Natural Horse World

Clover Turns Gelding into Stallion – by Vanessa Smith

Last autumn, I was at my wits end as to what to do with my 14 year old gelding that I have owned for two years. Echo is a beautiful grey Arab cross. I had always thought he was a rig as he loved mares and acted a bit like a stallion.
Echo was given to me because of his stressed out and over-reactive behaviour, resulting in past mistreatment. He is a sensitive horse and demands patience but I was becoming afraid of him.
He acted so much like a stallion that he was unsafe to be around when he was near a mare. My mare came in season and he mated her fully. He could not concentrate when I took him away from the mares and would head toss and roll on the ground, sometimes displaying mild signs of colic.
My own baby was six months at the time and I thought that with the limited time I had, I would not be able to change his behaviour through the hours of training he’d need.
EchoI was also desperate to ride again and Echo was my only riding horse, so I had long nights full of anguish and frustration. One day when I went to feed the horses Echo nuzzled me and started making deep snorting sounds and then he struck out with his front hoof and when I had a woman massage him the next day and he was unhappy and went to bite. I was so upset that I thought about giving Echo away. It was a hard decision as I felt Echo and I, had over the past two years formed a good relationship but now he seemed unreachable.
I sent Cynthia an ad to put on her website, looking for a home for Echo. She said that he would be unable to find a better home than mine because of his sensitive nature. She also sent me a book that saved Echo and me.
“The Key to calm healthy horses” by Jenny Paterson helped me understand what was happening to Echo. As I read the pages I cried, the book was describing Echo exactly, Tossing his head constantly, sour cranky behaviour, walking all over me, unable to concentrate, intense stallion behaviour.
I realised that the clover paddock he was in was creating a toxic effect that resulted in all the above behaviours.
I removed Echo off the clover and also fed hay and began to feed him Alleviate, which is a magnesium supplement and Supreme Vit & Min. and over a few weeks Echo slowly began to change.
I also came across a product called Attitude blend from Country Park Herbs, designed to balance the hormones of horses.
During the winter I was amazed at the change. Echo has always tried to mount my mare, yet just a week ago she came into heat and he didn’t bat an eyelid. Today I went out to brush Echo – he stood quietly with the mares around and without a halter on he just stood there and enjoyed the experience, and so did I.
I am still aware that there is clover on my property and I know that even when he gets to munch on some he changes. I also know that the spring grass and autumn grass can change his personality in a day.
I am happy now armed with all this new positive information, and know that Echo and I are destined for a long life together.

3 thoughts on “Clover Turns Gelding into Stallion – by Vanessa Smith”

  1. Sara Dyer

    Hi Vanessa.

    Thank you for your article. I have a horse who is behaving in the same manner. I have recently been advised by some specialists to check on his grass. It is encouraging to read your story.

    Warm wishes

    1. Cynthia

      Hi Cameron, the hay fed was a grass hay with a variety of species such as sweet vernal, cocksfoot, browntop, yorkshire fog grasses with some rye and clover.

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