Separate or sell?

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Separate or sell?

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    • 1 Post By Cherie

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        08-09-2013, 06:19 PM
    Separate or sell?

    Ok, so I have two QH mares. They are both ridiculously attached to one another and after a summer of being moved to a new farm, and this girl not riding them (I could make up a million excuses, but my biggest was that I got a job. It really got in the way and stole a lot of my time. And I got a bottle calf, which is super exciting, but I have to feed the little guy 3 times a day!)

    Anyways, after someone told me that I should get on them again, I brought all of my tack over to the other farm, cleaned it up, and I thought today (it's a pretty beautiful day) would be a wonderful day to ride. The sad thing was, was I couldn't get the one that I usually ride out without the other one rushing out behind her. And when I tried to take the one that kept rushing me, she made it a few steps away from the fence, heard the other one and about took my arm off trying to get back.

    It's been a big problem ever since we got them, and we kind of already knew that they were attached to one another.

    Now, the biggest question I have is this... Do I separate them purposely, and see how it goes? Or, do I sell one of them?

    Pros and Cons of each horse...

    1. More potential. As in, easier to work with (sometimes).
    2. Not easily spooked.
    1. Worst of the two when separated. So, how long would it take for her to get over the fact that we sold her buddy if we went with selling the other?2. Has attitude problems. But I really think that might change if she were all alone. She gets lonely, so I think she would enjoy riding.
    3. Never gets ridden cause she's kind of scary.
    4. My dad would never sell her. Ever.

    1. I know her better than the other. She's been my baby since Carrie is fast and obnoxious.
    2. She's slower.
    3. She's a lot better without Carrie. She's sort of the "pack leader" of the two.
    4. She's a smoother ride.
    1. She's terribly spooky. I find this a big problem with her.
    2. My dad would sell her if he would sell any of them.

    I guess I want a good opinion.
    If we sell one, one less mouth to feed, right? I would miss that one terribly, but if it's going to work out.. I don't know.

    I'm young, 15, and I don't have a lot of experience under my belt because I've had more bad experiences than anything. It's not really my decision to sell either one because my dad did buy them for me, so they're technically his.
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        08-09-2013, 06:54 PM
    You have to remember horses are herd animals, and they like to be with their herd mates. That said it means when your with them on the ground or in the saddle you have to become the alph horse in charge. As far as selling or separating I cannot answer that question. Both horses sound disrespectful and unsafe. Regardless your going to have to gain their respect on the ground, and prove yourself worthy of being the leader. I would recommend going back to ground work with them. If you don't know how to do the work find a trainer to help you. I would also not let them live in the same pasture, keep them where they can see each other but not live together.

    I have five horses that we ride and any of them will leave the others without a problem because we give them confidence as their leader that we will keep them safe. But it all started by gaining their respect and confidence on the ground. Yes the problems can be fixed but it sounds like you need a person with you who knows how to do it. Good luck and be safe.
        08-09-2013, 06:57 PM
    If they are the only two horses on the property, I wouldn't advise selling one and keeping one alone -- they are so much healthier and happier with companionship. It certainly sounds like they are herd bound though. You could try keeping them in separate paddocks some of the time, and working consistently with them may help them get over their herd-bound tendencies and pay more attention to you.
        08-09-2013, 07:19 PM
    The best thing would be to separate them...and do some ground work to get their manners in check.

    I have a gelding who if gets super buddy sour at times and has a meltdown when you take the other horse away.

    Also when they want to go back to their buddies, let them. But work them outside the gate (direction change, making them work, ect) then walk them away and let them rest, if the try it again do some more lunging and repeat taking them away until they could care less when you walk away.

    But groundwork in general would help greatly, because right now neither of them are respecting you, and a ill mannered buddy sour horse can be quite dangerous.
        08-09-2013, 10:45 PM
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    Learn more about horse behavior and handling herd-bound behavior. It is natural as is spooking. Horses can be taught a lot of things, limited only by their ability and your knowledge. But, everything you teach them is influenced by their 2 natural 'hard-wired' instincts:

    1) Herd instinct -- it is hard-wired into every horse. Their safety is in their herd. They have to be taught that they can depend on you instead of their herd.

    2) Flight instinct -- this is also 'hard-wired' into every horse. They survive in their natural state by being able to flee from the predator -- anything dangerous or 'perceived' as dangerous or a threat.

    You and both of your horses would be better served by you learning how to effectively work with each one by itself.

    So, since these are natural instincts, you need to learn how to effectively deal with them and train any horse to depend on you as the decision maker in their lives. They have to respect you and your decisions more than they need their herd or to flee.

    Horses with no flight instinct and no herd behavior are about impossible to find and if you find one, it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to train. You need to learn to 'use' and benefit from these instincts and not look for a horse or a situation without them.
    GreenBackJack likes this.

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