Jaxnopie

Seeking Advice. How To Handle/cure A Horse From Separation Anxiety.

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone. I'm looking for some advise on ways I can safely help one of my gelding from having a melt down when I put him in our 1 acre pasture by himself. He has been in and out of this pasture for a few years. Sometimes with a couple of my other horses but sometimes I put him out alone just trying not to allow him to be so dependent. My horses are stalled at night and turned out in the day to either our 20 acre pasture or our above mentioned 1 acre pasture. I don't stall them side by side either in trying to avoid this. They do however herd together when put out together. I worry because when I do put him in the pasture alone he will run ragged and cause himself to be drenched in sweat in a short period of time. What if anything can I do for him? I know he may never get fully over this but is there something I can do to curve it somewhat just so I'm not spending an hour in cool down mode? Your help is greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I guess I would start by tying him up in the barn alone, for as long as it takes for him to stand there quietly.

I find that the horses that I ride out alone, tie up for various periods, keep in a corral for various time periods, then also accept being alone in a field

Until you get this mind fix on ahorse, where he realizes he will be re-united with buddies, he is going to spend that time adapting to being alone by runing the fence, versus learning acceptance through a controled enviroment , like work and being tied up

Edited by Smilie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ditto to what smilie said.

start small.. locked in a stall or barn or standing tied alone for periods of time, only letting the horse back loose AFTER their done throwing their fit.. their reward for standing quietly is gettign turned out. if their causing a fuss, they stay there until their quiet, then, ONLY THEN do they get rewarded for their behavior.

patience is a powerfull thing to teach all horses.. as is tolerance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ditto.

Wet saddle blankets...lots of them.

Standing at the thinking post... and by themselves or with different horses.

Changes, changes changes. all kinds of changes.

The more they stay with the same herd all day...day in and day out...the worse it gets.

I shuffle horses, shuffle pastures, shuffle what horse I mess with and what stays behind. I shuffle where I tie them, what saddle I use, what I plan for them for the day. I walk them together, one by one, pony, tie up and do nothing...everything is always different.

I do my best to allow for no predictions...

Soon...they just give up and go along with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. I am now having my husband alternate which horses go in the big pasture and which go up front in the smaller one. They all seem to have anxiety issues about going up in the front pasture alone. It's the farthest away from their normal stalls, arena, other stalled horses and so on. I have a round pen in the front pasture with great footing. What do you think about when he starts up running and hollering I go in and work him a few min to re direct his attention do you think that would change his thoughts to quiet and settled means get to get fat and graze but hollering and running around means more of it? Just an idea?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting question. I am trying to sort ot out and not coming up with anything concrete.

My instinct tells me "no" though. You would probably be better served to leave him alone entirely while he is having his tantrum. As long as he is calm and relaxed by the time it is time to bring him back in he will get over it. But if he is still worked up when he gets brought in you will be rewarding his perseverance

That is the point when you have to start thinking about logistics: what if he isn't settled when it is time to come in? Can he stay out there overnight? Or as long as it takes for him to settle?

I think you need to go back to what equi has stated about starting small; tie him up in the barn or arena or anywhere he is safe and protected, and leave him there until he is calm. Completely calm. Not just standing still but head down, ears relaxed, maybe even a cocked hoof. When he can consistently stand quietly in that location, choose another one, maybe in sight of the other horses, and follow the same steps. Eventually it will translate to being alone but untethered in a pasture.

FWIW: I was just thinking out loud in all that, so take it all with a grain of salt. :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting question. I am trying to sort ot out and not coming up with anything concrete.

My instinct tells me "no" though. You would probably be better served to leave him alone entirely while he is having his tantrum. As long as he is calm and relaxed by the time it is time to bring him back in he will get over it. But if he is still worked up when he gets brought in you will be rewarding his perseverance

That is the point when you have to start thinking about logistics: what if he isn't settled when it is time to come in? Can he stay out there overnight? Or as long as it takes for him to settle?

I think you need to go back to what equi has stated about starting small; tie him up in the barn or arena or anywhere he is safe and protected, and leave him there until he is calm. Completely calm. Not just standing still but head down, ears relaxed, maybe even a cocked hoof. When he can consistently stand quietly in that location, choose another one, maybe in sight of the other horses, and follow the same steps. Eventually it will translate to being alone but untethered in a pasture.

FWIW: I was just thinking out loud in all that, so take it all with a grain of salt. :unsure:

Yes he can stay up there all night. I just worry that he will exhaust himself and not sleep if I did that. I had my husband install a hitching post up front so I can tie him there and hopefully settle him. He ties nicely. Thanks for your help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now