Herd Bound & Anxiety-Separation Issues

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Herd Bound & Anxiety-Separation Issues

This is a discussion on Herd Bound & Anxiety-Separation Issues within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Herd bound anxiety
  • Herd separation axiety

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    07-08-2011, 10:40 PM
Herd Bound & Anxiety-Separation Issues

I have a 11 year old QH mare that has a lot of TB racing bred into her. I have had her over a month at first she would bolt through gates like it was a race or if she was scared. After a while she got use to the place and the three other horses here and she stopped bolting through gates. She does GREAT on trails when there is another horse with her. When I go to tied her up to saddle her she gets stepy, and picks her feet up and moves around a lot. Makes it hard to saddle her, but when I am on her she is calm and fine. Today I wanted to ride her in our round pen because my little sister didn't want to ride with me. So I get her in the pen, tie her, and get ready to saddle. She gets really stepy and nays and starts to freak out. So I untie her and she runs around the round pen naying and looking for the other horses. (Theres a barn blocking her view of them.) She begins to sweat from running around, and then gets diarrhea. I realize it probably wouldn't be safe for me to ride her when she is so worked up. So I have my brother and his friend take her back into the pasture because she once again wanted to bolt through the gates. She met up with her pasture buddies the minute she got in. I realized she is really herd bound and has separation anxiety issues. Tonight I took her out of the pasture with the other horses and left her in an empty pasture that she can see the other horses but cannot be by them to build confidence in herself and get over some of the herd bound and anxiety issues. She has been pacing back and forth at the gate to the other pasture for a while, I was wondering what other things can I do to help her build self confidence and get over her anxiety and herd bound issues. Also any ideas to make her stand still for longer periods of time to saddle her?

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    07-08-2011, 11:21 PM
I hope that you will have somebody around when you ride this horse until she settles down. She sounds like a horse that might hurt you.
    07-08-2011, 11:26 PM
You can start by tying her alone and leaving her until she stands quiet. Next tie her, saddle her and leave her till she stands quiet. If you continue to untie everytime she freaks out a little.....she will freak out everytime. Good luck :)
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    07-09-2011, 07:45 PM
It may sound silly - but have you tried grooming and tacking up right in the pasture?

You said she is fine once you are aboard - why not start where she is comfortable?

Then, you can ride inside the pasture...

Then outside the pasture...

Then a little farther away...

And a little farther...

And farther...

Eventually, she should become more and more comfortable leaving the herd.

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