How to deal with a herd bound horse.
How do you guys deal with herd bound horses, besides the obvious, pasturing them away from the others. I've been riding my friends horse, and he is super herd bound. The only ring we have to work in is in plain sight of his herd mates, and she boards him and there is no where to pasture him by himself. I am wondering how I can ride him, and get his attention on me instead of this buddies!
(edited to add)
Also, I am not sure this has something to do with it but, for the first 4-6 years of his life he was always the only horse on the farm where she got him from. Since she got him he has been with other horses, turned out basically 24/7.
My 23-yr old Paso Fino is obsessed with Lulu, our miniature, and my TB gelding is obsessed with my TB mare. Guys are wimps. :roll: haha. My Paso is crazy when his mare is not with him. He used to follow her around incessently. On the way home he was a total pain, and if I ever stop him along the trail on the way home he'll paw and try to get back to his mare. It's really annoying, but as our stalls have free access to the main pasture, there's really no option to stable them apart. I deal with it by kicking his foreleg (not hard, just a nudge) when he paws and that usually stops it. I do a lot of work making him stand and not move when we're far from the barn.
I took Arthur to fair and I kid you not, whenever we saw a miniature he would throw a fit, thinking it was "his" mare. Whinnying, screaming for the poor mini! It was pretty funny that he was so obsessed with Lulu he thought every miniature was her!
Pretty simple, but will take time.
Ride him and if he wants to go back to his buddies, let him, but but his but to WORK. Lots of trotting circles, figure eights, rollbacks, stop, back up... anything to make his feet move move MOVE! work him for at least 5 minutes near his buddies, then take him to the arena to rest. He probably won't want to rest the first few times. Just do the same thing, let him go back and work. He'll eventually figure out that when he's near his buddies and you're riding he has to work much harder than what you are asking him to do in the arena.
My mare did this for a while, and I pretty much made her work it out herself. I put her in the ring (where she can still see her buddies) and just stood at the gate until she stopped running back and forth. At that point, I went in, did ground work with lots of praise, and turned her back out with her mates for a while when I cleaned up. then, I did it again before I rode (she was good and tired at his point) and did lots of circles until whenever she wanted to put her attention on her mates. When she stopped, I got off, untacked, and turned her back out. Within a week or so she knew that the more she put up a fuss, the longer she would be kept away.
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