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DJ has insane separation anxiety, I have had a few horses with this and have been able to sort it, but not DJ. I can leave Mitch on his own, I can leave Gemma on her own, anywhere, anytime, but not DJ.

She was abused and neglected before I got her in August 2012, but I feel she has been here long enough for that to not be an excuse now. I am not going to hurt her, I'm not going to abuse or neglect her, but I am getting very close to sending her elsewhere because I am losing patience with her problems. (I have a lot of patience)

I can not paddock her on her own, she turns into a show jumper, and her latest stunt in that department has been to slice open the front of her pastern by jumping a steel gate and taking the whole thing down...
I did have her paddocked on her own for 3 weeks, literally over the fence from Mitch, she spent the entire 3 weeks galloping up and down the fence line calling out, while Mitch could not have cared less.

I can not tie her up on her own, she will self destruct, go utterly meltdown on me, break anything in her way to get off the tie spot, whether it was designed to break or not. But if I have a hold of her lead rope at the tie up spot, she is fine minus swinging side to side a bit.

I can not even catch her if she is paddocked on her own, I can not lure her in with food, I literally have to use another horse to catch her.

I would love to take her to shows, but if I can't at least tie her up to the float well I can't do that. I'm getting sick of this. I understand it's an anxiety problem but seriously, it is beyond ridiculous now and I have no idea what to do anymore. Every other horse that I've had with separation problems I have fixed by paddocking them over the fence from one another, and letting them back together when problem horse has settled, the times would get faster and faster... DJ just will not settle, 3 weeks is a little excessive to be running fence lines like that, I expected a few days, not a few weeks.

I have also debated just tying her hard to a big thick tree with a strong halter and rope, but she goes so meltdown that I have no doubt she would kill herself or I would have to step in with a knife.
I'm utterly at a loss here and it's driving me insane. I needed to rewrap her pastern this afternoon and had her tied up less than 10m away from Mitch, in the same paddock, while he was grazing. She broke off twice, the second time she managed to rip a thick plank off the fence... That particular plank setup has withstood Mitch tantrums, and Mitch is bigger than DJ.

:evil::evil::evil:
I don't know whether to cry at my failure of teaching a horse, or to be p***** off that everything in her world is such a huge drama
 

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Hi,

Yes, she does sound rather extreme. Have you considered nutrition? Particularly lack of Mg &/or too much potassium can definitely cause 'manic' type behaviour. Ensuring she has balanced nutrition with high Mg can really help 'unreasonably' spooky/neurotic behaviour.

For safety's sake I would not ever advise you tie any horse to something solid but breakable, such as a plank on a fence. If the fence posts are strong & deep(pref concreted in), or there's an appropriate strong tree branch/trunk, they can be good to tie solid, but with a horse like this, I wouldn't tie solid at all - use a long, long rope & a 'tie ring' or just loop the rope around the rail, so it can pull loose in emergency.
 

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Hi,

Yes, she does sound rather extreme. Have you considered nutrition? Particularly lack of Mg &/or too much potassium can definitely cause 'manic' type behaviour. Ensuring she has balanced nutrition with high Mg can really help 'unreasonably' spooky/neurotic behaviour.

For safety's sake I would not ever advise you tie any horse to something solid but breakable, such as a plank on a fence. If the fence posts are strong & deep(pref concreted in), or there's an appropriate strong tree branch/trunk, they can be good to tie solid, but with a horse like this, I wouldn't tie solid at all - use a long, long rope & a 'tie ring' or just loop the rope around the rail, so it can pull loose in emergency.
I have, she is on a toxin binder and also a magnesium and calcium supplement (Tox Defy and Alleviate C, made in NZ by an NZ woman), but I am going to have bloods pulled from her and Mitch when the vet comes out for vaccines in the next few weeks. Now that you mention it, I haven't had selenium checked and I know our grounds can get low in that here, though the others are behaving fine.

That is what I was worried about, I contemplated tying her solid to a tree in a moment of anger and then realised that wasn't going to solve anything, because I honestly do believe she would fight till her own demise. I will try the long rope and tie ring though once I have a hold of one. I would have to use a tie ring for my own piece of mind, it wouldn't be the first time I've seen a rope get hooked in the tiniest gap in a fence and have it all go south from there.

She has gotten better since I got her, in every aspect except her separation anxiety, which I really need to kick in the butt if I am to get anywhere with her. When I first got her she broke my foot after lunging out in fear, rearing up on the lead rope and coming down on my foot after I had stepped back to avoid getting my head caved in. I know horses are meant to be flight animals, but she has a fight instinct in her, she will fight back and she will fight hard, the only thing she tries to fly away from is being tied, that is literally the only time her flight instinct kicks in as far as I'm aware
 

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You have no choice but to tie her solidly with halter, rope and tie object all completely unbreakable.

Read this thread. http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/separation-anxiety-337690/page2/

Here are the steps and details on how we teach horses to tie. It is much better to teach a horse to tie than have it self-destruct trying to bail over fences and gates or run 100# off running a fence.

I have tied horses solidly for over 50 years and have not had one serious injury. Its been 30 years since I even had a horse get skinned up or slightly injured. I used to have at least 50 horses go through my barn every year just to break. Many arrived not even halter-broke, some as old as 7 or 8 years old and they all learned to tie. This included many Arabians and TBs and a whole lot of spoiled horses. For years, I never had fewer than 10 outside horses on the place. That's an awful lot of horse to send home trained enough for their owners to get along with. I could not have done any of this without horses trained to tie solidly and dependably.

I found out quickly that they needed to be tied to a place higher than their withers.
It needs to be safe with no place for their feet and legs to get injured.
It needs to be smooth.
It needs to be stronger than a mad 'big' horse.
They need to be tied with a halter that fits well. Never use a halter that hangs too low or is so big that it can pull up into the horse's eye.
The halter and the rope need to be strong enough to never break.
They need to be tied with a way to release them if they still manage to get in trouble.
They need to be watched when they are green at being tied.

We teach our own horses to tie solidly when they are yearlings.
We use a flat, wide, smooth nylon halter.
We tie them up 2 at a time, about 30 feet apart.
We want to address one thing at a time, so we want them to learn to tie confidently before we separate them and make them tie alone.
We frequently use a rubber inner-tube between them and the tie-place the first time or two.

Obviously, a horse should accept tying without any problems before the added stress of separation from all other horses is done. That is only common sense.

Our favorite tie-out place to use to separate horses from a herd or herd-mate is under a tree, tied to a big nylon rope that is hanging down from a strong tree limb. Ours puts the big bull-snap about 5 feet off of the ground. Any rope like this needs a big snap with a very good swivel. Horses will always start out going around and around and around, so they cannot be tied with a rope that will twist up. Always keep an eye on one.
We have never had a horse seriously injure itself if it was first taught to tie and then tied out in a safe place.

The alternative can be deadly. A horse near here recently gutted itself trying to clear a fence and coming down on a post. They had taken her friend out of the pasture. Some years back, the same thing happened to a friend when their horse tried to jump a fence right in front of them and did not clear it. It flopped over and broke its neck.
 

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Unless you saw how she was treated be careful about saying she was abused as this is a public forum. I'm curious as to what you consider abuse and neglect. You are allowing this mindset to dictate how to handle this horse and it is apparent she is taking full advantage. "I won't hurt her". Well sometimes you have to to win their respect. Horses don't think like that. One horse will kick the other one to get it out of it's space or to establish dominance. The horse won't think "oh, she hurt me". It's going to know you mean business. A single whack does not constitute a beating and should never be done in anger.
 

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Saddlebag, she was an SPCA horse, she was left in a paddock after being a failed racehorse, and somehow went through/over a fence, was found 4 days later with a bad injury to her left front leg, which was then stitched up by the owner with no sedation. She has scars all over her body, her hooves were neglected, that info come straight from the breeder himself along with some other info, he knows he did wrong and I wouldn't hold that against him as you can't change what you did in the past, the other info I have has come from people around the breeder so I can't be sure that it is true. I have been told she was shackled, I've been told she was forced over a gate hence the scars under her flanks, I've been told lots of things, but only a few things I know for sure to be true.

She was picked up by the SPCA, and was on her way down to a new home via a trucking company. there was a swap over point where she was to get off one truck and onto the next, the next truck never showed up, and as a result she was dumped on a property on a lady who never intended to have her, but took care of her anyway, that was where I got her from.

I consider abuse to be anything that leaves a mark on the horse, and I don't mean like a mental mark of oh hey maybe i shouldn't do that again, but anything that renders the horse without the capability to cope afterwards. I also think that doing something that leaves a physical injury to be abuse. Yes I will give my horses a smack, DJ being no exception, I know a smack won't hurt her, but my problem with her is that a smack does nothing. It doesn't even sway her attention, if anything it winds her up more and she fights back. However I have learnt that she does better with verbal telling off.

Thanks for the info Cherie, I am worried though that she would fight till the death of herself, if it comes to that then I will try it, but I really do worry that she would hurt herself with her anxiety being so severe.
 

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Most marks and scars on horses are things they have done to themselves. Her chances of self destructing from her anxiety and her behavior are far greater than from correctly teaching her to stand tied.

The things you describe are not what I call abuse. I have a gelding that came from a bucking string. My 4 year old granddaughter is riding him in my profile. He was scarred all over and has bald places in both flanks from being flanked so hard he galled nearly through both flanks. He had spur marks on both shoulders. When you tried to saddle him, he set back hard and fell over (even with a loose girth) or simply flipped up-side-down. [He had also pulled a lady's finger off when she got it caught in a rope trying to tie him in a trailer. He was REALLY spoiled.

I did not treat him any differently from any other horse when I brought him home from the sale [other than being extra careful around him]. The killer buyer had the only other bid on him.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Most marks and scars on horses are things they have done to themselves. Her chances of self destructing from her anxiety and her behavior are far greater than from correctly teaching her to stand tied.

The things you describe are not what I call abuse. I have a gelding that came from a bucking string. My 4 year old granddaughter is riding him in my profile. He was scarred all over and has bald places in both flanks from being flanked so hard he galled nearly through both flanks. He had spur marks on both shoulders. When you tried to saddle him, he set back hard and fell over (even with a loose girth) or simply flipped up-side-down. [He had also pulled a lady's finger off when she got it caught in a rope trying to tie him in a trailer. He was REALLY spoiled.

I did not treat him any differently from any other horse when I brought him home from the sale [other than being extra careful around him]. The killer buyer had the only other bid on him.
This is true, I'm still worried though! I would stand by with a knife, but if she's going to run fence lines for 3 weeks then how long before she stops trying to get off being tied up away from other horses, I don't want to be sitting out there over several nights waiting for her to finally give in, and I don't want to untie her every night to restart the same battle each morning, does that even make sense? I know what I want to say but I don't know if I'm making any sense :lol:

The things I describe are only the things that I know for sure happened, there are a lot of other things that likely did happen, but I can't be 100% sure since I didn't hear it from the breeder himself. Though personally I do think stitching up a 4 day old de-gloving wound with no sedation, no nothing, no vets, to be abuse, and I know for sure that one happened.
DJ just spins, the first few times I saddled her she would spin circles, the first few times I tried to mount her she would spin around me... We have sorted those issues now though.

I don't baby her or anything, I treat her the same as I treat Mitch and Gemma, only I am a lot more aware of where I am in relation to her body, I'm a lot more careful around her in general.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Plus the only big strong tree's around here are along fence lines. Would I be ok attaching her to a tree that is close to a fence (5 wire but not electric). I don't have a big strong tree in the middle of a paddock anywhere.
The other unbreakable option at my property is using the cowshed yards.. We have thick steel poles set deep in concrete making up the fencing to our yards, I have the option of tying her to the outside of the yard where she will be standing on dirt/grass rather than concrete, but it won't be an overhead attachment, probably the highest I could tie her would be jaw level.
Otherwise I may have to walk the property and see if I can scout out any suitable trees.

Could I get dad to set a thick wooden pole deep concreted in the ground somewhere?

If I'm going to do this I want to do it right the first time
 
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