front window of the breeding shed and out the back window and about fifty feet away stood a new stallion the owner had just bought. This mare had built a relationship with this stallion and would only accept this stallion as her breeding stallion.

Animals a capable of preference, relationship, sadness, happyness and jealousy. These are all very complex emotions so I dont see why a horse would not be able to greave.

#11 mari5000

mari5000

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 143 posts
  • Location:MN

Posted 16 May 2007 - 10:10 AM

My POA gelding had an older mare that he was turned out with. He was really dominant in the pasture so they turned him out with the mare because she was also pretty mare-ish, but was too old to be involved with the herd scuffling (she wouldn't get out of the way in time, stuff like that, so she'd often be lame from being kicked. I'd have felt bad if she hadn't provoked it... [Confused] ...anyway, their stalls were right next to each other, and must have been weaning stalls or something because they were the only ones that had a lower wall, so they could see each other all the time. I ended up selling him...she was depressed for weeks, probably because nobody else liked her. She hasn't bonded with any horses since then. She's got to be in her 30s now; she was old and retired when I had my pony, and that was like 10 years ago. Kind of crazy when I go back to visit after 5+ years and she's still alive!