Herd bound at shows
Looking for some tips on working with some buddy sour behavior, and keeping it from getting worse. Horse is a 5 year old quarter pony.
Twilight is totally fine being taken away from his barn buddies at home, we can take him across the street to ride at a neighbor's house to ride alone with no problem there either.
If we take him to a show alone, he is fine. However, if we take him to a show with a buddy, he gets very worried about where the buddy is, and can be difficult to handle. Not awful (I've seen much worse!), but I want to make sure it doesn't escalate. We took him to a show on Saturday, and he dumped the experienced college age girl who was riding him. She exercises him at our house for us all the time, and they do very well together.
This WAS his first time actually being ridden at a show. He has been to many shows, but just done halter & showmanship. I knew that my 9 year old couldn't handle riding him at a show yet (though she rides him just fine at home). We used to take him to a show with the pony mare we were leasing, and this week was his first time with our new mare. Both of the mares are been there/done that, and could care less if they have a buddy around or not.
If he knows his buddy is on the property, he gets very anxious and fixated on "where did she go!?!?". Looking in the direction of wherever he last saw her standing, and wanting to go there. That's what happened Saturday. The girl rode him to the practice ring, they went around fine once, and then all of a sudden I saw him start looking around trying to find his buddy, he gave afew good bucks, dumped his rider and headed for the gate.
If he is in the same class as his buddy, he's happy as can be. If he is in the ring, and can see his buddy outside of the ring, that upsets him too.