Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Heifer, Mar 16, 2010.
How frustrating Heifer. My wb did the same sorts of things when I first got him. He still acts as if I don't exist when the mood takes him! To my mind he is just suffering seperation anxiety. A lot of horses will act like this at some stage in there life. I usually ignore the behaviour, and find they soon enough settle down.
However if you wanted to take the proactive approach. This is how I usually deal with it. When in the horse is in there normal environment (stable), I take the neighbour away (or the horse they seem most concrned with away). Out of sight. After a short period of time. Return the horse. Don't be concerned with what Quiz is doing when horse is away. I keep doing this, slowly extending the time neighbour is away. Once he realises the horse is going to come back, this behaviour should settle on its own.
Has he always done this, or is it a new behaviour for him?
kp - he's always been paddocked with other horses, except when he was at the breaker when he had horses all around him but not in his paddock. He has never been left by himself in the paddock before. He could see horses across the road, but the 2 across the driveway from him were up the other end of the paddock doing their own thing, so when his neighbour was taken away he was 'alone'. But the weird thing was, he wasnt neighing! Usually when horses are having separation issues they will scream to their friend? It was just mindless trotting and constantly looking.
Thats exactly what my horse did when I got him. Just trot and trot and trot and trot. Just never stopped, maybe the occassional mouthful of food. But continuous running. Didn't matter what I did, he just ran straight through me. He has got over it and no longer does it. Quiz just needs become accustomed to being by himself. Start small and gradually make the time he is by himself longer and longer as he starts to accept to it. Generally once they realise the horse comes back they become less and less unsettled about being alone. Its a bit of a baby thing. But I hate having horses that can't handle being by themselves so generally do whatever I have to do to get them over it.
Thanks KP. He won't run through me, but will trot around me and continue to trot!
I also hate horses who fence walk or can't be left alone... it is definately a behaviour i want ended!
I don't blame you! I think horseproblems has a piece on his website about these sorts of problems. Probably worth a look.
Ta will have a look.
Update on Quiz: I didnt get to the horses till late yesterday because I had to go ride another horse first... When I arrived Quiz was fence walking, but only walking not trotting. When he saw me coming to his gate he trotted over and waited for me at the gate, very pleased to see me. Huge improvement from completely ignoring me! I brought him in, gave him a good curry comb and brush before putting him in his stable (I dont want him fence walking because he wants his dinner).
THis morning when I turned him out he didnt walk off but stayed with me cuddling, and when I left he stayed looking over the gate at me until I was out of sight.
I see this as a huge improvement as he seems to actually want to be in my company again rather than just behaving.
So from now on, If he is trotting and ignores me we go from paddock to round yard to do join up exercises (lunge until he licks and chews and puts an ear on me, then give him chance to come in, he must follow me at liberty before we finish). If he is just walking but comes straight to me and wants to come in he will come in and be brushed before dinner. If he is not walking and is easy to catch he can have dinner straight away.
I just got a message from Sam&Max to say she has been at the horses 2 hours and, even though his neighbour is still in his paddock, Quiz has been fence pacing the entire time... trotting mindlessly... I have NEVER had a problem like this before. The horse has grazing AND a hay roll! I do not want this to become a habit!
What a pain Heif....A freidn of mine had a mare with the same problem, she put shin tappers on her....and I think she may have put tyres? in the spots where she paced.
I cant say I have ever ahd the problem as I have always paddocked my horses separately...not worht the hassle of potential injury...
yeh i dont want to go to joint paddocking if possible - not large enough paddocks for that IMO.
What are shin tappers!?
And he would just walk around tyres or trip over them LOL
The tyres would give him somethign else to focus on rather then head up and trotting the fenceline all the time......at least he would have to refocus everynow and then to avoid tripping lol
The shin tappers were hanging chain like things put around the tops of the knees...leather strapping against the skin...so when they moved it would tap them on teh shin...doesnt hurt them , just annoys...apparently it works well
Get him a chew toy (pony/sheep/alpaca)
I feel your pain, my pony is a terrible fence walker! but she's a screamer LOL
Take jingles out for a ride she does not stop the entire time! I've tried paddocking her alone etc and it hasn't stopped it!
No suggestions, Sienna seems to be maybe growing out of it a bit, it's half as bad as it used to be 6 months ago but still an annoying issue. She doesn't have confidence issues though - she's too confident!
Maybe get a horse communicator hahaha *#)
Lilly ran up and down the fence a bit in the first week I got her, but she also wasn't happy at her agistment but its was a temp home until we moved to her now home the next week. She was also very on edge and unsure around me and I was really wondering what I had gotten into with a 3 year old TB! Leading her if I stepped on a stick and it cracked she would be trotting and snorting next to me and running into me.
It just takes time, the next week she was a different horse and back to the quiet horse I had bought Just spending time with them and grooming/rugging/playing with and taking for walks helps heaps. I am probably a bit to relaxed around her now but so far so good.
He may be bored? Lillys very playful so I give her toys where I can, she has a cone in her paddock but i've never seen her play with it but she also has a cordial bottle tied to the fence with pony cubes in it, she had a coke bottle but she pulled it off the fence and crushed it until it wasn't a bottle anymore haha, she likes to play with that. In her stable she has a lickit and shes licked all the middle out of it so thats a big hit, shes only had it a few days (I got her the carrot flavour) she had a bucket that she liked to throw around as well. I also tied a carrot in a tree and that kept her amused until she got it.
She has a chew toy like PSO suggested unfortunatley for Izzy2512 its her poor horse! Very naughty!
No real suggestions for the fence walking as never had to deal with it but putting trot poles along the fence he walks might help, will have to think about where he is stepping and might find it too hard as its harder work for him also and involves thinking
But Ralph is so fun to chew on! She definitely wears the pants in that relationship haha
Is there a different paddock you can try? He sounds very unsettled in his surrounds. Maybe there is to much going on for him to be able to deal with at the moment.
I think the problem is he wants to be in the stables watching the goings on! Yesterday he could see his neighbour very clearly (neighbour was just grazing 30m away), but there was commotion in the stables as a new horse had arrived and noone was paying HIM attention! When I arrived he was fence walking. When he saw me coming he trotted to the gate and waited to be brought in. He had a little bit of sweat but wasnt bad. I brought him in, put his bridle on and did some in hand work with him before putting him in his stable with no food. Chatted for 20min before giving hay, and miniscule hard feed (basically just supplements). Turned him out this morning and he went and grazed, wasnt at all worried about the new horse who was quite unsettled and neighing. Do you think it is possible that when he sees people at the stables he starts desiring attention or to come in for some reason?
ETA - i want to avoid going down the shared paddock route as it wouldnt be with one of my horses (he is only one i own on the property) and I think there is potential for issues if one of them gets injured. PLUS, i dont think the paddock is big enough for 2. And I dont want a situation where he goes off his face when his companion is taken out, moves agistment, at a show he is at etc. It would be better if I can get him to settle into life as a bachelor LOL
I will try the toys idea, but dont know that its boredom or he would eat his hay?
As for trot poles/tyres... the first day he did it there was a hose (for water trough) across his path and I had to move it as he was tripping over it and getting his legs caught... he was far too distracted to notice it! I can just see him completely falling over anything put in his way rather than looking at it.
I agree...I wouldnt be putting this horse in a shared paddock wiht another...he needs to learn to be by himself...while still seeing other horses in a distance.
I dont think it is a attention seeking thing....dont forget horses are naturally herd animals and this instinct is more ingrained in some of them then others..
This may be his natural makeup...but he may also grow outta it...dont forget he is still bery young , and some of the warmbloods/crosses take a LONG time to grow up mentally (dont I know LOL)
yeah I wouldn't put anything in his way too much risk, the toys can't hurt though. He probably just needs to have a little stress out every now and then. I would just let him you sound like you are doing everything you can to make his life happy.