View Full Version : What could have done this?

01-06-07, 11:42 PM
My poor boy has a nasty scratch on his neck, it is in the shape and width of a hand including all 5 fingers! blood was drawn but luckily he only has slight damage to his skin.
RH bobbie found him like this with his brand new canvas rug around his neck and one of the leg straps completely gone! there are no tears on the rug anywhere its just like the cotton just dissappeared!

At first we were thinking it might of been a feral cat, but the scratches are to large and mentally he is terrified :-( !
he is a shy boy around strangers and will not go near anyone he does not know well!
but when i went to the paddock yesterday, RH and i went to catch him and he didn't want us near him, when we did finally catch him he was okay to put his nose in the halter, but threw his head up so i couldn't get the strap over his head, and was almost shaking in fear!

RHBobbie will hopefully be putting up a pic they took of the scratches today, but i'm wondering if anyone has had something strange like this occur or what do you think it may have been?

It would be unlikely to be a human as his paddock is at the back of the property and well away from any roads so would be hard for someone to get to, but it certainly has got me confused!

Birthdays are good! they mean your still alive!

02-06-07, 12:40 AM
Hells bells, Pauper that sounds terrible. My first thought was an eagle, but why would an eagle swoop a horse? Just hope it wasn't a person, for their sake, because I would personally come and DEAL with them for you.

Hope he's ok.

02-06-07, 12:44 AM
Hi Pauper,

Whats the feed like in your paddock? Is it possible that he got stuck reaching through a fence?

Also, you might like to check for any low hanging tree branches. He might have been rubbing himself on a tree and the branch fell on him perhaps?


02-06-07, 01:14 AM
Any black panther legends circulating in your area? In the Grose Valley near us many people swear they have seen a panther and there has been evidence of small stock being savaged, some even killed and wedged in trees. I know this sounds ridiculous but a school teacher that I have known for years whose property backs on to the Grose, swears that it exists and that she has seen evidence of it, along with many other locals that are normal "non-sensationalist" type people.

Circuses and Animal Parks over the years probably aren't going to confess that they have "lost" a large carnivore. Illegal trade in exotic species does happen and surely some of the larger species grow beyond peoples limitations and get "released" as they are not going to just hand them in?

I might sound a little radical, but I don't think people can just discount this sort of thing.

After saying all of this it is probably a fence accident or a tree as suggested above. If in doubt get a Maremma!

RH Bobbie
02-06-07, 01:39 AM
Hi all.
Hmm Ok where to start.
The boys have a paddock filled with lush green grass and Little Grey has a fear of all fences (he's convinced they're all electric) so he refuses to go near them. And as Willow is a little follower, as well as completely blind in the dark he wont go near the fences either.

Also we dont have barbed wire fences and I cant see straight wire doing this sort of damage.

We actually do have rumors of a LARGE feral cat around here, but as I said they're only rumors and Ive never seen or heard anything that has yet to completely convince me.

From what I can see... Willow's rug has come loose and he's become tangled in it. When he gets stuck anywhere he wont move, AT ALL! He just stands there patiently waiting for someone to come save him.
So if this happened at night, he would have been blind and stuck...

We tend to get a few roos down the back paddock as it's the farthest from the road and also has the most tree coverage.... I'm thinking Willow may have been in the path of some crossing roos and would not have seen them and perhaps heard them too late, also with his rug tangled if he had moved he wouldnt have gotten far.... So I'm thinking a frightened roo and a frightened horse equal big yuk scratches down his neck....

Well just a thought anyways.

Sorry the pics arent overly clear, I took them on my mobile, but you can see what I'm on about anyways.

02-06-07, 01:54 AM
Hi Pauper,

You've got me, sorry I have no idea how this could have happened.

I think you might be onto something with the roo, those buggers have razor sharp claws!


02-06-07, 02:01 AM
heavens! even a roo would have had to had a couple of goes to get them that well spaced - have no idea apart from the usual suspects of branches & fences would have to be a very large feral cat - dunno - hopes he recovers OK from whatever trauma

02-06-07, 02:07 AM
WOW! What a mystery. Poor you. I drive myself crazy when the horses injure themselves trying to work out 'how and why'. But your case is really unusual!

We have roos here all the time, and very close to the horses and house. I couldn't imagine a roo doing it but then again, what else could it be. You've got limited options. When the grass was low my gelding chased the roos out on a couple of occasions and they took off like a shot. Can't imagine them taking on a horse. I've heard of roos luring dogs into water so that they can attempt to drown them but then that is probably a defensive tactic.

I hope someone can shed some light onto it for you! Keep us posted.


02-06-07, 02:17 AM
It really does look like your horse has been mauled by some sort of cat BUT if it was a large cat such as a panther, I don't think your horse would have survived or had minor injuries only.

I doubt a kangaroo would do that to your horse.

Did you also say your cotton rug is completely gone?

Maybe horse thiefs?

Glad your horse is okay!

Re Rumours of large cats, I heard that the large cats are descendants of the mascots (panthers) that the Americans (after the war) released into the bush as they didn't want take them home?

No idea if this is true or not but would explain all those sightings...

02-06-07, 02:22 AM
At first I was going to suggest a horse bite but the wounds are wrong for that. Also wrong for a roo rip.
The wounds look too shallow and too wide for cat, eagle or even dog. Methinks tree or people.

02-06-07, 02:27 AM
Well I'm at school ATM and this internet connection is SLOOOOOOOOOOW!
So I cannot see the pictures until I get home.
I'm not sure as to what exactly I am going to see...
Anyway, best of luck & I hope they clear up soon!
Poor horse, I hope he isn't traumatised (SP?)

02-06-07, 02:30 AM
Gees that a mystery and a darn worrying one.Hopefully there is some simple expanation..is their a feed rack or branches ?
Re the big cat stories.My dad saw a big black 'panther' twice_he is in his 80's now and will still swear to it,and he was a man who knew the bush , camping out in the mountains fishing and so on and knew just what he was seeing.
I just can't see a roo doing this to your horse.
When we lived west of in Broken Hill 20 or so yrs ago-a lion was seen out on the Adelaide Rd. Unfortunately it was shot dead after it had taken refuge in a road culvert.No-one ever did say it was theirs..ESPECIALLY the circus that passed through a few eweeks ealier.."not their lion,theirs were all present and accounted for"

02-06-07, 02:31 AM
Could he have attempted to rub the rug off on something? Could it be from a buckle? Could you look for his fur on anything that may give a clue?

I'd be inclined to rule out a roo. Just would be too odd.

02-06-07, 02:34 AM
Sorry to hear, Pauper.

I definitely think the poor fella got a fright from something in his paddock. :(If he was on the ground struggling with his rug from fright, is it possible the scratches could be from one of his hooves? Horses hooves can actually reach their own head - (I've seen our horses scratching behind their ears with their hoof). Is he shod? Shoes and/or nails could have made the scratches.

If there's a possibility of large feral cats in the area, maybe your local council can lend a cat trap. Our council have them and maybe yours have too.


02-06-07, 02:41 AM
> When we lived west of in Broken Hill 20 or so yrs ago-a
>lion was seen out on the Adelaide Rd. Unfortunately it was
>shot dead after it had taken refuge in a road culvert.No-one
>ever did say it was theirs..ESPECIALLY the circus that
>passed through a few eweeks ealier.."not their lion,theirs
>were all present and accounted for"

If it's the cat I'm thinking of, that poor cat ended being shot.

Escaped from visiting circus...

RH Bobbie
02-06-07, 03:20 AM
Queen, it never crossed my mind that he could have been on the ground. But then... thats probably how his rug came undone and became tangled anyways. Perhaps sticks? Just odd because of the pattern and how parallel the lines are.

You lot seem to have some nice roo's out your way :P The roos out here have been known to maul anything and everything. But then that's what ya get when you start developing up areas and forcing roos to live in close proximity with people.

He didnt have a cotton on underneath.

Apart from the bug cat rumors around, there's also a couple of feral pigs roaming around. Now that's a fact as theyve been seen and have had a great old time rupping up our paddocks. Grrr to them! But yeah pretty far fetched to think a pig would do that :P

02-06-07, 03:29 AM
I don't know the feral pigs I've seen were fairly viscious but i would have thought there would have been more damage than that, especially since he would have had to be on the ground for the pig to get that high on him . .. very curious, im inclined to think hooves of stick/rocks on the ground.


...Ponies are for cuddling...

02-06-07, 03:41 AM
If it was a cougar or rather large similar cat, the scrapes would be more like clean deap cuts, not scrapes, yes human nails could do scrapes like that, but they would probably be more evenly spread apart. I would think if the horse did it with his own hooves the scrapes would be in more of a forward or downward motion so I doubt that too. Picture this; the rug is dangling from his neck, the buckle is where the scratches are, as he's kicking at the leg straps caught on his leg trying to get it off, the buckle is sratching him! That's my theory, check buckle for hairs and let me know!

Crazy Horse
02-06-07, 03:52 AM
Oh your poor horse, and you as well, it's very frustrating not to know. I have no idea what could have done that, do you maybe have any garden tools left out that could have fallen on him?

02-06-07, 05:47 AM
RH forgot to mention the fact their property is only approximately 35km's from Melbourne's C.A.D...

we only live 8km's from her, god I hope those pigs don't take my wee little kittens!

poor willow.

02-06-07, 06:19 AM
Thank you everyone for your support, but my very smart TD solved the mystery!
we did a search of the paddock to find the missing leg strap and to see if there was any evidence of a struggle, and she noticed that the top wire of the boundary fence is barbed wire ( this is incredibly weird as i have down many searches of his paddock and have even chased a calf back through the fence, and have never noticed it to contain barbed wire before! i'm wondering if the neighbour who owns cattle has put this up recently to stop his cattle coming though)and it was holding on to a chunk of Willows skin and some of his mane!
So TD gets a big pat on the back for helping to ease my worry :) ,
was starting to imagine all sorts of animals roaming free attacking innocent ponies!
Thanks again Pauper

Birthdays are good! they mean your still alive!

02-06-07, 06:21 AM
Now that you mention it, we're not all that far away in Warrandyte South and someone that I met once assured me that our place could have feral deer. I couldn't quite imagine it myself, but he was quite insistent. He's a bow hunter so he does get called out if they are around!

A rutting deer wouldn't be pretty!

02-06-07, 06:25 AM
Phew Pauper. Thank goodness!

That means all the wild pigs, roos and black panthers are off the hook :) Oh, and the rabid deer !

I do so hate barbed wire. What a poor old night your horse must have had.

02-06-07, 06:30 AM
Thanks Ecogal he was a bit calmer this morning but still wasnt happy about anything near his head! I would love to have a video camera in the paddock i cant believe the mischief horses can get up to LOL.
Now to solve the mystery of how a barbed wire fence turned up out of now where!
Cheers Pauper

Birthdays are good! they mean your still alive!

02-06-07, 06:40 AM
Ecogal, I hope Rusty doesnt get taken by Rabid deer in the night!

RH Bobbie
02-06-07, 08:25 AM
There are feral deer in the warrandyte state park. I know coz we used to stalk them until a mate was chased by one and had to climb a tree to save herself hehe.

Hmm yeah might give the neighbour a call about the fence. Would be interesting to know if it broke or he just took it upon himself to replace the wire.

02-06-07, 08:31 AM
any one like my new avatar


02-06-07, 08:33 AM
Oh very nice Trampy. Just tell him to keep away from your ponies :D!



02-06-07, 10:00 AM
What a relief Paups and RH. I mean, not having to worry about feral people, cats, lions, dear, eagles, roos, etc.

Poor little Willow will now need lots of TLC and carrots to compensate. I'm sure you're up to that task Pauper!

Sorry, Trampy, the avatar (whatever that means) is too small for my elderly eyes. :P

02-06-07, 10:10 AM
Rusty was TAKEN by something tonight!!! He was a madman. Bucked the whole way across the paddock, tore off in the other direction then DID A 360 TURN IN THE SLIPPIEST PATCH OF MUD HE COULD FIND!! How he stayed on his feet, I do not know! All I could put it down to was the full moon....... cripes, it is a beauty!

I gave him a farewell brush while he had his hay. He'd obviously been in the dam again! I just hope he stays relatively clean (and sane!) until the morning :)

02-06-07, 10:14 AM
>There are feral deer in the warrandyte state park. I know
>coz we used to stalk them until a mate was chased by one and
>had to climb a tree to save herself hehe.

Ah ha! That would make my bow hunter correct then. Our place is linked to Warrandyte State Park by bush corridors, hence all the kangies that we get. He said that if we had roos, we'd have deer too.

Thanks for that.

RH Bobbie
02-06-07, 10:31 AM
LOL how can your pony stay up right whilst doing THAT and mine just randomly slips over if he steps on a dry piece of poo!?