Horse doesn't like a certain paddock

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Sniggles, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Sniggles

    Sniggles Active Member

    Well at my place we have our back paddock, our side paddock and our front paddock. My boy angus is always in the back paddock and side paddock as he has access to both through a gate and has the most room etc. Anyway, the paddocks are dry and have pretty much no feed in them so yesterday I decided to move him into the front paddock which is FULL of grass. Well he hates it! He was really stressed out, and just kept walking around then he just started going crazy cantering around neighing and bucking etc, did this non stop for 15 mins, I finally got him to stop and settled him down, gave him a hose down because he was a sweaty/foamy mess. Let him calm down while I was there and cool down then I gave him some hay hoping to occupy him for awhile, well he was fine for awhile but then started going crazy again, pacing the fenceline and calling out, it was starting to get dark by then so decided to put him back in his normal paddock because I didn't want to leave him overnight while he was acting up.*

    I have put him back in about 45 mins ago since I'm home from work with the flu today so I can keep an eye on him, I put him in there with a small feed and he's now finished it and has just started kind of walking around aimlessly and eating. He seems to be okay now, but I'm just after some advice and opinions on what I should do if he starts running around getting himself stressed and sweaty again! Should I just leave him to it to wear himself out or should I move him back to his normal paddock? He seems to be okay if I'm out there with him doing something or just standing around.. It's when I disappear that he starts acting up!

    We have no other horses on the property so he hasn't been separated, I think it's just that he's out of his comfort zone now. I have never had any previous horses ever do this. So a bit stumped on what to do as I don't want him to hurt himself.*:(
  2. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    Im a mean mother, if they carry on I just ignore them and leave them in there. They get over it ;)

    I think you are right though, if they are in the same paddock for a long time it becomes their 'security blanket'. We move ours around often now, so they dont develop any attachment to a certain paddock (or even paddock buddies), this way you can put them anywhere and the only thing they do is start :p
  3. Sniggles

    Sniggles Active Member

    Yeah I tend to be a mean mum as well, I feel you have to be cruel to be kind. Not cruel in a bad way of course. But I feel that they need to just get over it sometimes. My main concern is him running around like a looney and hurting himself. He has been non stop for the past 2 hours running around, then eats some grass, then he will just start pacing the fence line, then stand there playing with the gate, then running around again etc etc. I have just been watching him through the Lounge room window keeping an eye out. Went out before and he starts calling out to me like someone was murdering him, and gave him a quick spray with the hose as he had dry sweat all over him and was itchy. And have left him alone again. Hopefully he starts settling down soon! :}

    I think regular rotation of his paddocks is something I will definitely start doing, he needs to learn to just suck it up and get over it!
  4. nannygoat

    nannygoat Gold Member

    When my young girl first came here and growing up, I moved her all every week to different paddocks, yards, with friends and then by herself. She never really knew what was normal lol

    And I dont have any trouble with her suffering new places or separation anxiety or the such.

    Good Luck with it all sniggles it is a right pain when they behave like that. Dunno if one of those ginormous horse balls might give him something else to focus on?
  5. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    Maybe have a bit of a play with him in the new paddock a few times before leaving him by himself with no reassurance or familiarity. Walk the perimeter, get him to investigate sprinklers, walk over logs, check out the water trough? Then leave the gate between the old and new paddock open for a week so he can investigate without being trapped. Without a paddock mate, he has no safety net, so it falls to you to reassure him if he isn't one of those self reliant horses.

    I can't talk though, after living on this 5 acres for three years, my horses still invent no-go areas pretty regularly. Including food and water places, they'd rather go without than venture into scary places, and are highly suspicious and alert all the time. They are happy to venture wherever I go, but won't try themselves. My place is very heavily treed and bushy though, in open paddocks with a line of sight they are so much more relaxed. Ahhh to win lotto and get rolling acres.
  6. Sniggles

    Sniggles Active Member

    Well an update.. He has now settled into the paddock.. he calmed down the other day so i left him over night and checked on him before i went to bed (11pm) and he was just chilling out under the tree, he still doesnt seem very impressed that hes in there but he has stopped running around like a looney, and stopped walking the fenceline, he mainly just stands around near the tree and eats the grass every now and then. He seems to be feeling more comfortable as time goes on. Thank god for that!! :p

    I will be rotating him around the 3 different paddocks from now on so he doesnt start an attachement with any of them again! I was also thinking of getting him one of those big balls to play with as he does seem to get a little bored in the paddock by himself!

    Thanks for all your suggestions and advice!!! :))
  7. celestialdancer

    celestialdancer Gold Member

    Was going to say about the rotation :)

    My big gelding has only just started going into 'Rocky's paddock'. When we put the old man down and had him buried there late November Rahni struggled to even go into the adjoining field. Now it's been roped off and five months later and Rahni's beginning to feel more confident in there. Every day when he goes in there, he walks straight to the roped section, shuts his eyes and touches his nose to the mound, then starts his day of grazing.

    Perhaps something was buried there before and your boy could sense it?

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