Jealousy whilst I'm riding?
Hope this is the right part of the forum to put this. I'll try not to write a novel here, but knowing me it will be so my advanced apologies.
We have two mares who live together but not in the same paddock as one another. They aren't super duper attached, but like each other's company. They get along well generally, but paddocking them together is a nightmare as Seoul is dominant and micro manages my mare Honey who never sticks up for herself. Thus having them side by side caters for their individual needs as well as keeping them within physical interaction with each other.
Honey is my horse and we've had her longer. After selling my gelding on a couple of years back, I left Honey without a companion for about a year. She could see other horses, talk to them etc, but close interaction didn't happen. During this period, she went from sharing my time, to getting all my time. I was rather conscious of not making a fool out of her... she's not an affectionate horse by nature, and I'm not the type of person to dote ridiculously on her. We have a great partnership though, I've taught her mostly everything under saddle that she knows, and thus she relies on my guidance whether it's under saddle or on the ground. She has pretty good manners so I think I've done quite well with her since owning her.
She got depressed being alone, and since I live in Christchurch (New Zealand) where we had the big earthquakes 2 years ago, she stressed over being it. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take on Seoul a year ago, which seemed to be the best thing for my horse, my best friend (who is Seoul's owner) and even myself.
Recently, Honey cut her left fore a little on a fence in a freak paddock incident and so I gave her some time off work. During this period, my best friend who has been riding as long as we've owned Seoul now, continued to work her mare at the walk. A few days later, I found her injured again (so unlike my horse, I've owned her all this time with no injuries, guess it was about time) with a strained hind leg and her hind hock area was filled with fluid. More time off for her.
This coupled with Seoul needing to increase her fitness. It's not unusual for me to hop up now and then to ride Seoul... my best friend is still learning, and although she has trotted her mare, since she's been in and out of work more often that not due to weakness, we have not been consistent enough to get my friend to a more capable stage. We're finally there now, and so it was my aim to prepare Seoul so she can assist my friend. So I've been trotting Seoul for the past week, with days off in between sessions so she doesn't tire too much... it's worked a treat for her... but boy oh boy is Honey a green eyed monster.
Honey literally stands on her fence and watches the entire ride. Even if I give her more grass (strip grazing currently), she doesn't bother to eat and just stares. At first I thought it was cos she's not working herself and likes to be ridden. But she doesn't seem to care when my friend rides and only approaches when I hop up on Seoul. I've ignored it and continued to ride Seoul, hoping she would just get over it eventually. I haven't ignored HER though, as I've been spending time in her paddock with her, and grooming her and not to mention I've been applying poultice clay to her leg to reduce the swelling. She is also getting in hand walks daily.
Yesterday was the climax. I was riding Seoul out on the farm, hoping to get her to stretch out... again before I hopped up, my friend had been riding and she was all over the property, and Honey didn't call out once, she was barely watching according to my other friend who was there. Admittedly I wasn't paying attention to Honey whilst out there, I was taking photos for my friend instead. When I hopped up, again I was too busy focussing on Seoul to look to see what Honey was doing, although in the couple of times I did look over, she was on the fence watching again. I ignored it. Just as I was getting to the point of ending my ride on Seoul, I heard a ping noise and running feet. Honey broke out of her paddock (thankfully the wire line loosened off from the end post and didn't cut her as she pushed through) and she was unharmed from her rush out to us. I dismounted and gave Seoul to my friend (perhaps the wrong move, but was concerned for injuries) and rushed over to Honey, albeit cursing at her foolishness.
Honey followed me everywhere. When I crouched down in front of her legs to check them over, she rested her head on my back. So unlike her to be that affectionate. I know people will be on the fence over humans putting our emotions on horses, I came to the conclusion that she broke out to get to me, rather than her horsey friend, but that's just my assumption.
If you've reached this far, cookies for you.
Obviously I can't not ride Seoul. I have a responsibility to ensure she is going well for my friend so she can learn further at ease. Of course, Honey could be bored and missing fun times with me, which is escalating her actions.
My main question is, how do you deal with this situation? I cannot take Seoul out of Honey's sight to ride her... as everywhere at the property Honey can see her. We do not have a trailer to take her to another place, and quite frankly, I don't see the benefit of riding her away from Honey. I keep thinking it was something she had to just get over... but at the same time, I don't want her running fences just to get to me.
Is there something I could do to lessen the risk of Honey being injured? I'm thinking of putting our electric system back on when I'm riding so she doesn't lean on any fences. Will it just be a time thing to wait until Honey is okay with it? Or more so, when she's back in work, I'm hoping this will reduce any notion within her to feel left out. I won't need to ride Seoul as much soon as my friend will be returning to trot lessons, which will keep me on the ground more. But for any reason that I need to ride Seoul (especially since my best friend is going home to Australia in April for two weeks and I'll have to keep Seoul in work), I'd like to be able to do so without having to worry about Honey doing stupid things.
Any advice would be great thanks!
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