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URGH Separation Anxiety

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  • URGH Separation Anxiety

    Posting here because this girl wants to compete eventing.

    We have come so far with her horse. But he is such a pain in the...

    He is a 16 hand reg paint but you could say he was a WB QH or something and you would believe it. The high level dressage trainer I ride with says he is a special horse - very wow 10 mover etc and has worked with him too.

    But his jumping ability and his bravery jumping is amazing. Truly. BUT away from home he cant handle not being stuck shoulder to shoulder with his buddies. And we have done all the usual - gone to things - done things with the buddies - weaned away from them - etc. But after 4-5 times doing that - this horse will panic if a friend walks away and he is IN HAND - he will freak out and rear straight up much worse with the rider.

    Today I was so mad - the poor girl could not ride him in the junior clinic type thing - I took him into the field and lunged him forever and then made him walk in hand all around the property until he quit crying for the others. Not sure if that was the right thing but he is really making me MAD.

    Problem with this horse - he is a dumb jock so when he is mentally spent, he is never physically spent and usually we dont want that. He just doesnt work down - he works up. He is the type of horse that when you start to win - you need to end soon.

    But she made it through a dressage show a few months ago and scored in the mid 70s with him. He is such a NICE FREAKIN horse and I just want to kill him!

    Anyone have experience dealing with horses with such stupid bad separation anxiety?!

  • #2
    Do you trailer him with his buddies as well as board them together away? I find that ours get very clingy when they travel together. If at all possible, separate them at home, trailer them separately and stable them as far apart as you can.

    Best of luck, as it can be quite trying. Any chance you can have someone else ride him that can deal with his meltdowns until he realizes he's not going to die?



    • #3
      If he is THIS extreme and THAT special, I would do clicker training!! It will work.

      Otherwise it will take time and the right set up at your barn.


      • #4
        What Nancy said. Also, you might want to try him on a Magnesium supplement. MagRestore is inexpensive and worked great for one of my horses.
        Fox Haven Farm, Inc.
        Home of 2002 JC Registered stallion Artrageous

        Artrageous has his own Facebook page!


        • Original Poster

          I thought about that yesterday - maybe trailer him in separately and keep him in a stall away from everybody.... he did this a bit at a show when he was alone this summer but it was much more manageable and we were able to ride him through it. But I was thinking it was that it was hot and outside - whereas where we are at this weekend is in an indoor and its cooler. But it was 60 degrees and he has been in this indoor 4-5 times - always with his buddies - only able to handle it if he hides his face in a tail.

          I will try the Mg - I was going to get it for a mare I suspect has ulcers anyways.


          • #6
            We routinely keep all our show horses separate for exactly this reason. I've been really lucky that I only ever had one that was really bad ( although not nearly as dangerous as what you describe here) and that was a total pain - I can imagine the frustration you are dealing with - there aren't many more habits that are as hard to manage or take as long to break. The only thing that has worked for us in the past is as the other poster suggested. Keep him alone - all the time, the moment he goes in the trailer with a buddy or has a pasture/stall buddy you start from square one again...some are so bad they can't even have "neighbors" within viewing distance..I don't expect a horse this extreme to ever stop the behavior and you'll likely have issues always, but if you can lessen it he may become more manageable, rearing in hand etc., is pretty extreme and if he's that bad she may want to rethink this choice of show horse despite all his ability..they all have a "hole" so to speak and it's a matter of what degree you can correct it and if it's something she's willing to live with and deal with accordingly