I have a young Thoroughbred (6 yr old) who I bought off the track about 4-5 months ago. He has always been a very sociable boy right from day one, friendly with any horse he meets and never too keen to have his neighbours taken away. When I first bought him I took him to an agistment where I had another horse, and about three other agisted horses on the property. He had his own paddock and was stabled at night, though the stable was attached to his paddock, not in a normal block with other horses. He had neighbours on either side and would whinny a little when they were taken out, but nothing too bad.
I bought him home about a month later once we had a free box and yard. He is across from another yard where my mare lives, we have them in these stables attached to small yards (maybe 5x5 metre stables and 8x8 metres yards) at night and then they are let out into paddocks at breakfast.
Though he was no closer to this mare then any of the horses at the agistment, (He shared a fence with the old horses) he developed a massive attatchment to her from day one.
I ended up moving him to my instructors property for his first few weeks of work (He came to us very light in condition, so the first 2 months I spent just putting weight on him) and was absoloutely fine there, never got attached to any of those horses despite being much much closer to them then he was to her.
I have since bought him home for a spell and he is drivng me (and himself) crazy. The mare can't be taken a few steps away from her stable before he starts to freak out, and we have had to paddock them together recently to stop him trying to run through the fences to get to her. Until recently this seemed to work but I went away for work to Melbourne (another state in Aus) for a month and left him and the other horses in the care of my sister.
She called me frantic a few days after I arrived saying that the mare had been in heat so she had seperated the two into adjacent paddocks during the day, thinking he would be safer as she is VERY aggresive when in season. He freaked out and ran through the fence, badly injuring his hock in the process. She had the vet out but there wasn't much the vet could do, he wasn't putting any weight on it at all and the vet suspected ligiment damage, but because of the location it would be impossible to tell even with an x ray. She suggested confiement, antibiotics and rest and basically just wait and see if it got better.
I was mostly unreachable after the first few days due to a lack of phone signal, so everything was left to my sister. I returned home about 5 weeks ago and to my horror he had lost SO much weight, he was about half the size he was when I first bought him. This is aparrantly because the vet had said to keep him confined in the stable until his leg healed, and the mare had been let out. He had spent all day every day since the injury pacing, bucking, kicking, throwing himself at the gate and walls trying to get to the mare.
Since I have returned the attatchment to her has doubled what it was when I left. She can't be moved even a few metres without him losing it, and yet they cannot be stabled together due to her sour nature and size (he would lose any fight they had, he is smaller and much more placid in nature). A few days ago I have tried to end the attachment once and for all by moving the mare to a neighbours property and leaving him alone - he hasn't settled at all. Three days later and he is still pacing, bucking, kicking (His leg has healed somewhat and he is now putting some weight on it) He has now injured his other leg kicking at the fence but nothing too bad, he has been pretty lucky. He has lost all the weight I managed to put on him and is again skeletal, no one seems to know what to do. He hasn't eaten since she was moved, he is constantly worked up and covered in sweat, I really don't know what to do at all.
ANY suggestion at this point would be welcome - selling him isn't really an option I can consider right now, ignoring the fact he would never sell with the injury and his current condition anyway, he was really showing a huge promise as a show jumper in the few weeks we had him in work, his nature when not stressed out is just perfect, he is one of the most trainable horses I have ever come across. So I really am willing to do anything to save this horse, I fear he will gravely injure himself if this continues.
Anyone have any ideas?
I have some photos to help get an idea of everything,
These first photos are his weight when he was in work.
Now these are the weight difference once he started stressing out over the mare. (Just a few weeks)
Here is his leg as it is now, healed quite a bit.
And finally, I have included this picture to show where the yards are in relation to each other. In this photo he is actually in the mares yard (The swapped them to try and see if it would help at all, it didn't) And the red wood fence you can see is where his yard is. This distance is about as far as you can take her before he loses it.
Again, any suggestions would be welcome! I have been considering buying him a pony as a companion (Could not use a horse as there is not enough room in the yards for two big horses) but am worried then that I will just move his attachment onto something else, and have the same problem with the pony. I can hardly work a pony with him now can I?
So frustrating!!! Seems like there may be no solution :(