New horse panicking when riding the other - The Horse Forum
  • 4 Post By tinyliny
  • 1 Post By cbar
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-26-2020, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Wales
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New horse panicking when riding the other

I got a new horse as a companion for Ginny last week, she's a 14.3hh quarter horse called Sunny. She's been pretty much perfect up till today. I hadn't ridden Ginny yet because I wanted to give them time to settle in together etc so I just left them to themselves. I ride Ginny today and put Sunny in the field nextdoor (I ride in the field). Sunny was fine up to when I started warming up with Ginny. She just looked panicked and started galloping around the field, even when I was just walking (luckily Ginny wasn't bothered). I got off after and untracked and she went back to normal eating and calm. Anyone have any idea why she's doing this/if it's normal/how to stop it?
Also before today I had put them in the separate fields before just to make sure they were OK and neither were bothered. It is also the field she was in the first day or two she was here.
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-26-2020, 05:01 PM
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your new horse has bonded to your first horse and is worried she will loose her new companion. If you are trotting around, or cantering , or whatever, the hrose that is left behind will feel that she is about to be left behind. Horses worry much more when they see other horses run, as it is there instinct to run if they see others running.

Sunny may settle down and stop worrying after a while, once it becomes routine that you take Ginny out and ride, and Ginny comes back and she knows this will happen.'

You may want to give the horse left behind a nice bit of hay to enjoy, while you ride the other.
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-27-2020, 02:43 AM
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What happens if you try lunging? That will tell you if itís the movement thatís setting the new horse off or actually having a rider. Then you can work on the specific issue. I agree, give her some hay while working your other horse. If you have someone to help you work both horses at the same time, ride your horse whilst the new horse is doing ground work.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-27-2020, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Nov 2015
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My gelding (Chevy) used to get bad separation anxiety when I took my other riding horse out. I tried to give him hay/treats to occupy him, but nothing worked. He would run up & down the fence line calling & screaming. And would be an absolute hot mess when I got back. My riding horse didn't care, so I still had a nice ride.

What I started doing was taking Chevy out of the paddock. He is not sound for riding, but I would take him out more by himself and hand walk him around the yard. I could tell there was a certain distance from his friend that he would start to panic. I wouldn't ask anything of him, but just let him graze on the nice, green grass....and eventually get him walking further and further away.

It progressed to longer hand walks down the road with a bit of ground work mixed in.

It ended up working, as in the future when I would leave him by himself he wouldn't get nearly as worked up b/c he realized his friend would return. Plus, I'd done some one on one work with him, so he kind of learned that being alone wasn't as bad.

I also eventually ended up buying a third horse :)
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-27-2020, 10:07 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by cbar View Post

I also eventually ended up buying a third horse :)
Yep, thatís what I did too (except I went to four so I had coverage for the occasions my husband came out with me).

Not wishing to sound negative but it has been my observation that if a person is not pretty much riding every day all the time, the left behind horse does not settle very well or it takes it a very long time to reach that point of apathy to the other horseís temporary departure. If a third full size horse is out of the question, perhaps a mini or two (they certainly donít require much food and theyíre cute and fun to have around) could be added to your herd by way of a possible solution?
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