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I am new to this forum but I wish I'd heard of you sooner!!!

Honey is a 39 yo blind pony/apoloosa we rescued 4 years ago she is an absolute sweetheart and sooo gentle.

I thought it would be great to bring in a companion for her so we rescued a 25+ mini pony gelding, Christopher Robin. We didn't want anything as big or bigger than her, definately didn't want her picked on.

The people we got Christopher from have been in the rescue business for 20 years and delivered him to us. When they put him in Honey's yard I was very worried. I thought they should be slowly introduced considering Honey had a disadvantage being blind. It was awful, he kicked her and bullied her. When she charged him they said that was good she was telling him she was the boss but then all he had to do was move and she was lost. They said she would hold her own to let them do their horse thing. Of course my husband said they knew what they were talking about to let them alone and things would work out. But that night I closed them in their separate stalls so he couldn't get to her, turned out to be the right thing to do. In the morning my husband put them together again and Christopher learned very fast Honey couldn't see and began to terrorize her. Within 10 minutes the last straw came when he sneaked up along side and bite her in the neck which sent her running into the fence. I locked him in his stall and sent my husband immediately to the Tractor Supply to purchase fencing and put it right down the middle of the area.

Of course my first instinct was to return him but he is so kind and gentle with us and my understanding was he has been bounced around so at 25+ he deserves a forever home. It's been a month the fence is still up and it seems Honey can't live without him. She dozes next to the fence and he will reach through and nip her nose which startles her and makes her yell but she won't move away. She has her whole yard to doze in but insists on doing it next to the fence on his side. Now I can't take her from her area because she can't "find" him and vice versa and she panics. Sometimes he will stand at the far end of his yard quietly while she runs around calling him. When I see this I yell his name and tell him how bad he is and he'll come running snorting and it quiets her down. He is very smart. When he nips her nose and I catch him I reprimand him he stops then if I walk to the side where he can't see me he'll wait, I'll be peeking, he'll nip again and when I poke my head out he runs.

It turns out to be a love/hate relationship. She a terrified of him but can't live without him next to her.

Oh and that's not all, since we've had him she hates me. She never had to be tied to groom her, she loves it but now she takes off, now I have to halter her and tie her. Because she is blind we have to talk to her all the time you're with her so she knows where you are. When I touch her at all she flattens her ears and now she tries to nip me. It's not that she's startled because she knows it's me. We use to be able to have the kids come to see her, she l-o-v-e-s kids, nuzzles them, I swear if she had arms she would hug them but now she nips them also.

Now I don't know what to do. I've think I've ruined a good thing. Any thoughts would be appreciated. She is so angry.
Lee Ann
 

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Time might help. It could be also that she is angry with you for bringing him in. I am not sure what you really need to do. My friend has a blind horse but she runs with everybody and no one tries to hurt her.
 

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maybe move him and get another friednly actual horse? I don'y know.....But Good Luck!
 

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Yeeesh, this one is a bit tricky.

Honestly to me he doesnt seem like a good companion for her and you might want to get her a horse instead of a fiery little mini.

An older full sized horse or pony could be a lot more calming for her and I think it would be nice for her to have a companion that she can have by her side all of the time without having to worry about it running around and biting and scaring her.

It seems to me she doesn't like him but is desperate for a friend so she won't leave him...

when you are grooming and petting her, she could think that you are him(or that he is around) and she might be worried she is going to be terrorized by that mean little pony any second and trying to defend herself accordingly.

I dont think she is mad at you, just scared and worried and confused by the plucky little pony.

There are many geriatric horses out there with relatively little medical problems that are just not able to be ridden and thus unwanted and most are free or very very cheap at most. It should be very easy to find her a companion at her own level of activity that would be much more soothing to her.
 

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I agree with Honeysuga. I would try another companion for it, sounds like the little pony is just agitating her and he'd be better suited for another home.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Before I decided on Christopher I called the woman we took Honey from she had a horse that was 40 and lived with Honey for 20 years to see if she was willing to let that horse come live here. At first she said she had to think about it, but I got thinking, this horse has never been off her property and at 40 will it kill her so I called her back and we decided it probably wouldn't be a good idea. But imagine how wonderful that would have been to have her family of 20 years living with her again!!!

We only have 2 stalls and if the economy comes back will be building a barn next year but right now it is what it is I guess. We can't give Chris back our promise is this is the forever home for those that come.

I will say this we never owned a horse until Honey and now we're in love.

One more question, HOney is losing the hair on her tail, it has gotten thinner and thinner in the last few years so has her mane. The mane was laying down her neck now it's so short it stick up on her back. Is this just old age or diet?

When we got her she was stick thin we put weight on her but a little too much, she has an injury to her spine so we needed to take the weight off. the vet had me take her off senior feed and put her just on hay stretcher in the morning and evening (soaked she has few teeth). Gradually we did that and she seems satisfied with that. Between the diet and Christopher she dropped the 40 pounds and looks great except she seems to be going bald!!!!

Of course they get apples or watermelon at night bfore bed. Do you think it's just old age?

Thank you all for your thoughts and so fast too.
Lee Ann
 

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I have no idea if this will work. My friend had two horses that were enemies. She had to keep them in different areas because they hated each other and the one horse had on special shoes that ended up hurting the other horse when he kicked him.

She moved the horses to another place. They had never been in a trailer together. When they got to the new place (a couple hours away) they came out of the trailer best friends.

Just a suggestion... I'm not sure how well it would work though.
 

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You need to put a bell on the little meany head. That way she will know where he is and will have a fighting chance.
I think any horse large or small will have to be the alpha in a relationship with your mare. To be that they have to dominate the other horse. Unfortunately your mare is going to be more dependent than a sighted horse. I think your going to have this sort of relationship with anyone you put in with her.
I think the bell will even the odds a little though.
 
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Hmmm, this is a tough one. Major kudos to you for taking these guys on, and not just giving up on Christopher and handing him back.

This might be a place where a little conditioning might help, if you have the time and patience for it. Since you have already separated them in two separate pastures, you are in a position where this might work.

Take baby steps, to start with. Take Christopher on lead into Honey's pasture. Start out keeping him on lead, just let him graze or have a carrot in Honey's pasture, just like 10 minutes at a time. Reprimand any bad behavior sharply and put him back in his field, but make going into Honey's field a good association. Praise or treat him as long as he acts calm, grazing and not acting mean towards Honey. The minute those ears go back at her, snap that lead up and take him back to his pasture, don't fuss over him in his own pasture, make sure the daily 'good things' he gets are always associated with being around Honey. Work your way up to taking the lead line off and letting him graze or whatever for 10 minutes, always supervised, and always quick to end the activity at the first sign of churlishness he exhibits towards your mare. Don't walk away or leave them together unsupervised for some time - not until you are sure you can trust him. Each time he is showing signs of success, reward him and then up the ante - give him and Honey treats side by side, pet them together, etc. Horses are creatures of association, it might be a bit of a long process doing it this way, but it should work. He will likely always lord over her a bit, horses will always need to sort a pecking order out amongst themselves we can't really control very much - some horses are simply more dominant natured than others. I think the idea of putting a bell on him is brilliant - she can defend herself a bit better when she knows he is coming.
 

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I also like the idea of the bell. It sounds like she wants to be around another horse, and it makes sense for her to be submissive to whomever you bring in, but the usual "let them sort it out" is hard since she could really hurt herself running around. I think the bell is a great idea, it will allow them time to figure it out without him startling her. My gelding and his pasturemate took a couple of months to sort out their dynamic but they are absolutely inseparable now. There were a lot of nips, kicks, and bites but eventually it was fine and no serious injuries.
 

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At 39 I am not sure I would have even brought in another horse; if she'd been fine previously, why mess with her state of mind? That she's blind, as you've found out, further complicates things, and so further upsets her!

You could have tried a goat, sheep, or even a llama; these would have made perfectly acceptable buddies as well, and they wouldn't have tried to dominate her, and thus she wouldn't have been so 'turned upside down' by the process.

Of course, now, you've got another horse, who knows how to pick on her, and make life miserable for her. What fun is it for either horse to live a solitary life, when you got the other one for companionship for the other? It's up to you, but I would return him, or find a good home for him yourself, and look for a different sort of companion.
 

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I like the bell idea. He is being a naughty little brat, but if you give him a bell it could help. I would even think you could probably braid small bells into his mane and tail...lol. He might look funny, but it could help out.
 
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