Is my gelding depressed? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-28-2009, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Jacksonville, NC
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Unhappy Is my gelding depressed?

My OTTB's best friend moved to a new stable yesterday. He usually has really bad separation anxiety if she even went to turnout and left him behind, but he isnt freaking out at all, which is really weird (he usually paces himself into a lather and throws his head around and screams for her ).

But today he looks, well, down...he is eating but not as happily as normal. He also was really spooky today and kept sitting back when tied, which is waaaay out of character.

Could he just be depressed? Do you think it will go away the longer they are apart? I do not want to give him another horse to bond to or a goat lol because once he gets bonded he is impossible to work with.
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-28-2009, 11:25 PM
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Well I'm sure he's sad. Horses get attached to other horses just like people. Spend more time with him, and he will eventually "get over it".
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-29-2009, 07:17 AM
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About 4 years ago we lived at a boarding stable. One of my horses buddies there (a 34 year old App) passed away on Christmas Eve in the stall next to him. My horse was "off" for about 2 weeks. I made a point not to work him in the arena during that time. Just took him out on the trails so he could clear his head.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-29-2009, 07:20 AM
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aww, the poor thing, yeah just spend losts of time with him, so you can be his new best friend, even if it is not riding, just grooming playing with him etc.

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-29-2009, 07:59 AM
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When my first horse passed away in March, my sister's QH also acted "off." He was an only horse for a few weeks until I found Scout. I don't quite know whether it was depression, or grieving, or what, but sis' horse definitely knew that his stablemate was gone. They had been pretty buddy sour, and sis' horse never once neighed for Johnny.

He kinda got over it after about 2 weeks, and does TONS better now that he has a barn buddy again.

I would suggest instead of bonding with a goat, etc., try to get him bonding with you. After your ride, treat him to a rub with a currycomb and towel. Hang out in his stall with him and scratch his favorite places. Before you leave the barn, maybe give him a bit of his favorite treat. Behavioral respect is a strong bonder, but a little "fluffy time" goes a long way, at least with my guys. Of course, if you let him, Scout would try to crawl into your lap, lol.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-29-2009, 10:00 AM
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Hey there...
So sorry your horsey is feeling down
When I moved my horse here away from his home at my parents where he lived with lots of buddies...he came and he too seemed in shock and depressed. his behaviors were bad too...he is improving.
I made sure to go there to his new home every day. while it is a big place with lots of horses it was not like he had someone right next to him...
He looked like he was sulking for the first two - or so weeks...I felt so bad.
Plus all the feet issue trying to get worked out.
I spent time there everyday. I would just sit in his shelter sometimes after brushing him and let him "be"....I think it has gotten somewhat better but I still think he expects to see my Dad come feed him in the mornings...
Poor guy...give him lots of loviing and he will get through it...
Half pass
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-29-2009, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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I do all his care myself (he is at a neighbor's stable) so I am spending time with him twice a day. Which I actually was doing before his friend left, but now its without him trying to get back to her the whole time.

I think it is looking up, tonight when I fed he had finished his lunch which he hasnt been doing in the past couple of days and the stable owner says he is no longer calling for her. Thanks for all the advice guys :) :)
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-29-2009, 10:34 PM
Green Broke
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Most definitely.

Solon's best friend in the world was put down last year. They were best pals for seven years. Solon took it really hard. It was a couple of weeks before he started being his old self. He was literally flat out depressed. It broke my heart to see him go through it.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-29-2009, 11:33 PM
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I agree, our horses - and all animals - go through emotional turmoil just as we do. They understand pain and sorrow. Lonliness, happyness, joy etc,etc,etc.

My story is going to venture into a contraversal topic - some believe, some do not....I am not sure where I stand as of yet - but I had an animal communicator talk to Nelson.

I had no idea who she was, nor did I know she even had this gift. She was at the barn just visiting a friend who was a boarder. While I was doing my chores, I saw them at the arena, watching the boarder ride and taking pictures and such. Then when I was bringing horses in, I saw her and Nelson chumming.

I didn't think anything of it, many people stood infront of his stall giving him cookies and petting him. So I went on doing my chores. Eventually I was done and got changed into my riding clothes - grabbed Nelson and tied him up in the isle way to groom and tack up for our lesson.

That was when she approached me and told me Nelson's story. Believe it or not, I researched his history as best as I could, and she was dead on with the accuracy.

Nelson has had many owners. He was bought off the track and then sold. Went A Circuit Hunter/Jumpers under the gentleman who bought him, then Nelson was sold to one of this gentlemans students. I guess he fell in love with her - they were the absolute best of friends. They spent countless hours together and he was so happy.

Then one day, she just didn't show up. And he waited for her - and she still never showed up at the barn. Days went by, still no girl. Months, still no girl -he was heart broken. He thought he did someting wrong, he chased her away, she never came to see him.

Then he was sold. To a Dressage Queen who runs her own barn and competes at some mid-upper level. She took him 3rd level dressage, and then he was sold again. Sold to his previous owner, who spent 3 years with him and went Prelim with him - then sold again - to me.

His conclusion to all of this - no matter how hard he tries for his rider, no matter how much he has to offer, they dump him. So he gave up. He said to the animal communicator "They use me for my abillities, and no matter how much I try to prove myself to these people, they dump me when they are done with me"

She told me I had allot of work ahead of me to gain his trust and to prove to him that he and I are together forever. I told him that too, and his response was "Bah, that's what they all say - I'll believe it when I see it"

So I did allot of phone calling - I actually found out who that girl was, I spoke to her parents. What had happened is that she went to college. Nelson was supposed to be taken care of by her mother, but she had no interest. So they paid board - but forgot about him - until they decided that enough was enough and sold him.

Poor guy - that breaks my heart.

I hope I've proven myself to him! I tell him everyday that he's my Special Man and how much I love him. I tell him all the time that he's with me till "death do us part" - I have to proove myself to him as much as I can, so he knows I am not like those others.


So can horses be depressed?!?! Absolutely.

MIEventer is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 06-30-2009, 07:25 AM
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Wow, MIEventer, that's a heck of a thing. Kinda makes me glad that I go to college close enough to home to be home almost every weekend to see my boy. I wish I had been there when my first horse passed, sadly it happened in the middle of midterms week.

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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