speration anxiety nightmare!

kelbe

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Aug 1, 2008
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Surrey
I have just moved to a new yard and i am really worried about my gelding. At the previous yard he was stabled next to my mare and they could see each other through bars now they are in a barn together and can touch over a door. Since moving he will not be seperated from her, if I even tie her up just outside the barn so he can still see her he rears up and hooks his feet over the stable door. I have never had this problem with him at home she even used to walk past his old stable and out to the field and he was fine. The problem is I need to be with my daughter when she rides the mare but if I leave him I am scared what he will do so she is now suffering. When they are out in their field or even walking them to the field if another horse comes to the fence then he starts striking the ground and squealing. Any tips pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
 

Nookster

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Oct 21, 2002
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The move will have made his anxiety come on I feel.

New place, new routine, new surroundings, new horses. Sometimes this can overwhelm some horses, he just displaying this in the actions you are now seeing.

Seems he’s very attached to your mare and seeks his major comfort from being with her at the moment and also seeks to protect her from the new yard change. Hence the not liking to be without her, or even the possibility of her leaving (when tied up outside barn)

I presume they are turned out separately to the other horses at the yard? This might be why you are getting such dramatic response when other horses come over, sounds like he’s trying to show he’s a leader and its his friend (mare) to stay away.

How long have you been at the new yard now?

I personally think it’s a time factor and as hard as it will be time wise letting them settle in and changing the way you do things until his confidence increases like it was at his last yard when he knew if his friend passed they would be coming back. He might be stressing that the new yard might mean him loosing her too.

I would keep separation in a controlled manner, but I would carry on and not pander to his ever need but make sure he is safe when doing so. Start off with small times away and build up ?

If you stay with him does he calm ? I see you said you need to be with your daughter when she rides? I presume if you stay and she goes then he’s settling down with your presence??
 

Innocence

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Jun 1, 2009
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Can you not put a grille up to stop him getting legs over the door? or provide a distraction like hiding carrots in his hay etc
 

Nookster

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Oct 21, 2002
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Can you not put a grille up to stop him getting legs over the door? or provide a distraction like hiding carrots in his hay etc

Word of warning with the grill - saw a mare get her leg stuck in a grill once when she got over stressed and wanted out. Very hard getting the leg back through! We thought she was gonna break it. Thankfully she didn't

It might stop him but if hes determind to throw an upset it might cause a worse outcome so be aware
 

kelbe

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Aug 1, 2008
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Surrey
Thanks we have only been at the yard for 5 days! They are in their own field but this is the first time they have been out together, at the last yard it was mares and geldings seperate. He does not keep clam even with me in the stable he is just determined to get to her! I had thought of tying him up with a haynet but am slightly worried that he will hurt himself trying to get free. My husband did try and give him a treat ball to take his mind of it but he was not interested.
A pony at the last yard did this and so they put an extra bar up instead of a top door. I just worry about him hurting himself.
 

juliecwuk

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Mar 2, 2006
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Wolverhampton
i have had the same experience with my 2 mares, they have always been together and treated as a pair in all ways. I have moved them 3 times in the last 2 yrs. The first few weeks are a nightmare until they settle in. I just continued separating them, for like 5 mins, then 10, then 20 etc etc until they get used to the other one always coming back.

It took about 2 weeks this time for them to stop pinning over each other. Luckily mine arent really that bothered at attempting to jump/rear so they cant really injure themselves.

Hmmm regarding the rearing - is there another stable you could use that has a different door? or how does the gelding react when he is tied up outside and the mare is in the stable? what about doing it the other way round sometimes - leaving the mare in the stable and taking him away?

it really is just a matter of time, and if they arent used to being turned out together then his sense of separation might be worse at the moment. Mine have always been turned out together, even though i cant leave one in the field on their own, i can now leave them happily in the stable while i ride the other one, but it did take a few weeks of perservering with the gentle separation.
 

Nookster

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Oct 21, 2002
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Thanks we have only been at the yard for 5 days! They are in their own field but this is the first time they have been out together, at the last yard it was mares and geldings seperate. He does not keep clam even with me in the stable he is just determined to get to her! I had thought of tying him up with a haynet but am slightly worried that he will hurt himself trying to get free. My husband did try and give him a treat ball to take his mind of it but he was not interested.
A pony at the last yard did this and so they put an extra bar up instead of a top door. I just worry about him hurting himself.

I presume hes lost friends then as well ? if they were turned out separately before I’m guessing they had their own little herd structure in each field. Could be why he is even more determined to keep a familiar face round. Could also be now they are out together his minds blown a bit more? And is becoming over protective of her?

If foods not a distraction I would refrain from tying him up in case his tantrum turn into complete panic and he couldn’t get away with being tied up.

How long does your mare need to be away for ?

When I was teaching my two to stay in stable why one was ridden I had to build up the time slowly, until they soon realised the other one always came back. One of my lads is ten times more explosive doing this and has booted the hell out of his stable in the process.

Will the mare stay by herself without fuss? One of mine does and I spent a lot of time building up my other lads confidence by going and doing ground work with me, also a way of being away from my other lad. This did help when it was the other way round as he felt calmer if my other horse went and I was still there.

My main advice – it won’t be fixed in a day I’m afraid, I know it will be stressful at the moment but try to keep with it with little positive steps until they feel more settled and it becomes home for them.
 

kelbe

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Aug 1, 2008
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Surrey
In the old fields he had only one friend and she was in a small paddock on her own which was then in a field with others. The mare is not bothered at all and I could happily take him away. My daughter only rides for a bout 20 mins but is too young to be left alone. I know it will take time and I am quite happy for that I just worry about him putting his feet over the stable door, I can't move him maybe I can try a calmer just to help for now. Thanks everyone
 

Nookster

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Oct 21, 2002
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Is the school far from the barn?

Could he maybe be tied up outside in view why your daughter rode? Or possible to start with come and stand in hand while you watch your daughter? And then reduce this to being back at the stable.

Utilise your hubby :) an extra pair of hands why going through these situations is always great.
 
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