Selling a buddy-bonded horse.
 
 

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Selling a buddy-bonded horse.

This is a discussion on Selling a buddy-bonded horse. within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • What is a horse bonded buddy
  • Separating bonded horses

 
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    03-19-2011, 07:10 PM
  #1
Showing
Exclamation Selling a buddy-bonded horse.

With little space in the barn, my mom and I would really like to sell Lulu, our miniature mare, and we've been getting a lot of calls on her....but we're hesitant, for the fact that she means the world to my gelding Arthur.

He didn't give a darn about her when it was just the two of them, but as soon as we introduced more horses a few years ago, he has been COMPLETELY overprotective. I have never seen anything like it. Our stalls are free-access, and he keeps her corralled in one stall, not letting her out, just to keep her in one place away from the other horses. He's kicked and broken 3 water buckets in the last year; whenever another horse even passes the back of the stall he kicks out and doesn't care what's in his way. He never spends time outside anymore, unless it's standing right next to her and showing teeth to any horse who comes close to her. If I take her for a walk, he will run the fenceline for hours, until we get back, just whinnying pathetically. He can't think when he's away from her. Same thing when I take him on trail alone....he will whinny pitifully the ENTIRE ride. When I let him out the dutch door to go out for the day (in which case he runs right around to the back of the barn and herds Lulu back in a stall for the day) he practically runs me over to get away from any horses near the door. It's absolutely ridiculous. He treats Lulu's foal like gold.

It seems like cruelty to take her away from him, but I've always gone by the theory that horses do not love, just form bonds of convenience, so I'm hoping that maybe he only acts like this to keep his role as dominant horse in the barn. But he's going on 24 this year, and I really don't want to do anything to upset him. If we sold Lulu, would he bond to another horse? I think he would bond to her foal, Frappe, or Lenox, my mom's Perch. Before Lulu he bonded to other horses, but never with this obsessiveness.

What do you guys think? We're really having a hard time with this because we have interested buyers out the get-go, but if it upsets Arthur, it's not worth selling Lulu. Any experiences with this type of thing?
     
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    03-19-2011, 09:50 PM
  #2
Started
An animal that can't love? That doesn't sound like any horse I know.

Anyway, it sounds like textbook herd bound-ness. It would probably be a good idea to try and break him of that habit whether you sell the mare or not. I know how obnoxious it is, my draft has the same problem. Do you need to sell the mare? If you don't mind keeping her, then keep her. Most horses get over it when they're separated from their buddies, but I have heard of a few cases where the horse will pine over their friend for months, or even years (refusing to eat, moping around, etc.). I don't know. I don't see any reason to sell her if you don't have to.
     
    03-19-2011, 09:57 PM
  #3
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessabel    
An animal that can't love? That doesn't sound like any horse I know.

Anyway, it sounds like textbook herd bound-ness. It would probably be a good idea to try and break him of that habit whether you sell the mare or not. I know how obnoxious it is, my draft has the same problem. Do you need to sell the mare? If you don't mind keeping her, then keep her. Most horses get over it when they're separated from their buddies, but I have heard of a few cases where the horse will pine over their friend for months, or even years (refusing to eat, moping around, etc.). I don't know. I don't see any reason to sell her if you don't have to.
We don't need to sell her, but she's serving no purpose here and if we found a great home for her, we'd be hard-pressed not to let her go. My gelding's obsession with her is to the point of ridiculous, where he has become pushy and obnoxious around us just to get to her. I've tried for the past year to break him of it, I lunged him near her and let him rest away from her, etc, with no luck. Before we got her, he never had any issues like this with other horses. My mom wants him to bond with her horse instead, but obviously you can't force a horse to bond with another. I wish I could find a situation where she could live somewhere else for a month while we see how Artie reacts without her.
     

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