Storm & his separation anxiety

Sparks09

New Member
Apr 28, 2009
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Thought i'd make this for those who have horses with this problem.
I am going to be trying various techniques to try and get him over this!
Might be helpful to some...

Basically I have known Storm for a year but only owned him for six weeks.
He is a thoroughbred that went through racing training but never quite made it to the track. I believe this is where his separation problem comes from!

He has had a fair amount of change as far as I know.
He was sent to an auction and was mean't to be sold for meat but was rescued by a friend of a friend. He was then left in a field for a while then sold to my ex boss.
She then built him up and began riding him then a friend came along for Storm.
His separation problem soon got bad. He hated being separated from his friend! His friend was then sold and Storm was on his own.

I have always known about his problem from day one. However it wasn't so bad when he was tied up. Only when he was stabled.

When I bought him everything started changing. He started coming in every single day for a morning feed and then at night to be stabled but I put him in a stable with a divider in it so he could still see the other horse.
I then decided to move yards as the facilities are better at the new one.
This is when I realised how bad the problem had got.
I used to be able to lead him out, lunge him on his own etc but it was a pain walking him to the new yard because he kept calling and spinning etc.

So he arrived at the yard on Saturday and settled really well.
I decided that i'd lunge him in the indoor school today but it didn't happen. He was calling lots and there were lots of nervous poo's!
With me feeling quite depressed I just brought him in. I know I should of carried on but really wasn't in the mood.

so...
tomorrow i'm just going to take him in with a headcollar. unclip him and let him do what he has to do.

Will update tomorrow!
 

laceyfreckle

Well-Known Member
May 27, 2007
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Essex/Suffolk
will look forward to the updates (in a good way) as have a similar problem with my pony.

He's fine if his friend is nearby but not very confident if his friend is not there. Makes hacking out a bit tricky although we can school in the field out of sight ok as long as within where he knows
 

Kimmy C

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Jun 9, 2009
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This separation anxiety thing can be a real issue. Mine has only recently (6 months) developed this probably because there are only two horses currently at the yard. I had to move her round to where the other horse is which I didnt mind as the stable is new, nicer and has a better outlook. At the moment if either one of us rides without the other we have to keep the other horse in the stable. I can ride Adella and she is getting over it as at first she kept on naying to the other one but now doesnt do this. I reckon you are doing the right thing in as much as trying to build up confidence and getting the horse to trust you. It may take quite a time bearing in mind his history but it is only a question of trust and confidence and soon he will get to realise that nothing nasty is going to happen. Fingers crossed you get good results I suspect you will have to be patient. x
 

Sparks09

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Apr 28, 2009
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Thanks!

Well I lunged him yesterday evening in the indoor school with a friend doing hers. He was nervous to begin with as its all new to him but he soon settled and we had a good session.

Then I asked my YO to school Storm today. Lets bear in mind he hadn't been ridden in five weeks tomorrow...
She said it took her ten minutes to get on as he would not stand when she was trying to get on. Once she was on though, he did stand.
He was very tense but eventually started to relax towards the end. She only done walk and trot but was just trying to get him to relax. He was also doing his 'lock jaw, not listening' thing. Had his teeth done etc and this is just a schooling issue! BUT the good thing is he didn't call once! :D Result...

So i'll hop on board tomorrow and just try and get him to relax.

I also want to do more ground work with him as I think we could have a much stronger relationship... :)
Will have piccies and videos tomorrow hopefully!

xx
 

Innocence

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Jun 1, 2009
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I will be reading this with interest as my TB filly suffers terribly with separation anxiety. She can not be left in a field alone otherwise she will just run up and down the fence calling. She also can't be left in her stable without her neighbours as she constantly calls and box walks (sure she would try and jump out the stable).

Will have to try and put her on her own in the paddock with me watching to see how long it takes her to calm down.
 

Claire1605

Active Member
Apr 25, 2008
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Essex
My Trakehner has separation anxiety.

I think this became a problem when I bought him. Previously he was at a large yard and now with me he has my two other horses for company, who he is very attached to.

It is a nightmare if the cob goes out on a hack without him or if I take the cob out of the field and leave Victory with the pony. He gallops up and down, snorts, gets hot and sweaty and calls for England, even though he has the pony for company!!

In the stable he paces, poos and poos, calls and calls, gets hot and sweaty etc. even though he still has the pony for company.

The only good thing is that when he is being taken away from the others so I can ride him he is fine. He loves his work and will go in the school and work hard and I can hack him out without the others.

Just wish that when the cob is ridden that I didnt have to bring him in as well.

Now the other worry is that if I do manage to get out to compete this year, how will he be going in the trailer and being taken somewhere on his own.

His previous owner did not have these problems because he was at a large yard, he loaded fine and was not worried about travelling etc at all, but now might be different.
 

Sparks09

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Apr 28, 2009
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Now the other worry is that if I do manage to get out to compete this year, how will he be going in the trailer and being taken somewhere on his own.

His previous owner did not have these problems because he was at a large yard, he loaded fine and was not worried about travelling etc at all, but now might be different.

I'm hoping to get Storm out and about this year but again i'll have the same problem! I know for a fact he will not load! :p So this is something for us to work on.

I think the main thing is trying to get him to trust me and the moment! He's OK, not brilliant, on the yard as long as i'm around him.
Trouble is when they do stress out they make such a mess!

xx
 

Maggiemooo

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Sep 1, 2009
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Chelmsford, Essex
I'm glad I'm not the only one with this issue, my big un (frank) will not allow either of the other 2 horses to leave the paddock without him, He's 18'2 and if left he simply waits about 1 min and jumps the 6' fence without a run up! :eek::eek:

This doesn't cause me any issues as I'm used to it, but 1 of the horses is a livery and she wants to be able to come and ride anytime to suit, which at the moment is not possible as she is not confident enough to bring Frank in on her own. Frank is brought in from the paddock at 2pm so anytime after that she's able to bring the other 2 in to ride. Once he's in his stable he's fine and he is the only one who lives in,the other 2 are out 24/7.

Anyone with any tips how to get him to stay in the field when 1 horse leaves would be fantastic for me too.
 

Sparks09

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Apr 28, 2009
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Sounds scary Maggiemooo!


Had a great morning with Storm :)
Brought him in and tied him up outside his stable. One of the little ponies were in so I thought he'd be OK.
Instead he kept calling! So I thought 'whatever, i'm moving him outside away from the pony and he can get on with it.'
So put him outside the barn where he could still see his field just not any horses and he was a little angel! :D No calling or stupidness.

So groomed him and went to tack him up. Saddle was fine as usual then go to put his bit in...
YO said he took it fine last night which proves he's just taking the mick out of me as I carry a little treat to get it in. (very stupid idea, i know).
Tried to get it in and he chucked his head up and went backwards. Shouted 'No!' at him, tried again...same problem. done this five times and he gave up. Massive pats for him :D

Then we had the getting on problem. Got on the block and he went backwards so I kept making him go back. Done this at least 20 times and then he again gave up and I got on.
He was tense but did calm down and we just had a walk/trot :)

Got off, took his reins off whilst I was cleaning up and he just followed me about. No calling! :D
 
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