Dangerously Buddy Sour

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Dangerously Buddy Sour

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  • Horses unwilling to leave their buddy
  • Donkey with horse for buddy sour solutions

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  • 1 Post By OliviaMyee
  • 7 Post By Cherie
  • 1 Post By Thunderspark
  • 3 Post By Cherie

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    01-20-2013, 10:48 PM
Dangerously Buddy Sour

Today I discovered a bit of a problem. I know the problem is usually with the horse that's being forced to leave the herd, I'm having problems with the ones that stay.

I have four sharing a paddock, two geldings, a mini gelding and a Jenny. All are great friends but the two geldings are attached at the hip. If I take the older gelding away the donkey gets upset and calls constantly, mini and young horse don't really care. Not a huge deal- old man stops calling back once we're out of earshot, and he doesn't get too hard too hard to handle.

Today I took the younger one out on his first off property ride. Both old guy and the donkey were calling when we left, but I figured they'd get over it. Came back to find the old man drenched in sweat and still galloping the fence line. I'm thankful we were gone less then 5 min.

Is there an easier way to help him get over his best buddy leaving then to just wait it out? I'm worried he's going to hurt himself.
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    01-21-2013, 04:00 AM
Is there anyway you can separate them?
    01-21-2013, 04:13 AM
I would practise riding the gelding short distances in short times away from the buddy sour horse and gradually increase the distance and the time, but always putting your horse back with the buddy sour horse so that the old man learns that his friend will eventually come back in the end. That's how I helped my horse to not be extremely buddy sour. Its so annoying when their buddy sour...
Thunderspark likes this.
    01-21-2013, 06:45 AM
Originally Posted by Army wife    
Is there anyway you can separate them?
Sadly there's nowhere on the property that they can't find a corner to see each other from. They're perfectly fine in whatever paddock arrangement we need.

Originally Posted by OliviaMyee    
I would practise riding the gelding short distances in short times away from the buddy sour horse and gradually increase the distance and the time, but always putting your horse back with the buddy sour horse so that the old man learns that his friend will eventually come back in the end. That's how I helped my horse to not be extremely buddy sour. Its so annoying when their buddy sour...
I had been hoping we had been doing that naturally with the work my greenie has been doing. Perhaps a more 'extreme' version that has us cooling off and untacking next to the paddock so they can reconnect?
    01-21-2013, 07:51 AM
Super Moderator
If they are trained to tie solidly, I would tie each of them up and just let them get over it.

When we have herd bound horses, we let them spend a day at a time tied away from the others. We tie in a safe place and let them 'work it out'. Then, we put them back together. We let them take turns being the one tied away from the others. Pretty soon, they each figure out that there is life after separation.

I do not let a horse stay loose to run a fence. It can become a bad habit and they can literally cripple themselves tearing up and down a fence. In addition, I have seen horses run 20 or 30 pounds off in one session. I have seen horses lose a 100 pounds or more from running a fence because of separation anxiety. Tying one up stops a lot of that. I just leave one tied up until it is standing quietly with one hind leg cocked. It does not hurt one to stand tied all day. I have had it take 2 or 3 days of being tied up all day, turned back in at night and tied up again the next morning. I've never had it fail. In addition, they always ride a lot better after being tied away from their friends.
    01-21-2013, 07:48 PM
I tried something with Cherie's idea today. The old man ties pretty well, not perfect though so I need someone watching him. Had my neighbor over for a bit so this is what we tried.

Tied old man at the back of the barn, had neighbor watch him while I tacked up and left with greenie. She reported that he was perfect until she left his sight about 5 min later. (hiding in the barn keeping an eye one him) Then he started his usual 'meltdown,' spooking at random things and calling, getting worse over a few minutes. He calmed down she came back. As a note, he's fine tied without a person visible when he's being tacked up, but I've never pushed that for more then a minute.

I wonder if this is a confidence issue with old man. Donkey and mini are pretty much non existent on the totem pole, so when he loses both horse and human 'leaders' he gets scared? I guess that is why they say have three horses, I just hoped a donkey and mini would suffice!

Any ideas if this is indeed the case? Not that it definitely is, I could just be crazy.
    01-21-2013, 11:17 PM
Green Broke
Sadly, when you come back in short time? You are teaching him that he is winning I think.

If he will tie, tie him and let him stand.

Agree with running fence line is bad, but on other hand, the longer you cater to either of them the worse it will get.

Might throw some hay out for them to munch on?
    01-21-2013, 11:19 PM
As Cherie said, he will work it out. Just keep practicing.
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    01-22-2013, 02:33 AM
I had a older horse that would race around like a wild man if I took my mare out of sight. It didn't bother her any and she never called back to him. I just kept doing it for short periods of times.......he did eventually learn to relax and not worry about her being gone because he knew she would be back......
OliviaMyee likes this.
    01-22-2013, 07:55 AM
Super Moderator
The object of tying a horse out by itself is not to 'coddle' them or 'rescue' them but to leave them alone until they figure it out that there is life after separation. If I watch a horse that is tied up, it is out of the corner of my eye. I avoid all contact with the horse until it is completely relaxed. They are learning to 'enjoy their own company' and not rely on another horse or a person. They can work through all of the panic and fear issues they have and they are a much better, more secure horse for the experience. They ride better and are left behind better. They just become a much better well-adjusted horse for the experience.

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