We moved Kiyah recently (two weeks ago) from a stable that had little pasture and 25 horses to a new barn with 70 rolling acres (7 pastures) and only two other horses. When my daughter works with her, Kiyah has taken to acting up when not in the company of the other two horses. Actually, it isn't just Kiyah who acts up, the other mare and gelding act up, too. Lots of whinnying back & forth and bad behavior from all.. is the order of the day when my daughter separates them to groom, do groundwork, and then ride Kiyah.
Kiyah's stall is directly across the aisle from her two herd mates. The three have a consistant daily routine where they are fed and then turned out in early a.m. Twelve hours later, they are brought in, fed and remain in their stalls till morning. For the first ten days, the horses have been kept in separate but adjacent pastures. They could touch noses, share a water trough, etc. but were separated by flexible wire fencing.
My daughter and her trainer decided it best that the BO put Kiyah in a pasture far removed from the other two horses. First day of this was Saturday. No problems. Yesterday (Sunday - early afternoon), my daughter dealt with the whinnying, attempts at rearing, lifting of the leg like she was going to kick (but didn't-hasn't yet..) and general bad behavior from Kiyah like a pro. My daughter understands the problem. Horses get their security and comfort from each other. Kiyah hasn't been getting what she wants.
So I get a call from the BO last evening. Question was whether my daughter had latched the gate properly in the new far removed pasture where Kiyah goes. Because at 8 p.m., Kiyah was found grazing in the pasture right next to her mates. Apparently, Kiyah had figured out a way to open the gate & lock!
So the story goes that the BO brought the mare & gelding into the barn last evening first.. per the routine.. and left Kiyah out in her *new* pasture to be brought in second. The BO apparently only quickly pushed the gate of this new pasture shut without locking it. When he went to get Kiyah--no need..unbeknownst to him Kiyah had followed him into the barn!
This is a very smart horse and not to be underestimated! She's developed a very quick attachment to the others. How far should my daughter go to nip this problem in the bud? Continue to pasture her away from the other two (and get a new strong lock for the gate!)? Change her stall as well so she's not facing the other two? Continue to work with her away from the others as much as possible? This barn has only these three horses for right now. It is anticipated that the total 20 stalls will fill up within the year. The BO and his wife only bought and renovated the place a while back. We are the first boarders. All comments and suggestions appreciated!