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my mare lost her only pasture buddy

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  • my mare lost her only pasture buddy

    How do I help my old girl? Her only, beloved, equally old pasture buddy died in the field with her late yesterday afternoon. She was so attached to her friend. She didn't get turned out today, but stayed in with a new little pony in the stall next to her. She called out some, but mostly just paced in circles.

    If she can't bond with this new little guy, and is frantic out in the field, she is in danger of hurting herself or someone else. The barn owner has told me if that's the case, I'll have to move her. That's not an appealing option - she's old, and doesn't adapt easily to new situations. She's been on this farm for almost 10, years, and I can't see moving her as a realistic option. So, I 'm faced with the real possibility of having to have her PTS. My heart is breaking. She will be 29 in April, and isn't ready to go quite yet.

    So, tomorrow, they'll give her a little Ace, turn her out with this new little guy, and hope for the best.

    If anyone has any suggestions of how I can help her adjust, I'd love to hear them.

    Thanks in advance.
    Defying Gravity...Flying High
    * Forever Teddy*

  • #2
    Give her a chance! I bet she'll adapt better than you think..Maybe part of her anxiety today was just from being kept in. Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Why would they keep her in and work her up even more by disturbing her usual routine?

      When an event like that happens it's best, IMO, to stick to the usual routine as much as possible. The horse will be more stressed and think even more is wrong if not. Some horses really rely on their routine.

      I hope she does get along with they new guy. She might realize her friend is gone and that she'll just have to deal.

      Comment


      • #4
        Jingles for your mare ! She will bond with her new buddy ~ just needs a little time. Try not to worry - sounds like they have it all thought out - a little Ace and she will be fine.
        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

        Comment


        • #5
          More Jingles for your mare. I think she will adjust and that you have a good plan.

          Where I boarded in CT, my mare had a "boyfriend", a gelding that was head over heels in love with her. They were always together (both on 24x7 pasture board). He was not a happy camper for a few days after we left, but he adjusted.
          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

          Comment


          • #6
            Our ancient pony lost her equally ancient Arabian 'husband' last year, very suddenly. I believe she was in shock. She whinnied for several days and was very depressed for a long time. We did consider some Ace to help her, but did not give it.

            I kept her routine the same, spent a lot of time with her. It was very hard for her, I've never seen a horse grieve so deeply.

            I also used flower essences Rescue Remedy (for stress, etc.) and also Star of Bethlehem (for grief). I put them in her water.

            Give her time. They have such deep connections, just like we do. It's very hard for them. A kind new friend will help her a lot.

            BTW, my elderly pony who grieved so much a year ago.....Very soon it will be her time to join her mate in Heaven. She has never quite recovered from losing him a year ago, which has pained me a lot. I am consoled by the fact that she will be with her friend again soon, which makes my impending loss of her easier. Hang in there.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ThoroughbredFancy View Post
              Why would they keep her in and work her up even more by disturbing her usual routine?

              When an event like that happens it's best, IMO, to stick to the usual routine as much as possible. The horse will be more stressed and think even more is wrong if not. Some horses really rely on their routine.

              I hope she does get along with they new guy. She might realize her friend is gone and that she'll just have to deal.

              Agreed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Does your mare have neighboring pasture boarded horses she can see from her field? If so, I would have her back outside alone ASAP, and then work to slowly introduce her new friend. Or I know a local-to-me retirement farm that will have openings soon....
                Good luck, I know how stressful it is when the old ones get stressed out!
                Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with keeping the routine as much as possible. She will adjust to her new pal. My girl was able to say goodbye to her pasturemate after the deed was done and I think it helps them realize the finality. She has her goats that have been with her for years and they make a nice little herd all their own. There is a grieving process , no matter what and it might take time, and it may never be the same, but that's how it is. Sorry for the loss. It's never easy.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by ThoroughbredFancy View Post
                    Why would they keep her in and work her up even more by disturbing her usual routine?
                    I think that would have been best, too.
                    But when her friend died, she died quickly, falling into the fence.
                    So, that had to be repaired before they could let her back out.

                    Well, I'm crossing my fingers.
                    They are supposed to call me with an update this morning.
                    I know I'm being silly worrying so much, but I can't help myself.
                    Thanks for the words of encouragement.
                    Defying Gravity...Flying High
                    * Forever Teddy*

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had a 25 year old mare who became very attached to my 8 year old gelding. I didn’t think he was as attached because he never screamed for her when they were separated like she did for him, but she died suddenly in their pasture one day and my young gelding went into a deep depression. He we very upset in their normal pasture (the vet said it was likely because he could smell where she died) and basically just laid down in a mud hole and refused to get up. After a week of forcing him up, just to find him back down in the mud shortly thereafter, I decided to make a drastic change and move him to another farm. He loaded up with his depressed attitude and stepped off the trailer at the new farm as if he didn’t even remember his best friend anymore. It was really crazy! The vet couldn’t really explain it, but said every horse is different and maybe it was his ability to smell her around the old farm that upset him.

                      Good luck.... sending jingles to you and your mare!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am sorry to hear. Hopefully the suggestions made will help you.
                        I find it somewhat unpleasant that, after 10 years, the BO does not offer to help but tells you "you 'll have to move her"? My barn owner would offer solutions and try to find other pasture mates and moving a horse would be the last thing on her mind!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Animals have a remarkable ability to 'move on' unlike people which linger or a loss for extended periods of time. What she needs to move on is a new friends, whether she likes that friend or not. Animals are blessed with the herd mind set and more than anything seek to be IN a herd. Her "herd" is gone now, she needs a new one. Plain and simple. Find a new pasture buddy for her and let them alone for a good bit of time, even if they do not seem to like each other at first. As much as she is looking for her "friend" she is REALLY looking for her herd. You must try your best to NOT humanize the situation. Do animals mourn? Yes I believe some do. But so long as the have a herd to be a part of that period of mourning is short lived. We should all be so lucky as to recover from the loss of friends and family as well as animals do.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FalseImpression View Post
                            I am sorry to hear. Hopefully the suggestions made will help you.
                            I find it somewhat unpleasant that, after 10 years, the BO does not offer to help but tells you "you 'll have to move her"? My barn owner would offer solutions and try to find other pasture mates and moving a horse would be the last thing on her mind!
                            I agree. If you were close to me, I would keep her for you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Any updates yet? I sure hope that your mare is doing okay. Will keep jingles going for her........

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                update from this morning

                                Ok, I talked to the barn manager this morning, and things look promising

                                They actually put her out (with her new buddy) yesterday afternoon after they fixed the fence. And then again this morning. Both times she took one speedy lap around the field, screaming and calling for her fallen friend. Her new buddy trailed behind (actually a funny picture, if I do say so). Then they settled down to munch grass. They never got particularly close to each other. But she also didn't pin her ears and chase him off. She definitely likes to be the boss, and from what I was told, her new friend will be fine with that. So, if that's the routine for a little while, I'm ok with that. Just as long as she doesn't hurt herself in the process.

                                Yea, I guess I'd expect a little more sympathy (or is it empathy?) from the barn owner. I have been there a long time, and I'd like to think I was a good boarder. I would hope that she'd keep in mind that I'm just trying to do the right thing for my horse. My horse is a little high maintenance, and maybe she's just sick of dealing with her. I could send her to a retirement facility, but I don't know of any close by, so that would mean I'd never get to see her. And even though I don't ride her anymore, I still get a lot of joy from going once a week to groom her, cuddle and give her treats. I'd love to have a younger horse that I could ride, but having 2 is not an option. I feel like I made a commitment to this one, and I want to fulfill it. I've had her for 25 years, and plan to care for her to the end.

                                So, her comments could be born of frustration and just an unwillingness to go out of her way to help anymore, or maybe it was grief speaking - it was her old retired pony that died.
                                Defying Gravity...Flying High
                                * Forever Teddy*

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I am so sorry. Wish we lived close enough to you for you to board here. We like the older ones and high maintenance is no problem. Keeps life interesting. Maybe someone on COTH knows of a retirement farm that is close enough to you for you to visit.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Sounds like she's doing OK. They do look for their friend for a while, but eventually settle down. Hang in there - she sounds like a real sweetie and is lucky to have such a caring owner. Giver he a little extra attention while she's going through her grieving period to help her along.
                                    She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Good news - glad your mare is getting along with her new buddy !!! Jingles for all three of you - mare-buddy and owner !
                                      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I'm in a very similar situation with my old mare. I've had her for 21 years. Some people understand that we're in this till the end, others don't get it. Hopefully, your BO will come around and all will be well.

                                        My mare lost the love of her life three years ago and it was very hard on her. Making a new friend was the biggest help. She isn't anywhere near as close to her new buddy as she was to the other horse, but she's happy and thriving again. They do adjust, though it can take some time.
                                        <><

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