anxious/clingy horses - strategies

BlueWicked

fluff-free
Jan 13, 2008
2,358
1
0
in the real world...
Blue is a star:D I just adore him:D

He is turned out during the day with a mare, and has other horses either side of their field as well. Both he and the mare come in at night and are stabled next door to each other.

Blue is turned out and brought in at different times to the mare as I do DIY, and he always catches fine. He goes out by himself if Im up first in the morning and whinneys a bit then settles down. The only time they come in together tends to be at a weekend if we hack them out together.

Yesterday when i brought him in by himself, as soon as he went in his stable he seemed to 'click' she wasnt there as well and had a wee tantrum:p Circling in the box, shouting lots and head tossing. He got ignored, then I tied him up to groom and he settled down.

Tonight they happened to be brought in together - BUT the mare was taken off to the wash bay while I took Blue straight to his stable. He always has hay waiting in his stable. Again, when he realised she was gone he got anxious. It was like suddenly he didnt know I was there and circled in the box, shouted, and barged into me as I took his rug off.:rolleyes: He got a smack on the neck and pushed over very firmly, I roared at him to behave and put his headcollar back on and controlled him with this until she came back. He did stand better then and i praised him. Each time he tried to barge over and flung his head up I tugged back and made him stand. He is always to careful around me and aware of my space, but it really is like he forgets im standing there.

As soon as she came back he was fine again.

Now this doesnt bother me as he is pretty easy to deal with compared to what I had before - even when he does this;) But want to make sure im dealing with it in the right way, and want to nip it in the bud.

My theory is that he needs to know me better (only been 2 weeks) and be more confident in my leadership so as not to rely on the other horse? And not to attempt to pacify him or soothe with food etc, but reward with a pat and 'good boy' when he does stand. ?
 
Last edited:

suzanne7575

New Member
Jul 25, 2007
966
0
0
Scotland
You are doig the right things, as you say he is only been there 2 weeks s not only is he still getting to know you, but he is settling in to the yard and making new friends so he's bound to get a bit clingy at first.

I think just carrying on as you are and ignoring the behaviour and maybe seperating them a bit more often will do the trick

I am in a similar position with Fin. He has been companion with the owners other horse for over 10 years and they share a field, have next door stables too and Fin does the whole circling the box and whinnying when i take him out of the field on his own but i just do the samne as you, ignore it and carry on and if he tries to barge me to get to the door or anything he gets a firm no etc.
 

sheryl

New Member
Aug 11, 2006
1,587
2
0
Herts
I would give him a completely non heating diet, to help keep him generally calm, hence helping to avoid stressy behaviour, and make a point of seperating them as much as possible.
Spend as much time with him yourself so as to strengthen your own relationship with him, then he shouldn't worry so much when you split them.
It may help when he settles down and feels more at home. On the other hand he could also form a stronger relationship with his field mate... Some horses can just be more clingy.

While he's like this I would make sure you keep yourself safe by wearing a riding hat etc.
 

TB_horse

New Member
Blue is a star:D I just adore him:D

He is turned out during the day with a mare, and has other horses either side of their field as well. Both he and the mare come in at night and are stabled next door to each other.

Blue is turned out and brought in at different times to the mare as I do DIY, and he always catches fine. He goes out by himself if Im up first in the morning and whinneys a bit then settles down. The only time they come in together tends to be at a weekend if we hack them out together.

Yesterday when i brought him in by himself, as soon as he went in his stable he seemed to 'click' she wasnt there as well and had a wee tantrum:p Circling in the box, shouting lots and head tossing. He got ignored, then I tied him up to groom and he settled down.

Tonight they happened to be brought in together - BUT the mare was taken off to the wash bay while I took Blue straight to his stable. He always has hay waiting in his stable. Again, when he realised she was gone he got anxious. It was like suddenly he didnt know I was there and circled in the box, shouted, and barged into me as I took his rug off.:rolleyes: He got a smack on the neck and pushed over very firmly, I roared at him to behave and put his headcollar back on and controlled him with this until she came back. He did stand better then and i praised him. Each time he tried to barge over and flung his head up I tugged back and made him stand. He is always to careful around me and aware of my space, but it really is like he forgets im standing there.

As soon as she came back he was fine again.

Now this doesnt bother me as he is pretty easy to deal with compared to what I had before - even when he does this;) But want to make sure im dealing with it in the right way, and want to nip it in the bud.

My theory is that he needs to know me better (only been 2 weeks) and be more confident in my leadership so as not to rely on the other horse? And not to attempt to pacify him or soothe with food etc, but reward with a pat and 'good boy' when he does stand. ?



My horse gets quite bad separation anxiety. I have found that spending a lot of time with him and doing a lot of groundwork has helped as he trusts me more. But, he will sometimes get very panicky and bargy in the stable if hes alone, and as you said it is like i'm not there. He just gets a panic in his eyes and wants to get out. For my boy giving him a smack would only upset him more as he gets in such a tizz. But it depends really if the horse is just being a bit bolschy or if they are genuinely very frightened. I found doing join up and similar exercises helpful, so he thinks its safe to trust me. Its so hard though as horses like that get such a strong bond with each other!
 

Sexy Sietske

New Member
Aug 18, 2006
4,311
0
0
32
Derbyshire/nottinghamshire
Last winter my mare and gelding was turned out together and stable next to each other and when seperated they would climb the walls (literally!! Nelson brought me back to his lady on 2 legs a couple of times :rolleyes:) so then I put my foot down and moved stable, away from the mare.

After a couple of days they was fine :)
 

BlueWicked

fluff-free
Jan 13, 2008
2,358
1
0
in the real world...
My horse gets quite bad separation anxiety. I have found that spending a lot of time with him and doing a lot of groundwork has helped as he trusts me more. But, he will sometimes get very panicky and bargy in the stable if hes alone, and as you said it is like i'm not there. He just gets a panic in his eyes and wants to get out. For my boy giving him a smack would only upset him more as he gets in such a tizz. But it depends really if the horse is just being a bit bolschy or if they are genuinely very frightened. I found doing join up and similar exercises helpful, so he thinks its safe to trust me. Its so hard though as horses like that get such a strong bond with each other!

thank you - for all your replies.

re feed - he is on the most non heating i could manage, baileys low cal balancer, hifi lite, speedibeet, garlic& a table sppon of linseed oil. He also gets ad lib haylage at night, and im not convinced it isnt heating as 1 of the other horses at yard is hotting up on it, thing is, its included in livery price!

Well definately wear my hat from now on though - thanks for the reminder, not that i should need one as i got a broken nose dealing with an issue like this before xmas with my old horse:eek:

Am crossing my fingers he will settle down!:D
 

colettybetty

New Member
Oct 5, 2003
3,760
0
0
Visit site
Pretty much agree with whats been said, its early days,just two weeks in his new home with new owner. We've just moved yards with ours and they are very clingy to each other, particularly the mare and yearling. Youngster is vey worried in the stable while the other two are being ridden. So we just seperate for short periods and try and make that time pleasant. Little Peanut-Brain is given a nice grooming and generally kept distracted.The more anxious she becomes, the quieter and calmer and more matter-of-a-fact we are with her. If she barges into our space she 'accidently' runs into a well positioned elbow, followed by a pat or a rub when she moves back. By keeping the periods of separation short and part of a consistent routine she knows that the others will come back and all is well.
Carry on with praising him when he does well and quietly correct the bad, by being quiet and calm he will gain reassurance and learn that he can trust you to look after him when he's afraid. He is absolutely gorgeous BTW, you lucky thing.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
maverick.the.paint Trailering my anxious horse Transport and Travelling 3
L Moving day tomorrow. Anxious! Cafe 14
Rubic Anxious horse Training of the Horse and Rider 39
sjp1 Tobes is having Shoes Off tomorrow - am now anxious!! Cafe 14
squidsin Move has made me anxious! Confidence Club 9
KarinUS Super Anxious -Minnie leaving (again) today Cafe 15
KarinUS Anxious about sending her offsite Training of the Horse and Rider 4
juliecwuk Anxious horse - trailer loading Training of the Horse and Rider 41
KP nut Feeling stressed and anxious.... Cafe 8
annareeves0 Anxious dogs Cats, Dogs and other Animals 2
Aimee-x Supplements for nervous/anxious horse Metabolic 8
YASMiN___X0 How to deal with a horse that gets VERY anxious when seperated? Training of the Horse and Rider 7
S Magnesium for nervouse/anxious horse Money Saving Ideas, Tips and Remedies 11
dilaika anxious about the canter.. Training of the Horse and Rider 6
R Stessed/anxious horse Training of the Horse and Rider 9
Lucy_Angel Anxious Horse.. Advice pls! *LONG* General 3
Snow_Pony anxious at halt - help please! (long sorry) Training of the Horse and Rider 6
Imp Anxious Mum (stupid) Older Riders 7
L Anxious Competing 3
Retty Anxious mum! Horse Care 8
squidsin Clingy mare Cafe 6
ANN H Clingy cat! Cats, Dogs and other Animals 1
Aimee-x Clingy Puppy ? Cats, Dogs and other Animals 4
Jessey Fresh horses?! Cafe 8
D My horses butt has swelling on both sides in each butt cheek, how to treat this and what is it? Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 21
L Turning in more than 2 horses at a time. Horse Care 8
E New to group and horses Cafe 2
L Padsing between horses back and saddle Tack & Saddlery 7
chunky monkey Price of horses Cafe 37
Jane&Ziggy Horses vs bunny Cafe 3
diplomaticandtactful Do your horses neigh? Cafe 17
H Pony not working when other horses are around. Training of the Horse and Rider 4
Jessey Buying horses Cafe 27
Jane&Ziggy A mark of intelligence in horses? Cafe 4
joosie How many different horses have you ridden? Cafe 29
Jessey Do you chat to your horses? Cafe 15
diplomaticandtactful Who said horses were smart..... Cafe 10
diplomaticandtactful What good horses Cafe 3
Ale Safety and accidents around horses. Cafe 57
diplomaticandtactful Nothing to do with horses, but fuming Cafe 8
Jane&Ziggy An interesting study on attachment between horses and humans Cafe 4
Ale Why do we keep our horses the way we do Cafe 11
B Help new horse neighbor and horses pooping everywhere Cafe 21
StaceyMorganTracer Would you like help tracing your horses history? Cafe 0
chunky monkey Has anyone tasted there horses feed? Metabolic 11
Jane&Ziggy Training horses for the movies - Ben-Hur Cafe 3
C Everything Horses, Everything Riding Cafe 11
Loveslayla Horses and cows Cafe 8
Toz So, I don’t want 10 horses of my own... Cafe 12
C Spending more time with horses Cafe 5

Similar threads

newrider.com