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Alpha Mare - regumate?

I own and compete a lovely pony mare, but lately she is turning into a nightmare at shows. She becomes irrationally attached to her trailer mate or whomever she ties near. Yesterday we parked next to a lovely gelding who happened to be in the same division and was one horse in front of me in the order of go. Our dressage warm up was fantastic. The gelding does his test and leaves the dressage area to go back to the trailers (out of sight) and she loses her sh**. Screaming, head up, tense - it was a terrible test because she completely lost her focus.
Same with SJ - fantastic warm up - jumping great - then gelding leaves, we go in the ring and she forgets to pick her feet up over the jumps because she is so distracted by the fact that he is no longer there.
Surprisingly XC is fine - that is always our best phase. No issues.
At home she is fine out on trails or in another ring by herself. Clinics are also OK.
How do I overcome this? She is a super fabulous little mare but this behaviour is depressing - I don’t know what to do about it. SHe definitely is experienced at shows and I am an experienced rider - I’m out of ideas for how to deal with an unfocused screaming idiot that honestly should know better. I could understand if she were new to showing or a baby, but she’s 13. Regumate? Magnesium? I’ve tried a calming paste with zero effect.
Suggestions appreciated.

If the horse is not green and/or is not coming into work after months off with no routine, herdbound behavior is typically linked to something physical.

I wouldn’t consider regumate for this. YMMV.


Just curious - what type of physical issues might be causing this behaviour? Saddle fit is good (just checked last month, teeth done, regular chiro work)

Repro or hormone issues, ovary tumors etc? Get diagnosed before you just toss birth control at her

And honestly my super chill older mare, some away situations she gets buddy bound or explosively hot, most of the time she couldn’t care less.

Evidence for this statement or just personal feelings where you fixed a physical problem and the herdboundness went away?


I would not call a buddy sour horse and alpha mare . A true alpha mare heads out alone and brave


Which she does 100% of the time. The past two competitions she has developed an unreasonable attachment to another horse and it is affecting her focus. Bravery is not an issue - She is fantastic on XC.

Is Regumate allowed now under sanctioned events? I don’t believe it can be used for racing anymore.
Assuming regulating her is the way to go-would mare magic be an option-(whether it is legal and works :))
(Of course the other consideration is do you want to be exposed to it as it can be a pain to administer safely-gloves etc.)

I’ve tried Mare Magic and have not noticed a real change. I’m also testing out a product called Levelor - not seeing much of a difference.
Regumate is not on the prohibited substance list.

Good to know!

Can you trailer in alone and park your trailer in a place away from all others? That way she wouldn’t be tied near to another horse or become herd bound to a trailer mate. You may have to get to the show early to find that spot.


My older mare is like this. I had her spayed at about 9 or 10 years old because of massive behavior problems and she’s 20 now. The vet school suspected ovarian cysts. I would say the herd bound behavior improved a lot but didn’t disappear entirely. Honestly the only thing I’ve figured out that works is to trailer her to places alone and to not let her have friends :sweat_smile::grimacing:

I tried Mare Magic probably 15 years ago and never thought it worked then either. It’s just raspberry leaves marked up to an outrageous price with limited (if any) evidence that it does anything at all.

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I had this problem with a gelding. If he went anywhere with his girlfriend he became a screaming idiot when he couldn’t see her. She was a lot less emotional than he was. If he trailered by himself he was fine going other places. So after one horrible show I decided that the horses could not trailer together. They went separately and we parked in different areas. But then - across the crowded warm up - he saw her. And became a total maniac.

Years later, when the horses no longer lived at the same barn, he was at the vet. He had not seen this mare in 5 or 6 years. She was at the vet too. They saw each other and both started screaming.

I don’t have an answer but it isn’t just female hormones.


Physical like what?

I agree with the other poster who says it’s not just mares, having had geldings exhibit the same extreme herdbound behavior to trailer mates.