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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In October, I moved my mare to a new boarding situation in which she shares a loafing shed with another mare with a fence between them and they've clearly begun to bond. My mare is fine when she's with me and I'm engaging her mind, the other mare is...not. She has taken to starting to scream from the moment I arrive (you're going to take my friend away!!!!) and is in a frenzy the entire time I have my mare out and working, calling and running herself into a full on frothing sweat. My friend who owns that mare says that things will get better, the barn manager says things will get better...but things don't seem to be getting better. If anything, the behavior is escalating--she will try to break through gates when we walk by, she will stay in a full fit even if I only work my mare in her pasture so she can keep eyes on her the entire time...I don't know what to do. It's killing my motivation to go to the barn because I feel like I'm torturing a horse every time I go.
 

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Is there a safe stall (fully enclosed so she can't try to jump over a wall or half door) you can put the mare in while you are working with your horse? Is there an option of switching horses around so that these two mares no longer share adjoining lots? Can you and your friend sync your barn time so that she is with her mare while you are with yours? If none of these suggestions are feasible and the mare continues to get worse then one of you moving to a new barn may be the only cure.
 

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If you really care about the other horse, you can desensitize her to having your horse leave. It would take a little time and effort. If your friend is OK with it, give the other mare something that she likes to eat that your friend approves of. Maybe a flake of hay, a scoop of pellets, a bunch of grass. Then take your horse out, watch for the other horse to begin to get upset, and then put your mare back. Wait for the other horse to get calm enough to notice her treat, then take your horse out again. The point is to return your horse before the other horse has a chance to get very worked up. You would have to do a few sessions of this, only taking your horse as far away as the other horse can tolerate, and gradually going farther and farther until the horse understands she can stay calm and will survive without her buddy horse there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is there a safe stall (fully enclosed so she can't try to jump over a wall or half door) you can put the mare in while you are working with your horse? Is there an option of switching horses around so that these two mares no longer share adjoining lots? Can you and your friend sync your barn time so that she is with her mare while you are with yours? If none of these suggestions are feasible and the mare continues to get worse then one of you moving to a new barn may be the only cure.
No, I don't have access to any other stalls, and my friend can only come on the weekend. So far there hasn't been an option to switch horses around, all the other horses on the property have come in pairs, so there haven't been any other singletons to switch around, unfortunately.

If you really care about the other horse, you can desensitize her to having your horse leave. It would take a little time and effort. If your friend is OK with it, give the other mare something that she likes to eat that your friend approves of. Maybe a flake of hay, a scoop of pellets, a bunch of grass. Then take your horse out, watch for the other horse to begin to get upset, and then put your mare back. Wait for the other horse to get calm enough to notice her treat, then take your horse out again. The point is to return your horse before the other horse has a chance to get very worked up. You would have to do a few sessions of this, only taking your horse as far away as the other horse can tolerate, and gradually going farther and farther until the horse understands she can stay calm and will survive without her buddy horse there.
She has hay in her stall, access to grass--no food matters as soon as she suspects my mare is going to leave. She gets worked up before we hit the gate. :(
 

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I have a horse who acted similarly...
He would panic mode himself if we took the other horse anyplace from sight...
Indeed, over time it got much better.
He still calls as I load my other gelding to go ride, but the hysteria is gone.
He learned that his friend returns in a few hours...
He use to pace and be a jerk with all the things you described...now he yells goodbye and goes to eat his hay-pile in peace.
Meets us as we return and calls a greeting, then is quiet...
That's geldings though, mare is a different animal and mentality often....

You have to get a tough skin to hear and see it..
Or you have to move your horse to a different facility so to not see it anymore.
This horse is going to act this way no matter who shares a fence line with it....if you find a different fence partner it could happen again. :cautious:
🐴...
 
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