Partially Buddy Sour Horse
I just purchased a 17 year old QH/Arab gelding a week ago. I moved him from being a lonely horse in a pasture with no shelter, barely any water, and his only friend was a horse that lived across the street. He is now happily living at a boarding stable in a herd of 8 and loving his fresh water and lean-to.
I noticed this similar behavior when I "test drove" him on his own turf. He is not reluctant to be led away from his pasture/paddock, but when it comes time to return him he's an anxious mess and can't get back there fast enough. I've read plenty about being buddy sour, and I can get him to leave but putting him back is a nightmare. We make the turn to his gate, and his breathing is so fast and he's prancing and it's everything I can do to keep backing him up and getting him from dragging me there. I can get him to lower his head, and stop, but he's so tense it's like he's going to jump out of his skin. His buddy is a mare, and he just owns her, searches her out when he's turned back in, ears pinned, (the snaking has stopped) but herds her away from the rest of the horses.
Granted, he's only been there a week, and is still adjusting to life back in a herd with friends, lots of hay, fresh water and shelter. I know it's going to take him some more time to fully adjust, but what should I be doing to get him to calm down on the way back to his new "girlfriend."
I haven't rode him yet, as his hooves hadn't been trimmed in a year, but the outdoor arena is right next to his paddock and I'm concerned we'll have issues there too.
Any advise is greatly appreciated.