I used to have three horses, a 27 yr old TN Walker gelding, my 24 yr old ex event geldling QH/TB and my current eventing competition horse; 8 yrs old Hanoverian/TB mare. Recently, the TN Walker passed away. It was very sad, he had been in my family for 21 yrs and buddies with teh QH/TB gelding for 17 yrs. However, we watched the remaining two carefully and they seem to have adjusted prett well. EXCEPT....
I can't even take my mare out to ride without the gelding getting upset! They are "in" during the day so I normally take my mare from there and ride in my field adjacent to the barn. My geldling goes nuts, neighing, frantically pawing, spinning,pacing and works himself up into a full body sweat. When riding the mare she is fine. If I take him away while she is in the barn, she gets upset but doesn't work herself up quite as bad.
My turnout field is right by the riding field and I tried turning the gelding out there so he could be close to her and see her every move when I ride but it doesn't help.As bad as it sounds,I would ace him to call him down but I can't. He is precushings and on Pergolide and it is not recommended to give Ace to horses on that medecine. Also, he was recently diagnosed with anydrosis. I have just gotten him healthy and am scared that the stress of these seperations will contribute to him getting sick again.
Not to mention the stress it is causing me. I am starting to dread my ride b/c I know the gelding is going to be nutcase. Getting another horse or mini or goat is not an option so please don't suggest that.
Also, tomorrow is the first time I am taking the mare off the property in the trailer, with the gelding by himself for several hours. Not idea how that is going to go.
This is my priviate barn so there isn't really anyone else to hold the gelding, etc. No kids,working students.
I'll pass along what I was once told and hope that at least some of it will work for you!!!
For the long term...find a third horse. Get a mini, a donkey, or even a laid back senior horse to throw visitors on when they want to ride. Horses are herd animals, so when they have such a small herd they rely on that one other animal to complete the herd. When the other animal leaves, the herd is gone and they do not feel safe anymore. Especially if the boss mare (you) goes with the other horse. Another horse will make the herd larger, and in turn make sure no one is left alone.
For the short term (tomorrow), do you have secure stalls at your place? If you have even a non-horsey friend that can babysit and make sure he doesn't get cast or seriously hurt himself, a secure and safe stall may be a good option. Leaving the gelding in the pasture may not be an option depending upon him and his thoughts on fencing. If he is the type to run into the fence, attempt to break it down, or even hop over it, he needs to be secure, in a stall. Evaluate your horse and if that's the option you think is best for your horse, stuff the hay rack in his stall with lots of delicious hay and make sure he has full buckets of water.
Best of luck!!!
Thank you for the input. Yes, my barn is quite secure. There are people around that can watch him. I just meant there aren't other people that can just take care of him fully when I am not there. My husband will of course watch him and keep him full of hay and water. The pasture would be a disaster. One, he would run until he was exhausted and we live in SC, it is hot enough just standing outside now. At least in the barn it is screened in from bugs and he has 4 fans blowing on him! :-)
I actually called my vet today and explained the situation to him. He said that I can give the gelding Ace even if he is on Pergolide. He said it is the Resurpine that you can't mix. Everything online I read mentions being leary of mixing Ace and Pergolide but I trust my vet, he is one of the best as well as good family friend who understands the importance of my horses to me. Long term, the Ace is not an answer.
I may have to look at getting a mini or something but I hate to get another animal.Not that I don't love any and all but we have too many as it is! 2 horses, 5 dogs and 3 cats.
I got a mini for this same reason! He doesn't eat much at all (thankfully) and he keeps one of the geldings occupied while my other one is out. Ironically, when I take both geldings out, the mini is fine. He may call out once and that's it. It was the best thing I did and its worth not having the stress. The daily care a mini requires is less than what I would ever imagine. Good Luck!
"The Horse: Friendship without envy, beauty without vanity, nobility without conceit, a willing partner, yet no slave."
It sounds like stall + ace will do the trick for tomorrow That's good to hear!!!
Maybe you could ask around of your horse friends and see if anyone is thinking of retiring a horse. Instead of paying retirement board at somewhere they can't be sure of, old horse can come to your place and they'll still pay the farrier/vet bills but old horse can hang out at your place for ultimate retirement...with four fans I'm very jealous!!
We were a two horse barn for almost a year and a half. In a lot of ways it was a pain. The geldings were way too attached to each other.
Fast forward to this past April when we added a mini donkey jack to our herd. Not only is he a blast, but he gets along well with the horses, barely eats anything, and is super low maintenance. He keeps one gelding company while I take the other away. And he doesn't get nearly as frantic as the horses when alone.
Check craigslist for minis/donkeys... someone is always looking to give one away. Or you could consider being a foster to one!
A herd of three is better than two, for this reason. I've had two for a long time, and just added a boarder this summer. It is so nice not to have that worry anymore. Could you take in a boarder so you'd have a third, but wouldn't have to worry about its expenses?