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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2008

    Default Herd-Bound/Buddy Bound Horse

    I have recently decided to put my 30 day notice in at my current boarding facility...

    My horse does have a tendency to get buddy bound - Its a strange type - She is fine if she is the one getting taken for work but doesn't like when her friends are taken. She will stall walk and scream - Once in a while even rear and buck - if left on turnout she will run and scream...

    So here is my dilemma - What should I do for turnout for her - Should I just turn her out by herself where she shares a fence line with other horses?? Should I turn her out with her best buddy from the past and just leave her to get over it - Problem is he will be going to some week long shows this summer that my horse will not be going to - And I dont want this to stress her out?? Or should I see if the barn has someone else I could try with her???

    I get really worried she is going to hurt herself when she acts out and thats why I dont know if I should just put her on single turnout around other horses so she has to be secure by herself??

    Its so strange because she wasn't always like this; this has developed over time... Thanks for any and all suggestions...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2008


    Plain Jane - Thank you for your reply - it is so frustrating when they act herd bound - UGGG - So it sounds like your suggestion is to turn her out by herself... I would love more input because I don't want to be a bad horse owner and make her go out by herself...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2000


    Would a bigger group situation be better, 4+ horses? So it's not just her and one other horse and when that horse leaves, she has nobody? If it's a bunch of horses, chances are they won't all leave at the same time and she might not get dependant on just one particular horse.

    And you stated she doesn't care if she's the one who leaves.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 17, 2010
    Purcellville, VA


    Quote Originally Posted by Plain Jane View Post
    I ended up putting her in a small paddock by herself so that she was forced to deal with being alone, and she was able to deal with her separation issues over time. It also helps to tie them up to a post/tree/something sturdy and let them just stand and grow a little patience.
    Unless you have one that will consistently jump 4ft. fences to get back to the other horses

    Thank goodness he has no shoe and an abscess. He has no choice but to gimp around by himself

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2009


    If she is really a hazard to herself would it be possible to have her brought in with her friend (when the friend is going in for a lesson, not leaving the property) and tie her somewhere safe and where she can see her friend? Such as tying her in an aisleway where she can see the arena? Obviously this won't work for when the friend leaves altogether, but it would atleast help part of the problem.

    My trainer has two aged Arab mares that were connected at the hip. If one was in the barn and the other was in the arena for a lesson, usually the younger one was ridden, the older one would whinny nonstop from the aisle. We ended up either leaving the arena doors open so Fatty could see Fanny or bringing Fatty out into the arena and parking her in the middle of it. Luckily, Fatty was quite old and would stand untied in the arena and just watch Fanny do lessons. It was safe and kept everyone happy.
    Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
    Thank you for everything boy.

    Better View.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008


    I am dealing with the same problem, and slowly but surely it is getting better. We have times where he'll be OK, and times where he's just bonkers, but we've decided not to give into it and slowly but surely he's learning that his 'buddy' comes back.

    And ours is just like yours... he doesn't mind being taken out to work, but he gets upset when we take his buddy out to work. We're hoping that the addition of a 3rd gelding to their turnout next month will help to alleviate the problem a bit. But meanwhile, we just keep separating them for short periods and make them deal with it.

    Its always worse when there are only 2. The more horses in their 'herd' the more secure they become.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2008


    First of all thank you for all the comments... I have a little time as I am not moving her till the end of May -

    This is actually funny to me - because she is in a larger group now and this is where it has gotten progressively worse... I don't know if it is the mare dynamic - before she was just with one gelding and not that they didnt love eachother and call now and then he would travel to shows and she would be by herself and she was fine - he got hurt once and was on stall rest for 6 months and she was turned out alone and was fine - Since I moved her to the barn that I am leaving she is with a group of 5 including her mares and she is only attached to one of them and that mare could care less about her calling and carrying on - I put her on regumate and that has helped tremendously - I wonder if she is so worried now because they put her as alpha and I don't really think she should be a alpha mare... Or if it is because that mare she is attached to is right next to her and the owner only comes out maybe 2 times a week so she is not use to her leaving - where the gelding that I was considering putting her back with is my moms horse and he gets worked regularly and leaves more often - she also will not be stalled right next to him - So that is where I struggle - Do I try them together and then have her be upset when he leaves for the horse show and have her suck it up - or do I put her by herself and let her share a fence line with some horses - I would like to get her off the regumate as it is a pain to feed if at all possible...

    If anyone else has an idea I will make my own choice in the end but enjoy hearing what others have to say!! So thank you again!!

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