Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
Can you associate stalls with something she enjoys? Does she liked to be scratched, groomed, etc? Does she get grain?
I say this because in the past few months I've dealt with three horses who have anxiety about small places, due to the same situation they came out of. They were enclosed for many weeks, two horses to a stall, in a small, dim race train stall (10 x 10 I think?) without ever being brought out. They, understandably, had severe problems with small spaces after that.
One in particular, the little filly I'm still rehabbing (LONG story), has been cooped up most of her life, due to first being in that situation, then getting EHV and being very contageous for a month. She then had her ear sliced and she had to be stalled again. So of course she gets very upset when I try to bring her into a stall. She doesn't rear, but she'll tense up and lift her body 'up' and press her buttocks down, roll her eyes, swing her head, etc. If you suceed in getting her in, she'll pace.
So I started feeding her grain to her in the stall, and letting her out the moment she was done eating. Start short, maybe a cup or two of her grain (hay pellets works too if she doesnt need grain) , let her eat that, and bring her right back out. Gradually increase that, until she can be left for 30 minutes to an hour with nothing to eat. Its all about her feeling comfortable and associating the stall with nice things. I groom Kenzie (the filly) in her stall also, and always make sure to give her a nice scratch in her favorite spot before I bring her out. She has completely stopped shying at the door and balking, and is calmer in the stall. Not 100% calm yet and she tends to panic if she doesn't see another horse, but its a work in progress.
Your mare might have seperation anxiety too. If that's the case, maybe a pony or a goat would calm her nerves? You said she was ok in the stall with her foal. She might just very much dislike being 'unprotected' by her herd.
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