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Gate/Paddock Pacer

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  • Gate/Paddock Pacer

    I have a horse who just HATES being turned out, especially when he's in the paddock alone. Now, he's not always turned out alone, but sometimes he has to be. I always have his stall mate next to him, though. I only have two horses at home now. The paddocks are adjoining, so the other horse is usually near by. When I turn them out together, the "pacer" tends to bully the other horse and herds him around all day. And the other one is my good old 19-year-old gelding. I don't like when he gets picked on, so I let him be turned out in the next paddock most of the time. Anyway, here is a typical day of turnout: http://youtu.be/T51vi5_cD-A This video was taken (from inside my house, that's why you hear the dog's feet ) about an hour after he had breakfast in his stall. He had been turned out maybe half an hour at this point.

    This horse is probably dealing with ulcers right now. Our vet didn't scope him, but started him on medication a week ago. He is such a stress case and I'm not sure how to help him. He loves his stall, but that's not practical or healthy to keep him in a stall 24/7, and I won't do that to my old guy.

    Has anyone had a horse like that and has been able to figure out how to help him? Even with hay, he does this. You can see at the beginning he grabs a bit of hay, and then paces. Sigh.

    Any advice?
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde

  • #2
    How long have you given teh two of them a chance to work out any bullying? If he isn't being particularly mean to your other gelding, I would give them a bit longer to see if he will settle.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


    • #3
      Horses are herd animals, and they need buddies. You know, there are a TON of free horses that just want to live in paddocks and be buddies right now!

      To me, this says this horse REALLY wants a buddy. It sucks that he bullies your other horse. He needs ANOTHER buddy! "But mooooommmmm....I dont LIKE him...!"


      • #4
        It couldn't hurt to try some old horseman/racetrack tricks:
        Get some of those really flexible thin 'rods' like the ones that hold the flag up on a childs bycicle (do you know what I mean?) and affix them along your fence so that as he goes along with his head hanging over he hits these. I've heard the same principle being applied to a stall weaver : hanging things by strings on either side of their door that they run into when weaving. What about putting some stuff along the fence? Some tires or a rubber giant tub? Stuff that he has to think about but that won't hurt him?
        Otherwise, no advice, but lovely horse!


        • Original Poster

          Yeah, the sad thing is I put them together to be happy, and he is a bully. And after a while of being turned out with a friend, he sometimes still does this. Sigh. Maybe I'll put them back together tomorrow and see how he does. I don't want my old guy getting hurt (he's come in beat up a few times.)
          “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
          ¯ Oscar Wilde


          • Original Poster

            Thanks, winter. He's a nice big horse (over 17hh), so we have 5' fences. But I wonder if some things like the flag poles would help. When we turned him out in the round pen recently I did put some boards up to block his path. He just makes the path shorter and avoided the boards.
            “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
            ¯ Oscar Wilde


            • #7
              My horse is doing the same thing. He's toned it down from running/rearing/striking at the fence...now just walking it.

              He could care less about his 'buddy', he wants to be in the OTHER field....
              Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
              Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
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