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This is a discussion on Loneliness? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Loneliness brought me to you

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    09-13-2010, 12:50 AM

Okay, so my horse(14 year old paint gelding) has acted like an ******* ever since he was brought back home and away from the boarding stables. Which was over a year ago. Anytime I go to ride him I end up getting bucked off, and I know it's nothing i'm doing because when he was being boarded for the winter he was an absolute angel. He lived in a stable his entire life in California, before we bought him and moved to Canada... He lived on our land all the time, except in the winter we boarded him. This past winter we didnt. When he lived in California he was perfect to ride too...

Recently he broke down the fence of his pasture and went over to a house a few away from mine and went to hang out with the horses over there. He was perfectly happy there with the other gelding and mini donkeys. It was such a pain to get him to come home too, he kept trying to turn back around and go back to his friends. And that was the second time he's broken out to go see them. And I would make play dates with the neighbors horses, but It's really hard to let him be all happy, and then to just break him down by taking him away a few hours later.

I've been trying to explain to my parents that he's being such a butt head because he has no friends to play with, and he's not meant to be a solitary horse.
They don't seem to understand this and it really ticks me off... especially because I told them it was going to happen.
I'm currently trying to save up money to buy a mini horse or a donkey for him.. even a goat since he likes those too... But can someone help me by telling me a way to get him to stop acting like this, and to get my parents to realize that he needs a friend?
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    09-13-2010, 01:46 AM
There is information all over the web explaining why horses want to be with the herd. Look it up and print some of the better ones out. I have let my horse out to pasture at night before...when the other horses are way out of sight, and he acts weird to. He instinctively knows that he is vulnerable alone. Horses survive by being with a herd. At best he spends a couple of hours with you and that leaves him 22 to be alone and fearful. He really needs some kind of buddy. You can get an animal that is a super easy keeper..a pony or a donkey are usually great. I personally don't like goats because IMO they are escape artists and are hard to contain. That's just my opinion though. It would be super easy for you to get him a buddy for cheap or go to a rescue and get one for free (find one that is nothing but a pasture ornament).
    09-13-2010, 03:20 AM
Green Broke
Goats are great companions. I'd recommend putting up some hotwire.

Also, have your parents read up on some of the articles about horse herd behavior. Some horses are perfectly fine without being in a herd (my boy is like that) but some need it. Thing is, eventually your horse is going to get hurt breaking out and that would be bad.

Hope you get it sorted.

horse emotions, loneliness, problem horse, solitary horse

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