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Drastic change in horse behavior
I have owned my 10 year old paint gelding for 6 months, and we event together. Over the past 6 months he has been the most level headed, chill, independent and adaptable horse I have ever know. He was a dream to ride, flexible in the pasture and on no set schedule or routine that he stuck by. 3 weeks ago I moved him to a new barn. He had occasionally been out with mares at his previous barn so when they asked if he could be in a mixed field I didn't see any problem with it. He started being turned out with 3 mares and another gelding. He was very happy in the field, but the problems started to arise when I started bringing him in to work him. He is in almost daily training. As soon as I would bring him oUt of the field he would start getting anxious, and by the time I get him back to the barn he is full on freaking out. He cannot stand in the crossties anymore because he gets so crazy he falls and will hurt himself, and once he is under saddle he is no better. He whinnies constantly, whether he can see other horses from where he is being ridden or not. We thought he would settle down but after 2 weeks of this behavior we moved him to a gelding only field. It is separated from the mares by about 15 feet of empty field between their 2 fence lines. He refuses to interact with the geldings in his field, and paces or stands at the fence line staring at the mares. They couldnt care less about him! If they go to the opposite side of their field he whinnies and runs the fence line frantically until they come closer again. Same situation as before if you try and bring him in. There isnt an option for him to be in a field where he cannot see them. He is stabled next to another gelding. If I come and ride him in the evening when all the horses have been in for a few hours he is totally fine and acts like the horse he used to be. I am losing my mind over this! Advice? Thoughts? What would bring on this sudden serious separation anxiety and attitude towards mares? (note: he doesn't try and mount them or act studly, he just wants to be close to them). Do you think he will settle in time and forget about them and go back to being the awesome horse he was? :/ he has been in the gelding only field for a few days now and is still keeping up this behavior. Anyone had this complete attitude change in their horse before?
I've never had the attitude change that you are dealing with, but I did have a gelding that loved mares. No attempts to mount or anything like that, but he would choose a particular mare in any group and be absolutely desolate when parted from her for any length of time. When we put him in a field with just geldings, he eventually adjusted. It took awhile. During the adjustment stage he paced and called... sounded just like a stallion. He eventually got over it and we NEVER pastured him with mares again. This may be what you'll have to do. It does get better (at least it did for me.) Good luck!
Any sudden, drastic change in behaviour warrants a vet visit IMO.
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