Staying alone in a stable? No way! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-27-2011, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Slovenia
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Staying alone in a stable? No way!

I have two horses and when I took one out the other one throws a fit about it. He calls the other one all the time, paws, and walks in circles. When I came back the stall is one big mess, no difference if I clean it up before I take a horse out, because the one that stays poops at least two or three times in half an hour...
At least the one that I take out doesn't make any problems :P

Is it possible to get a horse used to be home alone calm for half an hour everyday? I'm tired of cleaning such a mess.


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post #2 of 10 Old 06-27-2011, 03:37 PM
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Have you tried giving him food? I know that it helps calm down our gelding, at least for a little bit.

"Horses donít have hard mouths, they have hard, stiff bodies. The softer you can get the horse through his body, the softer he will be in your hands." Clinton Anderson

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post #3 of 10 Old 06-27-2011, 03:43 PM
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I dont have advice. I dont give grain to a horse that all worked up like that. I have tryed hay, but my gelding COMPLETELY ignores it. he;ll work up a sweat, dig a rut in the stall- I feel for you.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-27-2011, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Food doesn't help a lot. Pony is not allowed to eat grain and he only takes a bit of hay for every circle he does. This way I usually get to clean a big mess with hay in it :P
They're impossible alone...


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post #5 of 10 Old 06-27-2011, 04:35 PM
Green Broke
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My mare used to do the same thing then when I rode her friend off in the afternoons. It was a terrible mess and extremely annoying beside that.

I would fix the problem if you're looking for a long term solution. Ride his buddy off and keep him out of sight until your worried stablemate calms down. Have minimal shavings and no hay in the stall and prepare to strip it afterwards.

It's a bit like standing tied... You have to over do it for a while. When you teach them to stand tied, you allow them to pitch a fit, but it eventually teaches them patience when their fits don't affect anything. They "get over themselves". Timing is critical; you must keep the buddy away until he is totally calm and standing quietly in his stall. If you come back when he is still worked up, you have accomplished nothing.

Last edited by Brighteyes; 06-27-2011 at 04:37 PM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-27-2011, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Slovenia
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Uf... This goes on for almost a year now. I remember being on a trail for 4 hours last summer and he did get close to calm, but not completly. Usually I ride for an hour or a bit more and he doesn't calm even a little bit. Guess I'll have to go to some really long trails :P


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post #7 of 10 Old 06-28-2011, 09:22 AM
Join Date: May 2011
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I'd start by taking the bedding out of your horses stall and everything else, food, anything he could break or kick that can be removed, get yourself a helper. Take the other horse away, your helper will stay close by reward the horse when hes calm and if he remains calm for long enough bring the other horse back so he learns that his friend and treats come to him when he is calm. Stop the treats and ignore him and remove the friend horse as soon as he becomes unsettled again. Just an idea.
By bringing the other horse back to him when he is unsettled he thinks his friend will return, eventually if he makes enough noise.
I advise doing this in the morning cause it could take all day xD
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-28-2011, 09:31 AM
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You might try removing the first horse, going perhaps 20'-30' and returning to where the stalled horse can see his buddy, then walking away again - a seesaw affect. Each time you go a little farther but return. It may take quite a while before the stalled horse settles down but he eventually will. What you are doing is stressing and destressing the stalled horse numerous times until he can no longer stress about his buddy's absence.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-28-2011, 09:42 AM
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I disagree with some of this. I had stalled my guy during winter while another gelding stayed in the pasture. And even at 10 degrees, I would wake up to a sweat ridden horse who was still pacing and huffing. Figure he was there from 6pm-7 am.
So what I'm saying is... i dont know if it can always be "broken" out of the horse. I would love to know if/what works, but just my personal experience, after a week of finding my guy sweating when it was in the single digits, i just ended up talking the other horse owner into letting me bring him into the stable too.

Last edited by LetAGrlShowU; 06-28-2011 at 09:47 AM. Reason: didnt clarify my point
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-28-2011, 10:55 AM
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My horses are very herd bound so I feel your pain.

I have worked on this slowly and things are getting better.

I started by installing ties in each stall. I then would tie them randomly for short periods of time. Sometimes all three were tied at the same time (in their own stalls), sometimes I would bring in just one and tie it, etc.

I gradually increased the times of the alone and under my control time.

Now when I want to work one horse I bring the other two into their stall and tie them.
They are used to this ritual (being tied in their stall) now so the tantrums are reduced and I can ride with out having to listen to screaming and yelling the whole time. Since they are tied (sometimes with access to a hay bag, usually with out) any manure they make is easily cleaned up when I am done.
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