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Buddy bound!

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  • Buddy bound!

    I moved my horse to retirement and he is now out 24/7 with a buddy and now when I try and leave the paddock or put him in the work area and he cannot see the other horse he is awful. He screams and is bug eyed! I cannot even walk him up the lane for some fun! At our other farm he never cared who he was with except he was in charge! So this is new to me and I do not know what to do and I know I have to fix this quick or it will be impossible!
    This is a new farm also....very calm and quiet for him. In the field he is just like who he is but when he cannot see his buddy watch out!
    HELP!
    Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
    Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
    "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

  • #2
    It's perfectly natural for horses to call out to others and particularly if they've recently moved and are feeling uncertain.

    Is that all he's doing though? You say you can't walk him up the lane ?

    Why not??

    Don't worry about the sound effects. Just get on with the job and get him out and he'll soon start to settle down and concentrate on other things if he trusts you.

    Just take him out for a brisk walk and then bring him back and increase the duration each day and he'll soon get used to the idea that nothing dreadful is going to happen and he's going to get back to his mate.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thomas_1- he was spinning and even reared! He has never done that before! So I am a little taken back by his behavior....
      Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
      Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
      "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

      Comment


      • #4
        ridden or in hand?

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          In hand. He cannot be ridden. He has a back injury and cannot handle being ridden at this point.
          Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
          Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
          "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Put his bridle on, or put a chain over his nose. Wear gloves (and a helmet), carry a dressage whip. Make him focus on you, make it into a work session. You've got to treat it the same way you would walking a horse on stall rest.

            He'll get over it. You've just got to be a dictator until he does.

            Comment


            • #7
              OK.

              So it's not surprising you were shocked if he's always been easy to manage up to now. But you mustn't let him know that!

              What you need to do is just get on with the job and treat him as you would any horse that's likely to misbehave when leading.

              Get your gloves, hat, strong boots on and get him on a long rope (I use a long lunge line that's about 30 feet long) attached to a good fitting head collar and get him marched out briskly. Just coil the extra length of rope loosely in your right hand and lead him with your left hand.

              Some folks recommend a whip but I don't think there's any need. You can just use the end of the long coiled rope)

              If you prefer you could put him in a lungeing cavesson, that'll bite more and give you more leverage and control especially if he tries to turn back and change direction, the ring will just flip the line for you, as well, a snug cavesson means no head collar shifting on the face and all that.

              I have one especially for this sort of thing and it's double riveted for young stock so there's no change of them breaking. Got to say though that I've never used any of those special halters that some folks recommend nowadays. I just use good quality strong old fashioned head collars or a lungeing cavesson.

              Walk at his shoulder or just slightly in front of it and if he prats about then turn him to face you. You let him go but then dig in your heels and jerk his head sharply towards you. Let the rope slacken and only then reward him with a pat and "good boy". He has to have a clear message that "here's good and slack rope is right". You have to dictate the pace, NOT the horse.

              Rearing is slightly different. At first sign of that I'd send the horse forward by using the coiled end of rope to move him forward. If I miss the opportunity of that first sign then when he's gone up, I'll hit him hard under the belly with the rope end as he stands up. That ordinarily quickly discourages a horse from exposing his vulnerable areas - especially a male horse! I've never had to do that more than 3 times with a rearer in hand.

              If you lead him on the off-side then it might make a difference and he may concentrate on what you're doing more.

              Other thing you can start to do is just walk him slightly away so he's out of sight and do something nice e.g. grooming or even feeding but ONLY if he behaves himself.

              Get it sorted though because separation anxiety can be a real pig to fix if you avoid the issue.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                I did have helmet, gloves and chain over his nose(which he is used to). He is having bouts of ADHD! I plan on working on ths every chance I get because one of the reasons we moved here was not only their lovely fields but the roadways are perfect for ground driving. He can still do that but I would be afraid to even try it now.
                I will be there again next week and 3 days in a row and hopefully he will get the clue.
                It is just so surprising...I have had him for 8 years and he has never cared about who he was turned out with!
                Thanks for the advice...
                will let you know how we do....
                Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you're afraid then you have to either get over it and be assured and confident OR ELSE find someone who is up to the job to help you get this sorted.

                  Appreciate that this is natural behaviour though. He's had 8 years secure and settled and now he's moved. Trust me they often act VERY differently in new environments.

                  Changing where a horse lives is very unsettling and often very challenging for it.

                  I'm also wondering if you're with him often enough. He needs to trust you and rely on you and at this point in time he's not.

                  He's found a friend of his own and he's not wanting to leave him and go with you.

                  You need loads of confidence and assurance and stride out thinking "GET ON AND FORWARD" That will pass to him.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I am with him no more or less then before. I do not go when I have to work but all the other days I am there for him. I will see how it goes this week and go from there.
                    Thanks for all the advice...
                    Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                    Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                    "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good luck. The old guy needs to be worked in this way also. He has gotten worse and then improved since being brought on the property and worked with but still is very location specific - I chalk that up to a life as a show horse, stall to arena to showgrounds, he is not comfortable in the woods for example, even with his buddy right there. It was sort of funny that we went for a walkabout and he was obviously unhappy, wanting to get back to his comfort zone, the pony, pleased to be in new grazing couldn't understand at all, and he seems to find a great deal of security in his "own room" ie the pen. It is a sort of backward step in training as you have to overcome the issue first before you can do other things but it can be done once you have a plan.
                      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                      Incredible Invisible

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just moved my horse; he was isolated in a separate paddock next to horses he would be turned out with eventually, and I was shocked when he started to fret and call and call to the horses next to him. He kept it up for two days until he was integrated. I have had him for 17 yrs and he has never displayed a whit of care about other horses under any circumstances, so anything is possible. As Thomas says, new living environments can be anxiety producing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Our mare will have bouts of herd-boundness when things get changed up a lot. The first time was when she was stalled next to one other horse in a somewhat isolated area. We just moved her to a different barn with several horses and that did the trick.

                          The second time was when the weather turned nice enough for regular turnout and the BM just one day started turning them out after nearly six months of stalls and runs only. We had a particularly wet winter/spring and the pastures at this location cannot handle turnout when it's that wet.

                          We ended up going back to square one with her and doing one hour of turnout for a couple days, then a bit more, etc. until one day, about 10 days later she was out all day long. She's just not good with sudden change at home. It happened again recently when half the horses at the barn left to go to a show so a few of her pasture buddies were missing one day.

                          She is 14 and generally quiet. She's also pretty stubborn. One thing that works for us when she's all worked up and nearly impossible to work with for her bug-eyed screaming, is tying her up and letting her have her meltdown alone. I don't recommend this with every horse, but she ties all day and is not a puller, rearer, etc. Once she's quiet for about 15 minutes, we get her and carry on as usual. She has had to stand tied for over three hours twice, but never two days in a row! This is a cowboy maneuver and this is a mare for whom cowboying works on.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Well, unfortuantely, I didn't get to spend the time this weekend as I hope but i will be there 3 days this week and we will take baby steps if I have to, to gain his trust back, He always trusted me....I know he will never be the horse I will share those great rides with any more but I still love him and care a great deal about him. I didn't toss him out in a field to be forgotten about. He might wish that but as long as I am paying the bill he is stuck with me.
                            Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                            Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                            "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ivy62 View Post
                              I am with him no more or less then before. I do not go when I have to work but all the other days I am there for him. I will see how it goes this week and go from there.
                              Thanks for all the advice...
                              But the horse's circumstances have changed.

                              I don't think you understand. This isn't about you.

                              If he's had a nice secure environment for a long time and then suddenly..... all change..... then it's NORMAL behaviour to feel insecure.

                              When we're talking "horses" then this manifests with precisely the behaviour you described in your posting.

                              Horses are herd animals. They need a leader. They need companions. They need an owner they have confidence with and trust.

                              As far as he's concerned his world has changed. He's a new horse mate and then someone comes along and tries to take him away again.

                              All training is about duration and repetition and practice. If it's infrequent it will take longer.

                              With this particular behaviour the whole thing is to get the horse into a situation where he's focussing on you and trusting that you are just going to take him for a walk and then bring him back to where he's quite happy with his herd mate.

                              If you only do that say once a week then it's going to be a big event (or issue) for him. Do it 3 times a day and it's going to be quicker and easier for him to get used to the fact that's just what is going to happen and it will be sooner for him to get over it.

                              Think horse and do what I suggested and he'll be fine and settle again.

                              Originally posted by ivy62 View Post
                              Well, unfortuantely, I didn't get to spend the time this weekend as I hope but i will be there 3 days this week and we will take baby steps if I have to, to gain his trust back, He always trusted me....I know he will never be the horse I will share those great rides with any more but I still love him and care a great deal about him. I didn't toss him out in a field to be forgotten about. He might wish that but as long as I am paying the bill he is stuck with me.
                              It's not about you! Neither is it about baby steps. It's about committing to getting the problem sorted and just getting on with it.

                              And trust me it is a problem! I could tell you stories about severe separation anxiety that would make your hair curl!

                              But suffice it to say that it's good for your horse if you can manage him from a practical perspective and if he trusts you to quietly and calmly just go for a walk with you.

                              When you're not there, who is looking after him? Can they help with this?

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I do understand and wish I had more time to get there. I will spend as much time with him as I can. I am hoping at least since I will be there 3 days in a row that might help. It is unfortunate that I cannot go every day. I know that would help solve the problem quicker...
                                I will do what I can and try and gain his trust back. I think putting the bridle on instead of his halter may help also. Halter means travel, bridle means work...
                                Will let you know how it goes.
                                Thanks
                                Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                                Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                                "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  i'm reading this w/ interest.

                                  a friend just bought a house w/ horse property and is moving her extremely herd bound mare home. she's looking for a retired companion b/c she believes the mare cannot handle a companion who regularly leaves to be ridden etc. the mare has been that way since she got here few years ago. prior to that the mare was rarely handled and spent her days in 24/7 turnout with other horses.

                                  those of you with experience in dealing with herd bound animals, do you believe that a horse who has been 'allowed' to be herd bound for all these years can be trained out of it by an average owner? by a trainer?
                                  http://www.eponashoe.com/
                                  TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Separation anxiety can indeed be overcome.

                                    Even when it's in an older horse.

                                    It can be quite a problem with some multiples carriage horses and it's something that drivers tend to be very conscious of and cautious about.

                                    We spend ages training horses so they'll work well together to drive them in pairs or fours and that means that over time they do indeed form a bond. A close bond. They absolutely have to if they're to work well with each other.

                                    But if we're not mindful and careful the bond becomes so strong as the horses' herd behaviour and inclination for social interaction kicks in and enjoying company and having good herd social interaction becomes dependency.

                                    It's the reason why multiples carriage drivers tend to mix up their herds just for the heck of it and why pairs and teams horses are ridden and driven out in singles and it's why we tend not to like such as "ponying" or taking horses out with other horses for security. We know too well that long term it can cause problems.

                                    But it can be sorted and I've done it a lot. It becomes more difficult if it's been a lifetime as per the mare described above. Indeed in that case it sounds like the mare's not really had any training or much people interaction to speak of at all. That's most definitely a horse I'd strongly recommend needs an experienced horseman to manage.

                                    The reason why I always assert it needs sorting is that ultimately there's going to come a situation where it's critical to be able to separate them and it's not say when one needs veterinary treatment that you find you've got 2 horses with serious problems. Say one needing some treatment and the other going bonkers and stressing and even colicing because it's mate has gone. Trust me I've been called to try to help an owner where precisely that happened. Minor accident requiring relatively simple and easy treatment to one horse ended up with both dead. One got so stressed it coliced and died and the other tried to jump out from box rest and broke it's leg! I'll not forget that tragic catastrophe in a hurry!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by marta View Post
                                      . . .

                                      those of you with experience in dealing with herd bound animals, do you believe that a horse who has been 'allowed' to be herd bound for all these years can be trained out of it by an average owner? by a trainer?
                                      It's a question of time and consistency and we average owners often just don't have the time - see the OP being unable to go out to the farm and maybe going out three days next week. Myself I haven't got the best situation, we have relatively rough country right here and one would want a large enclosed area without obstructions, yet able to get out of sight of the other horse. I have too many trees and steep slopes for an ideal working area. Taking the horse to a trainer would still need me to learn how to be a more effective handler, better yet if the trainer could come to the location and comprehensively train both of us in that situation.

                                      Actually the old guy's most obnoxious feature is that he just plain balks at leaving his comfort zone, so a second person to drive him on is very useful. He also will try to break away from a handler but can be doubled back so just letting him go and then reeling him back in works better than having him drag you along, which he will do unless shanked at precisely the right moment- I can remain calm but both these maneuvers frighten and upset both my DD and DH. He's a sneaky old fart and I swear puts thought into this.
                                      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                      Incredible Invisible

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Good news! I spoke with someone that I know that teaches at the farm. She is used to handling babies and such and she will gladly fill in for me 2 days a week. It is not me I know but he has been handled by others all his life. So between the 2 of us he should get handled 5 days a week at least...I hope this is a better situation for him. I am also going to see if they can put a third horse out there so his buddy doesn't feel left when he leaves. If his buddy seems happy and not screaming that should help also....
                                        Right?
                                        Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                                        Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                                        "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

                                        Comment

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