Separation Anxiety

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Separation Anxiety

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  • My two geldings have separation anxiety after only two days
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    03-04-2012, 05:31 PM
Separation Anxiety

Having an issue with my 5 yr old gelding. Only had him a few months and he's gotten very attached to my mare. Today I took her out for about a half hour and he neighed the whole time and worked himself into a lather. She could have cared less to a degree but it did distract her enough to annoy me. Any ideas of how to help him chill out about her? Does adding a third wheel help? He's not trained under saddle yet and I don't want this to be an issue.
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    03-04-2012, 07:22 PM
Green Broke
Hi Ponyxpress, welcome to HF. Your situation sounds like mine, a number of years ago. Walka would carry on terribly when I took T away to ride. But I just kept doing it, and extending the time. Eventually, he wouldn't even bother to lift his head. And I have taken T on overnights and even three day get aways and he was fine.

Just keep doing what you are and extend the time. He'll adjust. I did put hay in front of Walka when I first starting doing this, so he had something to occupy himself with.

Good luck.
    03-04-2012, 07:27 PM
Super Moderator
You have just encountered one of the main reasons that we do not ever mix mares and geldings. We do not even run them across a fence from each other unless we absolutely have to.

The best solution would be to separate them completely. The best way to do that without him running fences and losing 100+ pounds would be to haul her off for a week or so and then not put them back together or near each other for a good while.

We know several people that have had so much trouble with these super-close
Bonds that they decided to keep just all mares or all geldings. It can be that big a problem with a very few horses. You will see some mares bond to other mares and some geldings bond to other geldings, but they are seldom as problematic as a gelding that falls in love with a mare.

If you want to try to separate them on the same premises and get him to be reasonable, you will have to teach him to realize that there is life (and a return to the friend) after being separated. This would mean tying him up in a safe place far away from the mare (and people) and let him stand tied all day. Let him scream, paw and carry on until evening comes or until he relaxes, quits fussing and rests a hind foot. If he is still fussing in the evening, put him up and tie him back out the next morning. I have known it to take 3 full days (could take longer), but every horse we have done this to finally got quiet and finally figured out that there was life and a return to their friend in the end. This may also be what you have to do to get this horse 'rideable'. This is just not an uncommon problem. It just varies in degree.

I always tie them up to separate them and do not just let them run a fence. Some horses will either try to climb or jump out and hurt themselves and some start running, walking or weaving and never quit. You just trade one vice for a worse one. 'Hot bloods' are worse about taking up walking or weaving.
    03-04-2012, 07:54 PM
Glad to see this problem posted here, as I also had a similar problem just last week. My mare had apparently bonded with another mare across a fence. The mare had been removed from the pasture for about five days for breeding. Due to logistics at our barn, I had to walk my mare by the breeding area a couple of nights. I walked her as far away as possible, because I realized that she was very excited whenever she saw the breeding mares. I was curious about it, but didn't give it any more thought.
When the brood mare was returned to her pasture is when the fun began. My mare would not leave the gate separating the two pastures, and was trying to get through it. She was also frantically running the fence. I actually pulled her up to the barn to groom and feed her the first evening, thinking I would ride her also. About half way up, I realized that we had a real issue, as she was screaming, pushing me around, whipping around to look in the direction of the pasture. I have never seen this side of her before! Needless to say, I wasn't about to ride her that night, as the inside arena is adjacent to some stalls housing stud colts with whom she was also having a conversation... Friday she was finally back in her pasture away from the brood mares, and we had a good ride. Whew... I can't wait until things are back to normal when breeding season is over!
Oh, and my mare did have some minor cuts and abrasions on her back legs, I'm sure resulting from working that fence and gate between the two pastures!
    03-04-2012, 08:28 PM
Thanks for the replies going to try taking them away from eachother more. It's not so much an issue with my mare, she's quite bonded with me and only gets a little upset when I do stuff with another horse. She doesn't care about the other horse, just the fact that I'm doing something without her, kind of funny actually. Hopefully he'll get over it as separating is not really an option. So I'll keep you all posted and any other hints are most welcome!

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