HELP Separation anxiety of new horse

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Monument, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. Monument

    Monument New Member

    Have just bought TB gelding Very quiet by all accounts until he is separated from the other horse on the property. He gets very high strung and fretful racing about the paddock and getting himself anxious sweaty and uptight. She calls out and makes it worse. Anyone else had this problem and how did you tackle it. There are several times in the day where I will be separating them and I don't want a cary on .I realise his settling in still as only been here less than a week but I don't want this problem to grow legs and get out of control.

    He is not off the track, has been used for showing and dressage . He would have been separated from the other horses on the property for this so Im not sure whats going on. Has moved from old owner to me recently.Im doing ground work for the first few weeks but Im a bit worried when I want to go out to the arena and ride for the first time if he's going to be all hot and bothered :confused:
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  2. ovaxitd

    ovaxitd New Member

    Have you got a smaller space to lock him up to prevent running around? chance to feed him to take his mind off the other horse.

    Last would be hobbles, if he cant run around like a retard then he has to stop and think.
  3. RVP Horses

    RVP Horses Well-known Member

    Separation anxiety is usually less about the separation and more about the anxiety. If your horse is more confident in himself, he will be less worried about being left alone. It is probably accentuated because he is in a new environment but you will probably still find he is a bit stressy even once he settles in. Ground work and especially the desensitisation will help him immensely as desensitisation isn't just about desensitising them to scary things, it is more about teaching your horse to deal with fear and anxiety in a more positive way. Horses are a prey animal, therefore naturally anxious and flighty. You need to teach him to relax when he gets worried and life will still go on. Desensitisation will do this.

    Most people who do desensitisation keep going until the horse learns to stand still, if you take it one step further and teach the horse to not only stand still, but to then also relax you will have taught your horse an extremely valuable lesson which will carry over into many areas of his life.
  4. celestialdancer

    celestialdancer Gold Member

    Yup, my TB mare used to do this; and does it more when she's pregnant (can't stand not having someone else help her keep out for the many (not!) predators we have around here!

    Started feeding her during the times I took whoever else out the paddock, and that worked till she finished.. Then started to make a huge fuss of her first. She'd get a groom and a loving, then I'd get the horse I wanted to work/ride/bathe/whatever out, and Monica would call out once then happily wander off to graze like a normal horse.

    Giving her the attention first gave her the confidence that I did in fact still love her, and that I wasn't abandoning her.

    When she's pregnant; she's not worked so went from show work, to nothing but a groom once a week; this way she still felt she was an important part of the herd :)
  5. Monument

    Monument New Member

    Thanks guys have just started doing ground work. Most of the problem starts when I take him out to do work and he can't see her so he starts to not listen and get all hot:cry:
  6. RVP Horses

    RVP Horses Well-known Member

    If you have a round yard, this is a good place to start. The less he pays attention, give him more to do, if he doesn't do it because he's not paying attention, make sure there are clear consequences. He will start listening as long as you are clear and consistent he'll change quickly.

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