He has been out of sorts since. He is really clingy to Cooper, an 18 year old TB who hasn't ever been attached to any other equine. Cooper seems put out that Rock is connected to his hip all of a sudden and Rock has been on edge and extra spooky lately.
I haven't dealt with this part of equine loss before. I'd love to hear your similar stories and any advice to help Rock get through this rough patch.
I had a boarder who was very attached to my old guy. When he died in the pasture, Willie guarded the body until we buried him and then stood over the grave. He then took up with another oldster who was the same color as his friend, who he had always ignored. I'm glad he found another friend.
Do you have another horse you could put with him that might be nice to him?
This is a very sad part of horse ownership/boarding.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I have no words of experience to share but I am very interested in the replies because this scenario is what I most dread when it is time for one of my horses to cross the Rainbow Bridge, as they are very, very bonded.
My TB mare lived on pasture board with two retired TB's for several years( a gelding and a mare). Last year their owners wanted to move them to a farm that was closer to where they lived. My mare was a mess for several weeks. She wouldn't hang out with the other horses, she would go down and stand in the woods. She wouldn't eat her grain and was just fussy, spooky, and ill tempered. I gave her some Ulcergard as I was worried about the not eating. After about 5 days she started eating better, and staying closer to the other horses, but was still fussy and spooky. It took several weeks until she was better. I think part of her problem was that in addition to her buddies leaving, she was also moved into another field.
My mare (then 4 years) lost her older 1/2 sister that she grew up with and was her corral mate to sand colic. She was devastated. Even the company of my gelding (who she also grew up with) did nothing to lessen her depression. She moped. Would nibble at her food. There was little light in her eyes. It was heartbreaking to watch. After a week of this, I started ponying her out with my gelding and I (she wasn't yet started). After a month of that (waiting for a spot), I sent her to be started. Giving her something new and different to do was the ticket for her. She was too busy to think about her sister. She moved past it with activity. And has since been the bestest of horses.