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Advise pls- Horse scared at new property

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    Advise pls- Horse scared at new property

    HI there everyone

    I have written here before but am still very new.

    Anyway, my horse just came home a few days ago. We also have pigs, sheep, chickens, and goats on our farm - near his pasture.

    He seemed to be acclimating just fine but the pig noises do make him nervous I think. And of course it must take some time to get used to the new surroundings (tho he is enjoying the grass very much!)

    Anyway- I lead him around yesterday in his pasture and on our property. The one thing I noticed is it seemed like he barely touched his water if at all. I led him to it and he gulped it for several minutes. I am worried he is not drinking because the water is too close to the other animals/pigs chickens and he is too nervous to go there. He also didn't touch his grain (and he is a grain hog). But when I led him to both and stood with him he drank and ate all his grain.

    So will this pass? What can I do to help him feel more comfortable?

    I cannot move the location of his water or grain.

    Will he actually let himself get dehydrated before drinking water if I don't stand there with him or will his need for water overtake his nervousness sooner then that? When I say nervousness its not like he was being a drama queen either- just ears perked and a little pawing at the ground. He stood for me fine next to his water for like 20 minutes while I groomed him, yesterday.

    Thank you.

    Put him to work ---nothing helps a horse settle in to a new place than having a regular job --even if you are just lunging him for 15-20 min every day. Personally, I like training DVDs ---I find watching one lesson, then going out and seeing if my horse can "do it" to be a fun way to keep both of us learning new things. If you don't want to ride, there is never enough time spent on ground work --John Lyons said: "The horse your lead is the horse you ride."

    As to the pigs, horses, I think, are naturally wary of pigs. A wild pig can damage delicate horse legs --so they steer clear ---however, horses can adjust to most things. I went to look at a 4-Her's set up (back in the day when leaders made a visit to each member's home to see what was being fed and how the horse was bedded/pastured). This girl's family raised pigs. The horse was turned out with the pigs. Until I came, they were feeding him pig food (not the best choice for a horse). He was just fine with the situation. I talked to the parents and the horse eventually had his own paddock and the right food. Ironically, the girl had raised a hog for 4-H and sold it to buy the horse! He was a nice one, too.


      Is your horse alone in his paddock? Remember horses are herd animals and like to be in the company of other horses.
      Maybe you need to consider a companion for your horse- a mini- a retired buddy, even one of your goats or 2.
      "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


        How about buying a tote like water holder and just for a short bit give him water where he's more comfortable. You don't want him to colic and a move like this already is a factor in something like that. Could you do something like that?

        It sounds like he really appreciates your company so spend as much time as you can with him and I agree, put him to work. That will help him relax.


          Yes, your horse can dehydrate himself to the point of illness. PaddockWood's suggestion of providing another water source (muck tubs work well) is a very good one. I also agree he would likely be more happy and feel safer with a companion.
          Patience pays.


            Yes, absolutely your horse can dehydrate himself to the point of colicking. You absolutely must offer him water somewhere he is more comfortable. I get a Muck tub, and use two buckets so your load is balanced, to bring water to the tub. Can prevent splashing by putting plastic garbage bags in the buckets and tying them shut for transport. It might be work, but too bad. Your horse needs this for now at least.


              Fwiw, my pony had never been around pigs or cows but when he went to my friends field his bff was a potbelly pig!!! Granted he had 2 other horses there to tell him it was ok. Id get a muck tub for another water area. My ponys water now that he is at my place is a smaller muck tub. Even almost full i can drag it between the two paddocks i use for him and i can fill his stall bucket from it. Another thing i do is fill my old mop bucker and use that to refill his stall water so i dont have to walk as far w water. U can leave a bucket out in a rainstorm, which we are getting downpoured right now.. and that can help fill it as well. Why cant you feed him on the ground away from the other animals?? Or walk out there n stand w him while he eats? Not to sound rude at all but he is your horse and you need to make the time to get him eating and feeling more comfortable. What about a salt block by a mucktub as a water source? Or top his grain off with an electrolyte powder to help him to drink? You can get it at tsc its like 9 bucks for the dumor brand. One scoop am n pm is a normal dosage. You could even try table salt on his feed. Is he eating the hay and grass ok? If he is getting more grass and or hay than usual he could just be full, maybe cut his grain back a little and sit with him, away from the farm animals, while he eats and for sure get him another water source even if its 40 or 50 ft away where he feels more secure to drink. Good luck!!!!!


                Horses commonly have issues with pigs.

                You cannot tell me that you can't set out a clean muck tub of water and a pan for his grain further away from the pigs for several days. That will help him adjust to the new smells and sights around him while not compromising his access to water. Unless you do not have arms, you can do this. Even then, you know someone with arms.


                  As others have said, you must change his water situation. But I disagree you should be trying to find him a friend right now. He just got there a few days ago. Give him some time to get acclimated. And ASAP fix water.