Significant Attitude Change. Seems Good, Not Bad. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-26-2012, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Rio Grande Valley, Texas
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Significant Attitude Change. Seems Good, Not Bad.

About 3 weeks ago we had to put down one of our horses. His buddy, Sonny, an OTTB, was a bit fresh, plenty of attitude, and I could always rely on him to challenge me with fair regularity. Since his buddy, Joe passed away he has been an absolute angel. Almost a bit lethargic, and I'm certain he's lonely. We have other horses, but none of them were pastured with with Joe and Sonny. He can see them all, and has contact across the fence with one. I am just wondering if his change in disposition is normal, temporary, permenant, unhealthy, or what. It doesn't seem to be at all unhealthy. As a matter of fact I think it's good because he has become much more dependent on me for everything, and he seems to be much more relaxed, and is certainly less challenging. Joe was definitely the Alpha and Herd leader so I think it has become much easier for sonny to see me now as the herd leader. Am I reading this right? I would love to see your thoughts!
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-27-2012, 06:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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I think you're on target with your thinking about you being his only other herd mate now that his buddy is gone. I had my horse at the same barn for 2 years when I first got him. I had many issues with leaving the property alone due to his confidence issues. We moved to a new barn where we had to ride through the woods to get a large town riding ring. I always ride alone, so I figured it might be a problem. From day one, he trucked along through the woods like a brave new horse. I came to the same conclusion as you...I was now all he had to look to for security.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-27-2012, 06:39 PM
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I agree that you are correct. When Mac was moved out of the big herd, where he was the boss man, into a smaller pasture where he is now lowest of three horses, he changed. I know he is not happy there at all (he's tried to jump out multiple times) but I cannot move him (the management insists he stay here now)
However, Mac now looks actually happy to see me coming, and whickers to me. Before he would just look at me when I called, then turn back to whatever he was doing and ignore me.

I'd still rather he was in the big herd and happy, though.
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