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Buddy Sour! (Moving my 2 horses from boarding barn to rental property)

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    Buddy Sour! (Moving my 2 horses from boarding barn to rental property)

    Hi everyone!
    I’m new to the forums and thought what better place to ask for advice on an upcoming dilemma I am soon to face.

    I own two geldings, an Appy I’ve owned for 14 years, and an Oldenburg I’ve owned for 3 years today (happy gotchya day!).

    I have never had the opportunity to keep horses on any property of my own and it’s looking like I will FINALLY get to lease acreage with a cottage, barn, and fenced pasture. First off, I’m super thrilled at this opportunity because it’s what I’ve been looking for until my fiancé and I can afford our own property to buy.

    The one caveat and dilemma I can’t quite figure out is the best way to mitigate buddy sour tendencies in the Oldenburg. When I got Gideon 3 years ago, it was the same day I moved my original guy, Gobbie, to a new barn. So both of them showed up to a new barn on the same day, new surroundings, new routines, and when they were put in adjoining stalls.. Gideon used that stressor to latch completely on to Goobs. It made everything difficult because I couldn’t work my Appy, take him from his stall or even down the aisle, without Gideon losing his noodle hardcore... (Even though it’s a boarding barn and horses are EVERYWHERE) Same goes for when I’d take Gideon to the arena and leave Gobbie in his stall.

    Fast forward seven months from the move in day, and after a brush with death and the unfortunate scenario of a vet misdiagnosing and nearly killing my Appy.. He had to undergo surgery to remove one eye. During that time, he was taken off the property for a week and under the care of the physician at her home. Gideon of course lost it, but I used that opportunity to switch it up before Gobbie got back to the barn. I put him at the complete opposite end, some 20 stalls away, to mitigate the attachment Gideon had on him. It has helped tremendously because now Gideon doesn’t associate Gobbie as his security blanket. He has new, smaller, social attachments to his current stall mates, but nothing like the obsessive, dangerous, behavior he had exhibited in the past with Gobbie. (Gobbie is totally easy going and does not have tendencies towards separation anxiety or sourness.)

    I’m worried this new move, with only the two of them, will be the perfect recipe for disaster again.. in that the stress of moving for Gideon will undo what I’ve been able to achieve.. and was wondering if any of you had any experience with these issues at home and advice on how to work around them.

    The barn is a 9 stall barn. The acreage is 17 acres of horse pasture. Should I move one a couple days ahead of the other and acclimate him first before bringing the other..? Maybe move the latch key horse first? Or is that a bad idea..?

    Should I do the same thing and keep them at the opposite ends of the new 9 stall barn so they can “see” each other but have distance? Same thing with paddocks and keeping one paddock between the two maybe?

    I know this is long winded and I apologize for that. We have a bit of a back story with this and I really want to go in with a plan as to stop the latching before it happens rather than struggle after the fact, where it would be more difficult.

    I know how important horses social lives are and I want to respect that as much as possible while keeping everyone safe and with a sense of independence.

    Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated!

    Last edited by Rachel.Daddy; Feb. 12, 2020, 01:01 PM.

    Sounds like a great place. Keeping two horses is tough for just this reason. I’d suggest you take on a boarder or two if you can (comfortable with horsekeeping/extra work, landlord will allow, can afford the insurance).

    I had to do this to manage a similar pair. After trying lots of options it just wasn’t working. I took in 2 retirees, separating the idiot from his buddy forever. Peace in the kingdom.


      Maybe get a donkey or mini or two.