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Leaving 1 horse behind to trailer the other?

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  • Leaving 1 horse behind to trailer the other?

    We don't have much for a ring at my house, and I'd love to start riding one of my horses more. The other is retired. I can ride in the fields but it's hard not having a ring that's even. I really can't get a third horse to keep the other one company, although they are turned out with sheep and are pretty close with the sheep. Any suggestions on taking one horse away from the other. I don't want the other horse to freak out and hurt herself if I trailer the other one to a ring. Do you think she would calm down once he is out of sight and sound? I would obviously do a test run first and not go too far. I can bring her to the barn and put her in her stall / run in (safer) or leave her in the pasture with the sheep. The pasture and barn/paddock are a walk away and I can't really get the sheep up that far so it's sort of either or.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I have 2 at home - both geldings - and no companion animals unless the barncat counts.
    Whenever I take one off-property I stall them both while I hitch the trailer, then let the one out after the other is loaded.

    Normally they are out 24/7 with free acess to the stalls (left open) and this method seems to work for me. The longest I've left one Home Alone is 3 days.
    Horse-sitter - who comes twice a day to feed - doesn't report any anxiety, so although there may be some calling when I pull out, it must go away.

    If I were you, I think I'd try leaving the horse pastured with the sheep.
    Will anyone be on the farm, or keeping an eye on things while you're gone?
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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    • #3
      I have two, and the donkey is distressed when I take the horse away from him. The horse, happily, does not show distress at leaving the donkey. What I do for the little donkey is put him in the round pen with hay. I put him in the round pen to limit how far he'll run. I know he could still run the whole time, but he's a smart little donkey; and I think he settles in to the hay when he realizes he's just running in small circles.

      There's no question this is stressful to him.
      I have a Fjord! Life With Oden

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      • #4
        I have three here. When we take two out to trail ride, we put the third one in a stall. Failure to do this has, a couple of times, resulted in an uninvited, riderless horse galloping up to the trail riders about a mile out. Not the end of the world, but something to be avoided when possible.

        Putting the one that's to be left behind in a stall solves that problem very nicely.
        "It’s a well-documented fact that of all the animals in the realm of agriculture, Bulls have the highest job satisfaction rate."~~Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman

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        • #5
          i always put the odds ones i a stall that way they dont injure themselves running around
          be loonies give them enough food to eat they settle down

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          • #6
            Another option might be to take both of them for a ride, if the one you leave behind really loses his ever-loving mind. You might be able to leave him tied to the trailer. He might be happier if he can go to the party too.

            If that's not an option, I agree with stall and lots of hay to keep him busy. If you stall them both, then take one out and load him out of sight of the first one, sometimes it takes a while before they even realize their buddy is gone. If they do freak, it's usually not for long.

            Several years ago, I sold my horse and my mom's horse was left by himself. I was very worried about him, but after running up and down the fenceline screaming his head off for about 20 minutes, he settled down and that was the end of it. And he was a nutjob.

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            • #7
              One horse I can leave out with her being able to come and go from her stall. She is pretty sensible. She will call and won't eat as much but she is better off being able to move around. The others, when I've had to leave them behind as the only horse on the property, I've left in the stall. With those horses, it just seemed safer. So it depends on how well you know your horse and if you think he will run and get into trouble or not.

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              • #8
                My retired mare has MAJOR separation anxiety when I take my gelding off the property.

                I bank all the bedding to the sides of her stall, because I know she will make a MESS, because she walks circles the entire time. Sometimes I'll also give her some Quietex, it doesn't completely calm her down, but it does take the edge off.

                And for some reason, she seems to be somewhat calmer in the summer with the fans on....maybe the constant "white noise" has a calming effect on her!

                Oh...and I tried one of those "companion mirrors"....didn't work at all...but then again she has vision problems anyway.....
                The more you stir the $hit, the more it stinks.

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                • #9
                  It all depends on the horse involved. I would NOT leave my current gelding behind without a buddy. He got left in his stall by a previous BO one morning when she let the other horses out into their pastures and then went to grab a fresh cup of coffee and then her sister called and my horse was left in the barn (with the other horses STILL ON THE 7 ACRE PROPERTY) for about 2 hours. When she came to let my horse out, he was galloping round and round in his stall which was 14' x 14', he was screaming, completely foamed all over, and it was about 30 degrees out! Scared her, she was sure he would get sick. She had to towel him off and walk. And walk. And walk.

                  Same horse, when I bring him in to groom, if he thinks the herd is going to a far part of the pasture and he is being left behind, will stand there and shake like a leaf.

                  Some horses just can't handle being left behind. Some can. You will just have to figure out if your horse can or not.

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                  • #10
                    There are some things you can do in preparation for this.

                    1) stall retiree while you ride on the property. You will get a good feeling for how he may behave out of eyesight off the property AND you can start getting him used to it while you're still within a safe distance should a problem arise.

                    2) alternate turnout. Keep one in and turn the other out and reverse. Again, they can learn to be more independent and in a controlled environment while you're home just in case.

                    3) for the first trip off property, I'd stall the retiree and see if you can have a friend/SO keep an eye out. If you want to do a test run, load other horse up and go 'round a country block....be gone for 10-15 min. Return.

                    I've only met one horse ever who just could not be desensitized to being alone. Everyone else has been able to figure it out safely if given the opportunity.

                    I would recommend trying to do some of this on a weekday, early morning...just in case you do have a wreck and need the vet.

                    I have two mares...buddies. Normally, the get winters off. That means that every spring, I'm dealing with mare A having some separation issues. Within a few rides though, she's fine. But I don't leave her out to run the fenceline and potentially jump it or go through it. (she has been known to jump the fence.) Also, usually when I'm doing this for the first few times, it's still a muddy mess in the paddock and I worry about her slipping and hurting herself.
                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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                    • #11
                      This is exactly why I have a large pony! He eats basically nothing, and takes up little space. Even consider something smaller, shetland, mini, etc...

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                      • #12
                        I have two here now. My mare could care less about the gelding being hauled off or leaving him and being hauled herself. She would be perfectly happy being an only horse.
                        The gelding on the other hand gets hysterical when I take the mare away so it's the stall for him. I can just see this loose horse galloping down the highway after the trailer after jumping the pasture fence (shudder). They (people at home) tell me he jumps around and screams for fifteen to twenty min. in his stall and then settles to eat hay but at least I know he's safe.
                        It's kinda sad. When we come home he's so happy and calls and calls to the mare and she doesn't even bother to answer him...poor thing.
                        You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

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                        • #13
                          Mack and Casper are at home together. Mack is Casper's companion.

                          When I trailer Casper out, Mack screams bloody murder. Which is interesting, because once Casper's gone, he seems to do okay by himself. I should know, since Mack was at home by himself when Casper went to the trainer's for 8 months.

                          How I deal with it, is I put them both in their stalls and give them breakfast (or lunch). Once I'm ready to go, Mack goes out in the pasture, and Casper is put on the trailer.

                          They both scream a little, and Mack runs up and down the fenceline, but Casper's very good in the trailer. Once I get going, Casper even stops screaming.

                          So they're herd bound, but not dangerously so.
                          Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.

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                          • #14
                            Ugh, my two geldings are like this right now. Technically, the oldest is my younger sisters who has grown out of it and wants nothing to do it. All throughout their lives, even when I was just showing mine we'd have to take BOTH to the shows for this same reason. I can't even move my gelding to my house until this older guy passes. Seriously. My new mission when I move my gelding here and get a new one is to do the best I can to make them independent. We'll eventually have pasture on both sides of the house so I'll attempt to pasture them separately every so often to make sure the independence is there a little bit. I'll at least attempt... to possibly make these shows eventually easier!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We got a small pony...

                              Originally posted by spacehorse View Post
                              This is exactly why I have a large pony! He eats basically nothing, and takes up little space. Even consider something smaller, shetland, mini, etc...
                              This is EXACTLY what we did too! Got a small pony (Mini x Shetland) as a companion/buddy. And yes, she eats NOTHING, doesn't take up space and poos less!!

                              This way our main riding horses (3) will always have a buddy when one is left behind. (we most typically go to events or rides with TWO horses....that would have left the ONE behind alone alot)

                              Love the pony idea and it's working for us.

                              BTW - when we do leave horses behind and seperate them....the ones left back get enclosed in a sacrifice paddock. They still fret when we leave, and I don't want them running the fenceline. More places to get into trouble and build up too much steam if they had access to the full pasture
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                              Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                              www.elainehickman.com
                              **Morgans Do It All**

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                              • #16
                                Another vote for giving a mini a home and a "job"

                                That's The Princess's job.

                                Mr. Blondie doesn't care too much when Prozac Pony leaves, but PP has a cow when he's left behind. So I put him in his pen next to Herself, with a flake of alfalfa, and mostly it's okay.

                                At least he doesn't jump the fence & run away, like he did the time I left him in the arena (4'9" fence; 2'6" jumping horse) and took Mr. Blondie hunting.
                                Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
                                "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother

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                                • #17
                                  I have two mini-donks who fill this role. It's what they do, and they do it well.

                                  When I had just one horse, who needed some kind of equid companionship, I got one donkey. It quickly became apparent that if I took the horse anywhere, the donkey would be upset. Hence the second donkey. Now, I have two horses, both of whom are fine if one leaves, because they have the rest of their "herd" with the two girls. If I take both horses, the donks are fine. Everyone wonders where everyone else is going, but that lasts about 10 minutes and then things settle back.
                                  "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                  Spay and neuter. Please.

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                                  • #18
                                    I agree with BuddyRoo's suggestions. I think you just need to try baby steps first.

                                    I have two horses and I leave one home alone a lot. I just started it with baby steps. First just by bringing one horse into the barn for grooming and pampering while the other was left outside. They could still whinny to each other but they couldn't see each other.

                                    Then I would go for trail ride down the road where I was eventually out of ear and eye sight. This helps both horses get used to being alone.

                                    I also had considered getting a third horse or pony, but weighing the cost of owning another mouth to feed and cost of farrier, shots, worming etc I figured it was better to just have the horses deal with this then bring in another buddy for them.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Dear All:

                                      A *perfect* excuse to get another horse! Well if that's not an option-I'd put the left behind in the barn, load the other, let the left behind out and go around the corner to watch-or have someone else watch. The horse that I have now acts like a *fool* alone-but I haven't left him alone in a pasture for very long and will colic in 15 minutes alone in the barn. Really, just about 15 minutes is all it can take.

                                      I would love to have sheep so I may try that myself and it may work in your case. Or there are often some old guys that need a home and aren't in too bad a shape.

                                      I would love to have a pony to drive so that may be my excuse;-).
                                      Huntin'Fool

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by monstrpony View Post
                                        I have two mini-donks who fill this role. It's what they do, and they do it well.

                                        When I had just one horse, who needed some kind of equid companionship, I got one donkey. It quickly became apparent that if I took the horse anywhere, the donkey would be upset. Hence the second donkey. Now, I have two horses, both of whom are fine if one leaves, because they have the rest of their "herd" with the two girls. If I take both horses, the donks are fine. Everyone wonders where everyone else is going, but that lasts about 10 minutes and then things settle back.
                                        I am experiencing that now with my Dutch boy and his donkey buddy. I am considering getting a companion for the donkey so I can ride in peace!

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