Separating horsey pals... Advice?
Ok, so they're closer to joined at the hip than just pals... And I am concerned for multiple reasons. Here's the backstory:
So I have a coming 30 year old Appendix gelding that I've owned for over 20 years and a mini-mare that I have basically had on a long term free lease. Mini has been the old man's companion for close to 8 years. We've had a couple of other horses come and go but mini has been his only companion for the past 5 or so. Mini is pretty attached to the old man, and unfortunately old man is obsessive about mini. I recently purchased a yearling, he's been home since September. He and old man are definitely bonding, but not like old man and mini.
I have several problems with the mini right now. First of all, the yearling hasn't been gelded yet. He'll be getting gelded sometime over the next few months depending on weather but for now he and mare obviously have to be kept separate cuz I have no need for an Oldenmini thankyouverymuch :) My property isn't really ideal for keeping them separate with one field and one paddock but I've been making it work... Sort of. The boys were out in the field and mini was in the paddock since she's a little fattie and shouldn't be on grass all day anyway. Problem is - she's food OBSESSED. If there's no food in her face she makes think she's starving to death. This has led to her DESTROYING my vinyl fencing. She leans on the fence until she either pops the boards out or straight up breaks them in half. Went insane string super hot hotwire trying to keep her in, she could care less. I've tried everything I can think of short of re-fencing the entire place (NOT in the budget). I came home every day to mini in the driveway, mini in the arena, and then one day, mini in the field with yearling. NOT good.
Since that episode she's basically had to spend the last week locked in the stall because it's the only place I can contain her. I finally decided last night that she has to go. Stall jail isn't fair to her and I don't have the time or desire to deal with her anymore and I don't have the money to keep replacing fencing. Called her owner yesterday, she's thrilled to have her back. YAY!
So long story long, she leaves this weekend. She's been locked in the stall for a week, separated from old man completely and he's been fine BUT if he sees me taking her anywhere, even a walk up the driveway, he loses it. I'm very worried about taking her, at his age I just worry about putting any stress on him. I have a plan - I'm going to keep her in the stall until she leaves and not let him have any contact with her. On Saturday or Sunday morning I'm going to put old man and yearling in the field and hook up the trailer on the far side of the barn where he can't see. I'm going to wait a couple of hours, fire up the truck, load the mini with a ton of hay to hopefully keep her quiet, and peel out of there as fast as I can. I'm hoping he won't know and if he doesn't see her will be ok. I'm going to have some Ace on hand in case he needs to be knocked out a bit as well.
So... Does this sound like a plan? Any input or alternate ideas for how to deal with this? I'm really trying to make this as painless as possible for my boy, just really worried about it :no: