hope this helps buddy sour mare
I have a 7 year old QH mare. She is a bit of a handful and truthfully I haven't worked on her as much as I should have. Between the hot weather and my work schedule it just didn't get done. One of her main problems is she was buddy sour for the donkey that I had been given. It got so she got really upset if he got out of her sight. Even if I all I did was tie her up to groom or fly spray she would get upset and not stand still. Worse case was breaking lead or halter. The few times I tried to ride her in the pasture she would prance and jig and turn trying to look for him. either that or refuse to go forward. I rode her at a friends house and she was great.
Anyway my solution was to give the donkey away. I found a great home for him.
He left on Sunday. Has anyone else had success with getting rid of the buddy for a solution?
Altho it's not fair that a horse be alone, I often let novice owners what they will wind up dealing with if a second horse comes into the picture. I desensitize mine by offering treats outside the gate, then gradually farther away. I always put the horse back when the treats are finished. After a week of this the horse begins to look forward to coming out and is more concerned about finding the goodies than worrying about the buddy.
I think it's more of a problem when you only have two or three horses. our horses are in a herd of about 12, so when you pull one out, they sometimes look back at the ones left to relax in the field, and sometimes they call to each other a bit, but once out of sight, they never seem to care. However, I dont' ride a mare, so maybe it's more prevelant with mares.
It should work... until you get another horse
Buddy sourness always stems from unconfidence not only in themselves, but their environment and you as a leader. The donkey was her comfort-zone and made her feel safe. when she was away and with you, she did not feel that you were a safe/good leader and so she felt alone and stressed.
Nothing to take personal, that's just how horses are.
The only way to fix this is by doing alot of ground-work, especially confidence and trust building exercises. even just going out and spending time with her in the pasture, working with her near her partner and gradually moving farther away until she was comfortable with yourself and the situation.
Now that donkey is gone, it will open up the door for you to get her full attention and respect because she will have noone to look to.
Just dont be surprised if she still has issues leaving the paddock, though.
When I brought Reno home he became really attached to the other Thoroughbred at the barn, another gelding named Toga. He would throw a vocal tantrum if he was brought inside first during evening turn-in. When Toga moved away, I worried how Reno would take it, but it didn't seem to have any ill effect on him. Another Thoroughbred moved in, this time a mare named Sweetie. She and Reno became thick as thieves...or more like a duck and her duckling (Reno being the duckling). Everyone called her his 'girlfriend'. Again, he threw tantrums if he was brought inside first during evening turn-in. Always quiet and happy if brought in second or last. Sweetie actually moved away the day I got injured (10/7), and he has since been doing fine despite my worry. The 'herd' is now reduced to two horses, my boy and the BO's Andalusian mare. Reno's not particularly close to her, and if he's with someone (in the field or by the fence) she'll run up and drive him away...which I really try not to let her get away with.
Our gelding is more concerned for where the other horses are at than my mares are. I think it just depends on the horse though. It is when they are not comfortable that the look for their buddy or at least that's when mine want their buddy is when they are not in familiar surrounding or is nervous about something. But if you work consistently with said horse they should start to calm down and look at you more of a buddy.
Been several months since my original post. Giving the donkey away worked out great for me. Sunny runs up to me when she sees me or when I call her. No more problems with her pulling back. She stands nicely when I groom her. She is much more affectionate. Rubs her head on my shoulder. I'm her buddy now. The other day she nickered at me when i brought out the saddle like she was saying good we get to go!
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