Nervous to be alone? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-03-2013, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Casa Grande, Arizona
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Nervous to be alone?

So Angel has had this problem for a little while and now I have the time to work with her, only thing is that I'm not quite sure how to go about this.

Angel is an older easy going horse. She is pretty calm and level headed most of the time. However when we go out into the desert, by ourselves, away from home she starts to get jiggy and hot headed. I usually work her around some bushes and stuff until she calms down a bit, but it takes her a while to calm down. The vet has refereed her to a "worry wart" where she always worries about stuff.

I've also noticed that when I trail ride with my neighbor she is fine, but as soon as she walks away from Angel, she throws a fit which includes some mini bucking and trying to run back to her? So how should I go about working her with this?

Gal on the move (aka Angel), American paint mare, 1991 - current
Wc jae bar drifter (aka Jinxx), American quarter horse gelding, 2011 - current
Rockin the rocker (aka Twig), American quarter horse gelding, 1994 - 2011
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-03-2013, 10:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
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My 19 yr old mare is the same way. Great with another horse, barn sour and nervous alone. I haven't cured her yet.

She is better with lots and lots of riding. And lots and lots of alone riding. But as soon as she has any time off, she is right back to being barn sour. Sorry that's not much help. I think mileage is the only cure. Lots and lots of consistant mileage. And separating from the other horse a little at a time. Like riding with some distance between you, going around bushes and trees out of sight for a few seconds, just gradually getting your horse used to being away from the other horse. You can do that gradually while riding without a sudden separation. Just slowly expanding the comfort zone. Hope that helps a little.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-04-2013, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Casa Grande, Arizona
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Anyone else?

Gal on the move (aka Angel), American paint mare, 1991 - current
Wc jae bar drifter (aka Jinxx), American quarter horse gelding, 2011 - current
Rockin the rocker (aka Twig), American quarter horse gelding, 1994 - 2011
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-05-2013, 09:18 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
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This is absolutely natural, rational behaviour for her. She's a herd/prey animal who relies on staying with the herd & her ability to run fast, to survive. It doesn't matter whether there are any real dangers out there. She feels vulnerable and is reacting to it.

The way around it, if you don't have that relatively rare horse that is actually happy & confident to go off alone, over the hills & far away(& even if you do) is develop your relationship with her, firstly in a comfortable, low stress environment(at home, out with other horses...), to become her respected leader. To me this has little at all to do with 'dominance' as it does with *earning* respect and trust, that you are considerate & respectFUL of her attitudes/feelings, so she can trust that going out with you in control is as safe as going out at the centre of a close herd.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-05-2013, 09:59 PM
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I have a paint gelding who doesnt like to seperate from his trail buddy. My gelding also didnt like seperating from him so every ride we would find short loops. Id ride off on one loop and daughter would go a diffrent way. Her horse would just get stuborn and spooky nothing a stick didnt good wack on the rump and he would go.

My horse would get all hyped up high headed jiggy trying to buck leap through the air and just be a jerk. I put him to work doing circles and going down the trail at a fast trot. First time it took 25 to 30 minutes before he settled down. In that time i would not let him go back to his buddy.

Once we met back up we'd ride for a short distance together then split up again. Paint horse got good my horse did a few spins and mini rears but soon found out that wasnt going to work. The more he acted up the harder he worked and the longer he was without his buddy.

Now both horses split up when we ride and never an issue with either horse. Sometimes when we saddle up to ride daughter heads out first and i wait 10 minutes. Then ride out and meet up at a certain point on the trail.

We aslo trade horses and split up that way both horses know they have to do the seperating no matter who rides them. I usally have a hard time getting daughter to give me my horse back after we trade...she likes him just a tad to much

Last edited by spirit88; 12-05-2013 at 10:02 PM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-05-2013, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Try 'leap frogging' one horses leads then the other, slowly extend the distance between them, take different tracks on the trail.

Keeping the horse focused on you can also help, putting his feet to work, talking, singing whatever works
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-05-2013, 11:53 PM
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My suggestion is to do more groundwork and establish yourself as the leader.
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