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Buddy bound-- separate stalls vs separate turnouts

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  • Buddy bound-- separate stalls vs separate turnouts

    My horse's neighbor is extremely buddy-bound. (Actually he seems to have a good bit of neuroses going on right now, the worst of which seems to be the buddy-bound-ness.) His owner (my friend) had the vet out today to rule out any physical issues; vet found nothing wrong with him, but told my friend that he and my horse need to be separated in turnouts ASAP.

    This has been my friend's and my thought for a while now, but BO is balking about switching their turnout group. BO would rather move one of our horses to a different stall instead, and leave turnout groups as-is. (There are about 24 horses at our place, in 6+ turnout groups; there are a couple options for switching gelding groups.)

    Apparently the vet felt that separating turnouts will be more beneficial than switching stalls. This would be OUR preference as well, but I have a feeling the BO may still balk at this.

    Any thoughts/arguments for or against moving buddies away from each other, in stalls as opposed to turnouts? Any thoughts as to why switching the turnouts might be more beneficial than a stall move? We're planning to talk to the BO tomorrow, and I'd like to have some reasoning beyond just "because the vet said so" (although IMO, that should be enough).
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

  • #2
    Switching herds up can be quite a bother for a BO...but I can see why it needs to be done, but my main question is this: Is the horse that is super buddy sour going to respect the fencing in the turnout he'll be in? Will he not try to go thru a fence in an attempt to get back with his buddy? If so, maybe keeping them in the same turnout, different stalls might be the way to go...


    • #3
      Where would the horses spend the most time together- when they are stalled or when they are turned out?? I would pick the option that keeps them apart the longest amount of time. Buddy sour horses are extremely frustrating. I have just two horses at home and one of mine can trend towards being buddy sour. To nip that in the bud they are often put in separate paddocks away from each other or one is left in a stall in the barn while the other is turned out.


      • #4
        I guess there are two problems I see with this...

        1) A buddy bound horse is likely to just buddy up with someone else in his new turnout.

        2) From a BO's perspective, changing turnout groups has the potential to put many horses at risk as they redefine their herd hierarchy. That could result in injured horses, pissed off clients, etc.

        About the only way that I can see switching turnout groups being very effective is to KEEP switching them due to #1 above and that presents even more potential issues as stated in #2 above.

        I personally think that the buddy sour/herd bound thing can be addressed more effectively with training. But it's not quick nor easy necessarily.

        What kind of behaviors is your friend encountering?
        A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

        Might be a reason, never an excuse...


        • #5
          BuddyRoo just said everything I was going to say! It really has a strong likelihood of recurring with another horse. The buddy-sour horse is, in essence, saying that horse relationships are the most important thing to him/her, and what you're asking for comes distant second.

          I sent a buddy-bound (to anybuddy lol) 2-year-old to boot camp... ok, really I just boarded her for 60 days with a trainer who did no training except to shake up this filly's world -- different place (which blew her mind right there), different turnout arrangements, different schedule. Tied in the arena while horses were worked. Groomed daily by different lesson kids. She came home a changed animal and has NOT returned to her omgomgtheskyisfalling ways.
          Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.