Wanting to be with buddy...dangerous problem - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-31-2009, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Wanting to be with buddy...dangerous problem

Yesterday I took my mare out trail riding. I had a really good time, except for one thing. We took two mares out together and the problem was my mare would start acting up (nervous or ansy) when she got separated from the other mare, which she has been sharing a pasture with.

For a little back ground info: I have had my mare at my parent's house until about three weeks ago. She was never penned with any other horses except for the greetings from the Stallion that my dad owns. Now she is penned with two other mares (10 year old and a 2 year old).

I the only time that I have seen this problem from her (in the 10 months that I have owned her) is when I rode her by myself 1 week ago. I really don't want to encourage her to keep this up. I need to try to break this habit that she has developed. The reason for all this is that she stopped listening to me and started to lead her own way which she almost caused use to fall into a deep hole. I have tried to gather her attention by doing circles and getting her to focus on me. However she still refused.

I purchased this mare broke and have found that she is trained very well and has continued to impress me. She will lunge, neck rein, back, stand quietly, stand without being tied for a long time, loads in the trailer without being led into it, and etc.

I really need some help with this.
Velvetgrace is offline  
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-31-2009, 10:11 PM
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I am not in anyway an expert on this subject. It just strikes me to try to undo the behavior by undoing what seems to have caused it, separate her from the other mares again. Sounds like she was doing better before she was with them. I don't know mare behavior enough to know if she'd still have that bond with them just by being on the same property, but maybe it's worth a shot?
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-07-2009, 12:32 AM
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I'm thinking this might be something like how you or I would feel after thinking we were one of the few people left on earth then finding out there were people left. We would be ecstatic and pretty unwilling to let the people we found out of our sight. She is probably so happy about seeing other horses that she's concerned that they will disappear again if she lets them out of her sight, or something simpler than that but to the same end.

I'd give her more time to adjust and just work on leadership/bonding stuff so she realizes that you ARE her herd when she's away from other horses.

My 24 year old mare had never not been in a herd situation when I got her 9 months ago and she was very justifiably herd bound. I spent the first three months working with her around other horses, working on getting to know each other. The next three months were spent lunging and going for short, 5 minute walks away from other horses (it was the winter time, not so good for riding,) I worked on getting her respect and getting her to trust me to take care of her. Once the winter was over I started riding her again, doing circles and serpentines around other horses then riding over to the arena away from other horses, doing one loop and then going back over to other horses. By then she trusted me completely enough that she wasn't even really bothered by moving away from the other horses.

I didn't even start riding at more than a walk until a few weeks ago becuase Lacey gets excited by speed and I wanted to make sure she was focused on me before I stepped up the pace.

Now she doesn't even neigh back when her buddies neigh to her and she's with me!

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-07-2009, 01:29 AM
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Sounds like a simple case of her having pair bonded with the other mare.
If you take her out of sight for short periods of time then take her back she will soon come to realise that the other horse hasn't gone anywhere , and that she is not being seperated from her , if you leave them to pair more you will be making the bonding between them stronger and therefore the problem worse.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-07-2009, 01:57 AM
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I had the same problem with our gelding when he first purchased him. He has extensive ground work training and otherwise impeccable manners. When we ride out alone, no problem. However, this behavior was only evident when with other horses. When he lost sight of a trail buddy he was becoming nervous and acting up a bit. He would toss his head, pass sideways and jig. So, my husband and I simply began playing hide and seek games along the way. We started with short out-of-sight moments (hiding behind a tree, just ahead around a turn). Take turns being in the lead and behind. Just make the moments a bit longer over time and I hope you will notice a big improvement like I did. It hasn't taken too much time away from our rides and my gelding has realized that time alone with just me is okay when he is out with his friends.
Good luck.
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