Help - Herd Bound Boy
In January I purchased a 7 year old Canadian gelding named Hugo. The previous owner could not give me details on his training except to say that in his knowledge the horse hadn't been ridden in at least a year. I tried Hugo out in a field across the road from the barn after watching the owner hack him around and he did quite well apart from a small fit of cantering when I didn't want the first time we were facing the barn again. Other than that he was very well behaved. He didn't push, he followed me easily, he stood for tacking up and took the bit happily.
When I got him home, he bonded very quickly to my arab mare and her yearling colt. I also have a pony mare that he either ignores or walks up to and bites before walking away. My colt has now been sold so Hugo is constantly at my arab mare's side in the paddock.
The problem I'm having is that whenever he gets removed from my mare (whether she gets taken out to ride or to pasture from their stalls before he does or if he gets taken from the stall/paddock for anything) he starts screaming and dancing around and will pull/push violently if he's being led. It doesn't matter if he still has the pony mare nearby/with him because he doesn't care about her at all.
I've previously broken horses of herdboundness by simply removing them from their herds for extended periods of time until they understood that they weren't going to get eaten just because they were alone. This is not a nice way though, I do know, and I would like a friendlier approach if possible. I am working alone with these horses though and do not have a friend/helper who can hack out with me or lead the other horse.
Suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated. I just want to be able to lead/ride my horses without fear of getting trampled by Hugo's determination to get back together with my mare.