Turning a Horse Out Alone
I am a new horse owner - I've had Rocky, a 15 yr old, 15.2 quarter horse, since August. I first met him 8 years ago at a horse camp, where I rode him for 4 summers straight (I know this horse well).
He lived at the camp for over a decade, where he was only ridden in July and August. For the rest of the year, he was turned out in a herd of about 25 other horses - including mares and geldings. He is more dominant than submissive, but not overly aggressive.
When he first arrived at his new home, he was pastured with a draft mare - they quickly formed a strong bond which became problematic. He showed initial signs of anxiety when I separated him, but calmed down within a week. He is turned out AM and PM and for a few weeks had a PM companion. Over the weekend, they had one fight and the owner separated them. Since then, she has been giving me a hard time about finding Rocky a new pasture mate.
My options right now are turning Rocky out alone for about three months, or possibly putting him back with the mare with whom he bonded. If alone, his AM field would boarder another with horses in it. His PM one would not, but he would be in sight of his "girlfriend".
I will not be around for the three months, but have reliable people who will be there and able to keep me informed on his behavior and health.
A knowledgeable friend recommended that keeping Rocky alone for a few months might help him get over his issues with separation anxiety. Is it ok for me to try him alone just for a few months, or would I be better trying to put him back with the mare, where I'd have to retrain his ground manners upon my return?