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Discussion on Stall Mirrors

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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 277
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 - 4:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My coming 4-year old filly has always been a bit on the difficult side. She was a premie foal who had to spend her first 10 days in the ICU at the vet clinic strapped to a waterbed and undergoing plasma transfusions and various other live-saving medical procedures. All that prodding and poking did nothing to enhance her faith in humans. To the contrary, she has always regarded people's intentions - no matter how benevolent - as entirely suspect. It's been a tough but very worthwhile battle to win her trust.

She's easily agitated and sometime after she was weaned she started weaving in her stall whenever she felt stressed or things weren't moving along as quickly as she'd like. This usually went hand-in-hand with making ugly faces and a somewhat confrontational attitude to passersby (of the non-equine kind). Where the weaving came from is a mystery to me as she's never seen another horse demonstrate that behavior so it was something she cooked up entirely on her own.

One of our members - Wiley Gordon - made a comment on another thread about the use of mirrors with horses that weave or are stall aggressive. I did a bit of research on the web and bought one for her last week - about 2'x2' in size - and mounted it on her stall wall. The difference in her attitude is nothing short of amazing. She LOVES the mirror! Watches herself and touches her reflection in between bites of food and happily stands next to it with a calm and relaxed expression.

I'd highly recommend trying it with any horse that exhibits any of her old behaviors.

Hope this tip helps.
Sue
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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 278
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 - 8:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sorry, Wiley, I forgot to thank you properly and also got your last name wrong. Dah - should be Gillmor and not Gordon. Please accept my apologies.

Wiley very kindly sent me a great article from a horse magazine that discussed the use of mirrors and that got me searching the web for more info. Thanks again, Wiley. I really appreciated your help!
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Wiley G Gillmor
Member
Username: Wgillmor

Post Number: 19
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 14, 2006 - 9:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Apologies accepted but not needed. I'm just glad it worked.
Wiley
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14810
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 15, 2006 - 7:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Great post Sue.
DrO
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Zoe English
Member
Username: Nonie

Post Number: 206
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 - 9:29 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue/Wiley, I'd be very interested in getting a stall mirror for my mare. Her stall is way in the back of the barn and she often seems nervous there, because she can't see the other horses very well. Could you post a link to where you got the mirror and any other info? Thanks so much.

Zoe
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Wiley G Gillmor
Member
Username: Wgillmor

Post Number: 20
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 - 10:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Zoe,

The article I sent Sue was from in The Horse Magazine “Another look at Weaving” in the April 2005 issue. The article number is 5644. Unfortunately, it looks like you have to be a subscriber to get to the article on line. (But I do recommend the magazine if you are not subscribed already. http://www.thehorse.com)

Wiley
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Shelley
Member
Username: Sswiley

Post Number: 129
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Saturday, Feb 18, 2006 - 11:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

How about a mirror for that horse with the self mutilation syndrom, I am sure its a longshot but hey . . . . ?
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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: Imogen

Post Number: 742
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 - 3:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

For those of us without a subscription could someone summarise the article contents? I gather 2 ft x 2ft but what height (head height presumably?), side wall or back wall or front wall? Are the mirrors made of some sort of plastic?

I would love to try this with my 15 yo (going on 3 in mental attitude) mare who despite another horse in a stable in the same row (though not adjacent there's a workshop in between them) will boxwalk and weave if she thinks there are other horses nearby in the pasture that she could be out bossing.

Interestingly she only does it when she thinks there is a possibility she might get what she wants, like when a light goes on in the house in the morning... or when buckets are clanked. The moment all the lights go out at night even if she has been completely hysterical, she stops.

All the best

Imogen
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14844
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 - 9:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Imogen,
the mirrors I have seen are highly polished metal or plastics and considerably larger than 2x2ft. You have a horse mirror company close by and for more information this company provides fairly good info: http://www.stable-mirrors.co.uk/
DrO
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Mandy
Member
Username: Bucky

Post Number: 131
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Sunday, Feb 19, 2006 - 12:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a subscription, I hope this isn't unethical to copy and paste, but in the interest of helping your horse....

Another Look at Weaving
by: Justine Harding
April 2005 Article # 5644

Article Tools



In this time of enlightened horse management, it is staggering that the myths and folklore surrounding stable "vices" still refuse to die, and therefore the repetitive behaviors themselves continue to thrive. Even the term "vice" implies the horse is the one at fault, when we now know that these abnormalities occur due to the horse being at psychological odds with the way we are keeping him.

Vices are better referred to as stereotypical behaviors, and we all know at least one horse that weaves, cribs, stall walks, or wind sucks. In fact, studies have found that more than 15% of horses show some form of these behaviors. In the United Kingdom, approximately 20,000 horses are thought to weave, yet such a visible symptom of psychological disturbance is often viewed as an incurable problem in itself and therefore best ignored, or dismissed with that well-worn phrase "Oh, he's always done that."

Why doesn't severe lameness get treated in the same way? It begs the question, would these same people so readily dismiss a person repeatedly banging their head against a wall, or would they feel the person was suffering in some way?

Not surprisingly, there are few individuals who can say they have helped their horse recover from weaving or any similar stereotypical behavior problem. The good news is that scientists at the University of Lincoln, England, have uncovered a strikingly simple way of helping weaving horses, and there are a growing number of owners who can claim to have done just that.

Keeping in Touch

Research led by veterinarian Daniel Mills, BVSc, PhD, IL TM, CBiol MIBiol, MRCVS, who has recently been honored as the United Kingdom's first Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine, showed that placing a specially designed mirror in a stable could reduce weaving by an average of 97%. All the horses studied were known to have weaved for at least two years, yet within 24 hours, the behavior dramatically decreased or even stopped.

"These horses are not mentally ill," explains Mills. "They are responding to a problem.

"Abnormal behaviors such as weaving are only seen in animals in confinement, or where there are barren environments or insoluble problems," he says. "The animal has a lack of control over its situation and is faced with a problem it cannot resolve. With weaving, the scenario might be: 'There's another horse, but I can't actually get closer to you. I can see you, but I can't interact.' "

By placing a mirror in a stable, the horse feels he is no longer isolated, plus he is given the opportunity to choose whether to interact with his reflection. When the effect of using a stable mirror was compared with actual nose-to-nose contact with a horse in a neighboring stable, the reduction in weaving was similar.

"It's such a simple solution," explains Mills, "and it has such a big impact for some animals. The ideal answer is always a more natural system on management involving social interaction and exercise--there is no better enrichment--but when this is not available, I would recommend the use of a stable mirror.

"I was very surprised at the power of social contact and the speed of its effect," he adds. "It is clear that some weaving occurs when this need is not met, but also when there are other sources of frustration. Weaving behavior will peak before a major event in the horse's routine. Although there are good reasons for saying horses should be kept to a routine, routines become predictable. A high level of predictability becomes very stressful because you know what is going to happen when, but can do nothing about it, and so the frustration gets worse."

But although the effectiveness of a mirror in reducing weaving was proven over short periods of time (up to five weeks in total), there was no evidence that it would continue to work over an extended period. Now Mills' follow-up study of the people who have been using a stable mirror for 12 months or more clearly shows its long-term effectiveness and wider benefits.

Reflected Benefits

The mirror was also found to be effective with other frustration-derived behaviors such as stall walking, and to a lesser extent head nodding, head threatening, and door-kicking. Horses suffering from various separation anxieties were also helped. Many that were happy in the field, but became stressed once brought indoors or upset while a companion was turned out or ridden, were found to be calmer. Some animals that did not eat due to anxiety have also shown improvement in their feeding habits.

Other reported benefits include reduced vocalising, improvements in temperament, and horses becoming easier to handle. Owners report their horses are easier to blanket or tack up as they now stand quietly watching their reflections. It might be that in these cases it removes the blind spot as you work around the horse, but the truth is no one knows.

The mirror has also been used as a preventive measure to stop psychological problems occurring during long-term box rest--owners believe mirrors have helped horses cope with confinement, leading to improvements in their well-being.

Finally, the mirror would seem to have a role in the upbringing of young horses. One owner used the mirror effectively to keep her horse calm during backing (first being sat upon by a human). And the mirror might have application during stall weaning, as weaning is a major stress that predisposes animals to these stereotypic behavior problems, but this needs further research.

Seeing is Believing

Top international show jumper Tim Stockdale has first-hand experience of many of the benefits the stable mirror offers, having used them in his stables for more than 18 months. "I had a new stallion who was weaving so badly, behind his grill, that he had knocked both his eyes," explains Stockdale. "The vet suggested I try a mirror. I couldn't believe the stallion's reaction. He is now so much calmer. I was so impressed that I decided to put them in all my main boxes, so I bought 13 more!"

Stockdale has since used mirrors with many horses, not just those with a specific problem, as he feels they help horses relax and therefore train better--although he points out it is not a clear-cut "mirror equals more wins" equation. He has noticed stereotypic behaviors are now much rarer in his stable. His personal observations on how horses first react to the mirror also strongly echo the findings of Mills' follow-up work.

"They all react, but it can be in very different ways," explains Stockdale. "I have seen horses jump back from the mirror, lick or nuzzle it, attack it or lay back their ears. They really do seem to think it is another horse. But overall they end up a lot more relaxed and settled. It is a comfort thing. I often see the horses asleep with their noses to their mirrors."

And for Stockdale, the mirror also offers an effective solution to another management problem--how to balance the horse's need for social interaction and space with commercial considerations and risks.

"You won't believe what it feels like to see a horse worth a half-million pounds (almost one million U.S. dollars) charging round a field and heading for a fence," says Stockdale. "It's like giving a six-year-old child the keys to your Rolls Royce. You just don't do it. At least with the mirrors, it offers a more natural situation for them in the stable, and they appear much happier."

Moving On

With the success of the stable mirrors now confirmed, their application has been extended to help traveling problems for horses. A smaller mirror has now been produced, and is suitable for fitting in a trailer. So far it has been used with promising results for a variety of problems. These include helping poor loaders, calming nervous travelers, and reducing stress while waiting on a trailer at an event by providing a "traveling companion."

Talisman, a four-year-old bay Irish Draught gelding, is one such horse already benefiting from a travel mirror. Although confident and calm in company, Talisman regularly turns into a quivering wreck when alone. He weaves in a stable and, if expected to travel solo, cannot cope at all.

"In the lorry (horse trailer), by himself, he weaves really badly, to the point he almost throws himself on the floor," explains owner Rachel Sanderson from Nottinghamshire, England. "He goes ballistic. You can see his heart pumping through his skin, and he lathers up instantly."

This is with Talisman having been carefully introduced to traveling since he was a foal. "It had got to the point I couldn't go anywhere without help," adds Sanderson. "If a person traveled with him he was OK, but this wasn't always possible."

When a friend suggested fitting a purpose-made travel mirror in her trailer, Rachel wasn't convinced. "It sounded like a lot of rubbish to me, but I had tried everything else," she says. "When Talisman first saw his reflection, he was gob-smacked and just stood and stared. But now, with the mirror, he can travel by himself and has completely stopped weaving while on the move. When we are at a show, as long as I give him a few minutes to look round, he is much calmer waiting on the lorry. It has made a real difference. We can now go out by ourselves again."

So, as you come across horses that are shouting for help to cope with the environments in which we keep them, don't be tempted to feel there is nothing you can do. Although our requirements of the horse mean that fulfilling his needs for movement and social interaction cannot always be met in the way nature intended, there is a way to attempt to modify the environments to help him be more at ease.

FURTHER READING

See the "Stable and Other Vices" category under Behavior at www.TheHorse.com.
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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 287
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Monday, Feb 20, 2006 - 11:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I wasn't able to check emails over the weekend so missed all this discussion until this morning. I bought the mirror at the local store that supplies mirrors to indoor arenas. It is a type of glass that is set onto a flexible backing that looks like heavy vinyl. Apparently these mirrors can crack but they cannot come away from the backing and will not splinter into the stall so they are safe for use around horses. I bought two 2'x2' mirrors and placed one at head height just inside her stall doorway and next to her wall-mounted hayrack. I mounted the other one on the barn wall directly opposite her stall.

She will grab a mouthful of hay and then look at herself while she eats, then grab another mouthful, etc, etc. When she stands right in her doorway in the position where she used to weave (waiting for breakfast or to get turned out), she can look across the aisleway and see herself and the weaving stops.

It's funny as the article cites some of the major causes for weaving are isolation and confinement. That just simply wasn't the case with Abby. She can see the other horses in the stalls next to her and is only in the barn overnight. Plus I never shut my stall doors but just leave stall guards up so as to lessen the sense of confinement even further. This filly also will weave when standing with a buddy at the gate waiting to come in at night. Go figure!

Good luck with your horses. I hope the mirror(s) work as well as they have in Abby's case.

Cheers
Sue
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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: Imogen

Post Number: 744
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, Feb 25, 2006 - 2:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, as usual we had to do this the hard way... my husband works in live theatre as a lighting designer so of course we just bought an 8 x 4 sheet of stainless steel mirror and made our own. You can make two large ones and two small ones out of such a sheet and any metal stockist will also cut them to size for you.

(Stainless steel is hard to cut and drill for those that don't know). We looked into acrylic ones but they aren't easily available and some of the websites and research papers claim they can shatter too. The cost wasn't that much cheaper (we paid 168 euros for the sheet and will probably give away for the cost price the bits we don't need to other horseowners with a similar problem). The "mirror" is a bit distorted and the surface wasn't great so I was surprised at how good the effect has been so far.

I brought my mare in at dusk as usual. She jumped in surprise and then nickered at her reflection, behaving as she usually does with a strange horse, arching her neck. The only problem was it was so cold she immediately fogged up the mirror!

Then she ate her food, leaned out of the door to watch the pasture horses as usual but did not neigh or boxwalk (last night was awful, she was particularly bad, neighing away because it was very windy).

So far so good but I suspect I may have to leave the light on so she can see her reflection!

I am going to put one in the foal's stable as well tomorrow because recently the mare has been upsetting her and her bed has been disturbed in the morning despite the fact she is a much more sensible animal than her dam (nothing like Irish draft sires for adding common sense...).

So I'll keep you posted but I was impressed so far. I'm going to give the two small mirrors to a friend who leases an aged but very good eventing horse who has always got excessively upset and weaves whenever he does not have a pal in a companion stable. This horse cannot easily be boxed alone due to his distress at being alone.

All the best

Imogen
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Zoe English
Member
Username: Nonie

Post Number: 209
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Saturday, Feb 25, 2006 - 4:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Imogen, I just got my mirror last week and my mare had a similar reaction to yours--jumping, ears perked, and whinnying and nuzzling the mirror--and fogging it up because it was so cold! LOL.

I purchased an acrylic mirror from a company here in the US, and I am very pleased with it, and with the service I got from the company. Here is my report that I sent to the owner of the company:

"Molly seems mightily pleased with her new "friend." She whinnied and ran up to it when I threw her in her stall this morning, then immediately peered around the corner into the next stall to see where the "rest" of the new horse was. Back and forth, back and forth--she is half Connemara, which gives her a brain to balance out the dtizy TB part. Then I think she got a little confused and ergo put out, and stopped eagerly nosing the mirror, but she kept one ear on it constantly, and settled down to munch her hay and was so mellow after a while I got scared she was colicking. There was one other horse in the barn, her paddock mate, who was on crossties getting reshod, and normally this would have had Molly in a fit, but aside from some frequent curious looks out of her stall, she was completely calm.

We will see how it plays out in the next few days, but I was impressed--and truly worried about her being TOO calm. After 45 minutes or so, she even stopped eating her hay and just stood in a corner, which is when I thought she was colicking. She was still quite happy to munch carrots though, and lots of gut sounds (she has had major colic surgery twice, which is why I am so neurotic), so I do believe the mirror must have been a calming influence."

The company I bought the mirror from was http://www.silktree.com/index.html. They have stall and arenas mirrors, and even a dressing mirror for your trailer. They are acrylic, but listed as "shatterproof." I am planning to get one for my trailer, and they also sell a kit that you can use to mount the trailer mirror on temporarily to help you back up your truck to the hitch.

I will keep you posted on how we do in the next week or so.

Zoe
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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: Imogen

Post Number: 745
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 - 7:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, I think I'm reducing back to "half successful" now. She did a lot of neighing last night and was also weaving after the pasture horses headed away from the gate so she could not see them any longer.

But on the other hand I kept her in until 9 am this morning (usually they go out at first light) because I was taking a lesson, and she did not box walk. She was also much easier to groom and tack up than normal.

I don't know if she is fooled by it. She does "talk" to the mirror when she comes into the stable and she was admiring her image complete with bridle this morning just like a woman -"which is my better side?" which was hilarious.

I think the main thing is that coming face to face with the image of another horse when she starts to walk around the stable is breaking the stereotypic box walking pattern - that's good - but I don't think that she thinks it is truly another horse otherwise she wouldn't still be neighing after the pasture horses.

Look forward to hearing other people's experiences...

Imogen
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Zoe English
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Username: Nonie

Post Number: 210
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 - 8:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Your mare sounds much like mine, Imogen. Molly did still whinny for her friends who were outside the other day (she doesn't weave, thank heaven) but the mirror definitely stopped the stall walking. And she does seem calmer.

I think Irish mares are by and large terribly intelligent, very vain, not to be fooled....but willing to play along to a certain point.

Is your mare a TB? Mine is half Connemara/half Irish TB.

I won't see her for a couple of days but will report on the stable's experience when I do.

Zoe
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Alicia Kost
Member
Username: Aannk

Post Number: 590
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, Feb 27, 2006 - 11:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

How would you all recommend introducing a horse to these? I am not sure I just want to throw the horse into the stall after I add the mirrors, but I can't think of another way. I got two for my two as they are both herd bound (definately going to work with Lilly's baby from day one to get it comfy with humans!) but wanted to get advice on how to introduce before I install them. Also, where would you all put them? The stalls have the door, and the food buckets on the walls that face the aisle, and have windows in the side walls with bars where they can see their neighbors. The back walls have windows to the outside. I was thinking the side walls, as I don't want them facing the back of the stall all the time.
Alicia
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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 294
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Monday, Feb 27, 2006 - 5:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Alicia

With Abby's, I just mounted it in her stall and then brought her in as normal. She just made one hesitant step when she first saw it (it is mounted on the side wall immediately inside her stall door) and then went over to check it out. No spooking of any kind.

She is admittedly a very brave filly and is also used to seeing herself in mirrors when working in the arena so whether this made a difference or not, I honestly can't say. However she didn't make a fuss when she first saw her reflection in the arena either.

Sue
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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: Imogen

Post Number: 746
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006 - 2:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well I still don't know. The mare has been very good the last few days, queueing up at the gate to come in each evening instead of trying to avoid being caught and imprisoned, hardly any neighing or weaving, a patch of compressed straw in the morning showing that she is laying down and not boxwalking.

But then it's not been windy, it's absolutely freezing cold (by Irish standards... that means about -1 to 1 degree centigrade, Canadians please stop laughing...) making them all hungry, and the food is in the stable... hard to know.

I agree with Zoe the big problem with Irish mares with a bit of TB in them (this mare is 1/2 Holsteiner, 3/8 Irish TB, 1/8 Irish draft) is they are too damn smart for their own good. This one only starts stable vice behaviour when she is anticipating either getting or being denied what she wants. If there's no hope then she doesn't bother.

Anyway, so far so good, I think it's been worth the money. Haven't done the foal's stable yet, husband busy this week...

Regarding introducing them to it, just walk 'em in. Mine took a small bit of a start, then whickered at her own image. I'd definitely put it on a side wall though not back.

Imogen
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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: Imogen

Post Number: 747
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Saturday, Mar 4, 2006 - 11:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

One other observation. She now stands in a different place in the stable, head towards the mirror, overnight. I can tell this by the damp/manure patch as I do semi-deep litter ie I only dig out the straw bed entirely once a week. So my conclusion is that there is a definite effect, but the mirror is not a total tranquilliser since she will still neigh and weave if she can see other horses close by in the field. I wonder how long it will last...?

Imogen
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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: Imogen

Post Number: 748
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, Mar 6, 2006 - 2:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

... and this is odd or maybe not...

My 11 month filly hates her mirror. She's frightened of it. She started by going up to it and doing that lip smacking thing foals do to indicate submission. She still thinks it is highly suspicious.

Thinking about it, the mare is a dominant animal who assumes any strange horse will submit to her and frankly ignores them unless they challenge her authority. So she just assumed she was dominant to her mirror image and everything was fine.

Whereas the filly, who is position 3 of 4 in the herd due to her friendship with another horse but has no "power" of her own, as a youngster, assumes the mirror image might be dominant to her and a threat.

Interested to know from the other mirror installers in this thread what sort of horses theirs are in relation to reacting to "strangers".

Imogen
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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 297
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Monday, Mar 6, 2006 - 2:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

That's so interesting, Imogen. My filly, Abby, is a bit of an alpha mare so she accepted the mirror right away and has never shown any fear or distrust of it.

I might try to see how my two geldings react because neither one is particularly dominant. However both are used to working in arenas with mirrors so it might be "too late" to get a real read from them. But on the other hand, they certainly wouldn't expect to see another horse in the stall with them.
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Alicia Kost
Member
Username: Aannk

Post Number: 595
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, Mar 6, 2006 - 4:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue,
Thanks, I guess I will just have to put them in while the horses are out and hope for the best!
Thanks!
Alicia
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Imogen Bertin
Member
Username: Imogen

Post Number: 749
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 8, 2006 - 1:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I actually took the mirror out of the filly's stable and she is definitely happier.

Good luck Alicia!

Imogen
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Alicia Kost
Member
Username: Aannk

Post Number: 597
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Thursday, Mar 9, 2006 - 12:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Imogen,
Thanks :-) I have one dominant and one not, so it will be interesting to see any difference. I am not going to mount them permanently as I am currently in search of another barn, but I will at least try them out.
Alicia
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Corinne Candice
Member
Username: corinne

Post Number: 1305
Registered: 9-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 8, 2008 - 11:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here is another stall mirror kudos. Demetrius was put in a stall to be next to his pasture mates that happened to have a huge stall size stall mirror from it's former tenant that had huge vices. While he doesn't have vices he does stand there all day and next to himself, parallel nose turned slightly in to "His friend". It's too cute. Everyone at the barn jokes that he is vain as he one good looking horse and he just looks like he is admiring himself.
Anyway, the other day before we left for a show I went to clip his ears. He has never ever ever allowed me to this without a fight and most we have gotten is one chunk of hair and ears then look silly. This time, joking I said to him it's okay, I am going to clip your ears, look at your friend he is having his ears clipped too and no kidding he lowered his head and allowed me to clip the insides of both ears! It was amazing.
Now does he think he has a friend? Does he have the ability to know that he is looking at himself?
Either way. He is so content with his new buddy that is non aggressive, like all the geldings are too him (in fact he has to go out with the mares or the geldings historically will beat up on him)
I am now thinking of I have to get one for when we move as I don't want to take away his friend...or who ever he thinks he is standing next too! LOL.

Corinne
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1697
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Thursday, May 8, 2008 - 8:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Too Funny Corinne! Maybe if you leave a few brushes in the stall, he'll keep himself groomed too?
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Shirley Johnson
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Username: shirl

Post Number: 594
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Friday, May 9, 2008 - 12:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Corrine, I think that's the funniest, cutest thing I've ever heard of in a lonnnng time! I can picture it. Guess I need to try that with Sedona as her ears are a big No, No! Thanks for sharing.
Shirl
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 1220
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, May 9, 2008 - 1:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Great,Corinne, now all I have to do is get a mirror and train Cleo's "friend" to do everything I want her to do!

I read that elephants do recognize themselves in mirrors. I guess the mirrors work so well with horses because they don't recognize themselves, hence the friend thing!
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