Fence walking
   

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Fence walking

This is a discussion on Fence walking within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How to break a horse from walking a fence
  • Training horse fence walker

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    03-23-2012, 11:32 AM
  #1
Foal
Fence walking

I brought home an 8-year old quarterhorse mare from my vet's wife. She has always been at their place with two other geldings, but the wife wanted me to have her for a few months to test her out and get her away from the geldings. Now I know why. She's buddy sour, I saw this when I visited their place twice. She paced furiously in her stall when they saddled up a gelding to go out on a ride, and she was going also, but they hadn't taken her from the stall. She also sat back on the tie-up bar when the vet took the gelding back to the stalls. She didn't break her halter, but shocked the crap out of me! Now she's at my property, the only horse right now, and she paces in front of the pasture, in a trance-like state. She has only been at my place for two weeks. I am not too eager to ride her in my pasture until she shows me a more calm disposition. Should I return her or give her more time to settle down?
     
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    03-23-2012, 01:15 PM
  #2
Weanling
Once she is that way it is easy to fall back into that and makes it that much harder to sell her if you don't like her later. I would send her back and get a horse you feel more comfortable with.
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    03-23-2012, 01:18 PM
  #3
Green Broke
The horses that fence pace that I've known never stopped the habit. I leased a mare for awhile that was a weaver-she wore down her feet & it kept her on the skinny side-I was glad to give her back.
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    03-23-2012, 01:51 PM
  #4
Weanling
You say he is the only horse on the property at the moment, this is not helping the situation. Horses are herd animals. I think a horse should have the company of other horses, at least be able to see another horse in a paddock beside theirs.

That being said, you should be able to take your horse away from other horses to work with it.

When I got Charlie, an ottb, he was a fence pacer, he could pace the fence line all day long. It wasn't because there weren't other horses around, there were plenty. I have had him for about 15 years now and he doesn't pace the fence line anymore. He did do it for a couple of years though, I did my best to try and figure out the reasons for why he was doing it. I never did figure it out, but he did stop. It can become a really bad habit. I had no issues whatsoever with taking him into the barn or riding him when there were no other horses around.

If I were you, I would first of all get him another pasture or turnout buddy, or at least have another horse in a paddock beside his. I know you are trying to work on him not being so dependent on the other horses, but you really need to work on getting your horse to first of all respect you and depend on you and not his buddies, even when you take him away from them.
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    03-23-2012, 04:55 PM
  #5
Weanling
Well, I'm of a different mind. She's been with you for 2 weeks and hasn't dropped dead of loneliness or exhaustion, hasn't tried crashing through or jumping over the fence, so I think she'll be fine. If she were mine, I'd get her into a routine and soon. Horses like her need structure and the quicker you provide that, the easier it will be on her.

I want to say more, but we are under a tornado warning and the siren just went off…so, I've gotta go...
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    03-23-2012, 05:22 PM
  #6
Weanling
Yes, she does need something to do, you really should be doing something with her on a daily basis. Why not take her out for trail rides? Most horses do best with a regular schedule and something to do. If she was in work before and now she isn't doing anything at all, that could be a very good reason for her to be pacing the fence line to burn off some energy.

I still think that horses really shouldn't be expected to live alone all of their lives.

If you do get another horse, you will need to teach your horse how to behave away from other horses. This horse has never been taught how by the sound of it.
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    03-24-2012, 02:22 PM
  #7
Foal
I had a horse once that was like that. She was a stall walker and would pace non stop when she was alone. My mare had it for 1 yr and then she slowly got better. It depends upon if you really like this horse and if you wanted to deal with it the whole time you owned her. Your mare might get better and stop walking up and down the fence line or she might not.
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    03-24-2012, 03:32 PM
  #8
Showing
Look at it from the horse's point of view. She is a herd animal. Herds represent safety in numbers. Lone animals become victims of predators. When the others leave she becomes anxious that she will be a predators dinner. We know she is safe in a stall but she sees it as a trap when the others leave. She is afraid to be alone thus the fence walking when outside. You are going to have to spend time walking her away from the others, returning when she seems a bit anxious, going away again, a little farther, over and over. What you are doing is raising her anxiety level and lowering it, the yo-yo affect It may take an hour the first time so be prepared to do lots of walking.
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