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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2008

    Default How should I deal with separation anxiety?

    I have 2 mares, a POA alpha mare, semi-retired, mid 20 something and my main riding mount, a 12 year old TB mare. Over the last 2 months, I have sold 2 geldings. Previously, whenever I rode TB mare, there were always 1 or 2 other horses in my pasture and all was well and no one had a meltdown when my riding mare was out.

    Currently TB mare is not rideable, but should be in about 6 weeks. I bring TB mare in to barn to change bandages and POA mare freaks out. She runs and calls to her friend and just gets in a lather. My TB mare is just fine. Totally relaxed.

    I had plans to trailer off my property for lessons when my TB mare is well. POA is going to meltdown. I can put her in a stall which may ease the worry, but I am unsure if she is going to scream and freak in the stall. I have cows with my horses, but she seems not be to be satisfied with cows as a companion. I have had goats and am not interested in owning again. They are total escape artists!

    So, any advice? Am I now doomed to a life of bringing POA mare along with TB mare everywhere or do I just let her have her freakout and ignore her? Anyone else have this issue?
    Friend of bar.ka

    Gunner, grey Quarter horse lovebug & Hope, an aged Appy mare and babysitter extraordinaire.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005


    I would let her freak out while someone observes and makes sure she is not hurting herself. My 25 year old screams and carries on when I ride off on my horse. My husband says he calms down about a minute after we leave. My riding horse was left alone one day when the neighbors borrowed the old guy to take pictures of their kids with a horse. My riding horse galloped around for a while and then settled down. I wouldn't panic until you know you have a problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2010


    I wouldn't leave her alone and let her freak out. My gelding has similar anxiety and will work himself into a colic; he's done it before. Horses are herd animals; they don't like being left by themselves. I would either A) get a companion (goat, donkey, other horse), or B) bring her with.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2011

    Have been watching vids by Warwick Schiller in a marathon this weekend. If you go to his youtube channel and click "see all videos", then go to the earliest ones, there are several on this topic. Found them interesting; hope they will be helpful for yr mare's problem.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2007


    Some get used to it and some don't. I have two at home. I have a large goat which helps with separation anxiety. My older mare used to scream a bit (but not run) when I would ride the other, but after a few months of routine it is no big deal.

    When I show, I used dormoesdan oral tranquilizer when we leave, which calms the older mare enough while we get ready to leave. Once we are gone, she's fine for the few hours we're gone with her goat (supervised of course).

    If this is a new thing, it might just take time. Are these mares turned out in the same pasture? If possible, maybe get them used to being in separate paddocks occasionally and not being next to each other constantly.

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