Hates her barn ???

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Hates her barn ???

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  • Horse hates being in the barn

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    12-01-2012, 01:24 PM
Hates her barn ???

Hi, I am new today. I have a mini horse that I adore. She is 14 years old and spoiled a tad. She will not go in her barn and it is getting colder and colder here in Maine. She will not eat her hay now that the grass is all gone. She has been 2 days without eating hardly a thing. I am bew to all this, I have had her only 6 weeks and I was moving her fencing every few days to give her access to grass, but it is all gone now. Any ideas?
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    12-01-2012, 01:45 PM
What kind of hay are you giving her? She may just not like that kind. My old gelding HATED timothy, but loved just regular old grass hay.

As far as her barn, do you know if she's ever been in a barn before? My gelding now has never been in a barn in his life and rarely uses his shelter, even in the snow. He also refuses to wear a blanket. If your girl has never been in a barn before, she may not know that it's warmer in there or she may be scared to go in.
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    12-01-2012, 05:21 PM
Don't know what I am doing

I am trying to reply to the person who relied to my first post. I hope I am doing this right.
Daisy's former owner sold me the hay she is used to having. She was used to a barn, a much bigger barn with 3 large riding horses. Ted was her buddy. He adored her but she always liked people more than other horses. They went through foreclosure and had to sell the horses and I got Daisy. I wonder if she misses Ted. I also wonder if it is because my barn is small. I am quite sure as far as the hay goes, she much prefers green grass and she is holding out on me. She nibbles a little on hay if I leave it outside of the barn on the ground but doesn't touch the hay in the barn. In her old home she ate hay in the barn, I saw her do it. If she doesn't get settled soon I may consider another mini to keep her company. I spend time with her at least twice a day. I walk her every afternoon for 30 minutes and let her eat grass on a neighbors land. Maybe I should not let her eat the grass so she will get used to hay again. I admit, I have spoiled her. She was very happy and contented until the grass was all gone.
    12-01-2012, 05:51 PM
She's not going to starve herself with perfectly good hay sitting right there. She's testing to see if she can get her way. Leave the hay out for her and she'll eventually eat it.

As for the barn, it could be that it's smaller. Have you tried haltering her and leading her inside? That would show her that it's ok. Also, it can be difficult for horses used to being with other horses to adjust to being alone. Horses are herd animals and like the company of their own kind...even if they may not seem like it.
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    12-01-2012, 05:57 PM
Yes, When I first got her I would put her in the barn at night, she hates it. I have a nylon web gate and she would push on it and try to keep me from hooking it. Her former owner said to just lt her be outside in her pasture if it was safe. At this point, maybe I should just let her decide if she is cold enough to go in. She is very nosey and likes to see everything around her....might be part of the reason she wants to be outside. It sure makes it easy to keep the barn clean this way.
    12-01-2012, 06:05 PM
Yeah, as long as she has her winter coat in (or mostly in), she's not going to freeze to death. Horses are tougher than many give them credit for and can survive quite well without our "help" (at least when it comes to the cold).
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    12-01-2012, 06:30 PM
Green Broke
She needs a buddy. No horse wants to be alone.
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    12-01-2012, 06:32 PM
Green Broke
Lots of horses don't like shelters. When I moved my horse to a new place we had a walk in shelter. In the beginning she would never go in there, and if I led her into the shelter she'd go in but be very uncomfortable.

In the beginning I'd just feed her a couple of metres away. Then I moved the feed closer and closer, and now I feed her inside if its raining but outside if its not. She'll never go in there without feed on her own - but that's to be expected. Horses are animals, they're not meant to live inside and I personally think that it goes against most of their natural instincts to do so. Some will do it but most won't. Horses are generally fine outside if they've got enough trees or windbreaks.

Also keep in mind horses are herd animals, some of them function alone, but many of them can be very distressed when kept alone. For this reason it's usually a good idea to keep at least two together.

Check your hay too, if its damp or animals have go to it your horse won't eat it. It might be worth feeding her something she'll like as well as just hay - like I feed my horse a mix of a lot of chaff with a few pre-mix pellets. She'd just pick at the chaff, throw it around, but with the other stuff mixed in she'll eat it all.
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barn, daisy, hay, mini horse

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