I Need Your Help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-09-2010, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Question I Need Your Help!

Hello Everyone, I am new to the forum and need your comments. I bought a very laid back, gentle horse that was used for kids lessons. I have had him for 9 days. He is in a 2 acre pasture by himself, no other horses around.

At first he ran up and down the fence line just a couple of times and that was it. Everything was fine until this past weekend. He is very skiddish, jumps at the slightest noise or at nothing at all. He is acting nothing like he did before I bought him. He acts like he is afraid I think.

I have owned horses before, 20 years ago and never had a horse act like this. I have not attempted to saddle him up to ride because he is so skiddish. What do you make of this? I know he was a kids lesson horse because I talked to some of the kids that rode him and also saw videos.

I do not know what to do. Do you think he misses other horses? Have any of you ever had this problem? I would appreciate any input. Thanks so much.
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-09-2010, 04:04 PM
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Is he turned out by himself?
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-09-2010, 04:04 PM
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You took him from his familiar setting and put him in a strange place. ALONE.

Of course he's nervous and skittish! He's a herd animal and you've deprived him of a herd, and are making him live in a strange place with strange people.

If you've had horses in the past, you should know that they're herd animals and can't be kept by themselves.

Until he gets used to you and his new surroundings, he's going to continue to be a nervous wreck. He also needs a companion animal. It doesn't have to be a horse, but best case scenario is another equid.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-09-2010, 04:12 PM
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Oh! I reread it. Sorry I missed that. SR got that right on the head.

Even a kids lesson horse is still a horse and so needs a herd setting or at least a buddy.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-09-2010, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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I am in the process of looking for another horse to buy for my husband. I have bought other horses in the past and put them in a pasture alone and never had this problem. That is why I was wondering what could be wrong with him. Hopefully, I will have another horse soon. And yes, he is turned out in the pasture. He has a stall if he wants to go in.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-09-2010, 04:28 PM
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Just be aware that you will probably have these sorts of problems until you get him some sort of companion. If you can, sitting out there brushing and socializing can help a little, but nothing will beat another horse.
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-09-2010, 06:56 PM
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Agree with SD. Even a goat would help, in the meantime spend as much time as you can out there, he's scared and alone!
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-09-2010, 09:08 PM
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There was an aricle in the most recent Equus about solitary horsekeeping. It said that some horses can handle it better than others. It is possible that the horse you used to have that was fine alone was of the type that can handle it. Sometimes, just being able to see another horse is all they need, but most horses need a companion. The type of horse that is a more subordinant member of the herd may be the one that is more needy, unless he is the type that stands at the edge of the herd and never makes a special "buddy". I dominant lead mare type would be miserable without a herd, as would the very timid subordinant type. Could you ask the former owners how you horse fit into the group in it's former herd?
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