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 Separation Anxiety
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1630 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2006 :  02:12:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
I'm looking for some new ideas or different points of view on this problem.

This is the first time in years that I have been with less then three horses and even 3-4 is odd around here! I'm down to just Jazz and Coal until I find another broodmare. Jazz is due to foal March 22nd and because of the weather and the wolves I can't have her foaling outside. She is fine about being in the barn, hates to leave it on cold nights after she finishes her grain so she isn't the problem, it's Coal, my problem child. She tosses a fit in the pasture.

Both of these mares were never a problem about this. Both have had a ton of work by themselves. When Coal got hurt last spring she had to spent a lot of time in a small pen and to keep her quiet I had a horse with her or next to her 24 hours a day. Even then she was starting to get very upset about being left alone but not about leaving the other horses. With the health problems and the stress just a little thought of being left had her upset. Now she is on full turn out and I have been bring Jazz in three times a day to eat her grain. At this time I bring Coal her grain and their hay. I have just been letting her toss her fit and she is getting a little better each time. She wears blankets so too much running gets her and them sweaty which is not good.

My plan is to slowly build up the time that Jazz is in during the day until she is able to be away for a number of hours and then I will switch to putting her in at night but if she goes into signs of foaling early she is in no matter what Coal says about it. Their safety and health is going to have to come first.

Today I did do some round penning type stuff to get her to let me walk up to her and tonight either that is working or her belly won out because she ate a few mouth fulls before troting around.

Any thoughts on this?

Anything that is going to cause her to sweat too much is out because of how cold it is. If it comes right down to it I can take her to my sisters but I would rather not....and rather not say why. The only things I can think of is A) slowly build up the time and let her toss the fits, B) work on some light round penning maybe longing type stuff to get her mind on me, or C) just put Jazz in for a few hours every day and just let Coal wear herself out. C won't be easy since this mare is the type that just goes and goes without stopping.

Trail Boss (Moderator)

6117 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2006 :  05:00:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
i can only see three choices here.
1. Let Coal work it out which she will over time. All horses adjust to separation.
2. Find her a companion horse during the time Jazz will be confined and for a while after until the foal is old enough to be turned out with other adult horses.
3. Move her inside at night with Jazz. A stall beside Jazz would be perfect with the added benifit of Coal becoming familiar with the foal to reduce problems with turn-out.

My preference is number 3.

By the way, two or three horses are lots. Forget about the extra brood mare. Too many horses and you spending more time cleaning and looking after them than riding. I would like to get down to only three horses each for Mrs. Hook and I. An old keeper, a current riding horse and a young one to train and have as an alternate. My goal is to only have two each when the old keepers pass on.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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3785 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2006 :  06:54:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message
I agree with Hook; the simplest solution would probably be to just bring Coal into the barn with Jazz.

What are you going to do after Jazz foals, will you be turning her & the foal out again with Coal, or will mare & foal have a separate pasture?

Also agree with Hook about NOT getting another horse...seems like the more you have, the less time you have to spend with any of them!

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1630 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2006 :  1:09:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Bringing her in isn't an option. The plan was to have the barn finished with three large box stalls but it didn't happen. So I have one large box stall and one that is only 8.5x9 and right now the bull spends the nights in there and leaving out isn't an option just in case he gets out. Don't need the young heifers bred this early! If it comes down to it I could put her in but with it so small she isn't going to have much room in there and getting cast could be a problem.

Getting another horse is not an issue. I'm use to have 6+ and time or money isn't a problem. I normally have a couple young ones, a show horse or two and a few broodmares and sometimes rescues. It would be a broodmare but also trail ridden, shown for a couple years if she doesn't have a show record. I believe in mares proving themselves in some area before they are bred and I don't believe in the non ridable broodmares. I org. wasn't planning on getting another mare until next spring but I have a breeding that has to be used this year. Coal....while I like her and she is a great horse I don't think I want to breed her. This is Jazz's first foal so I hate to breed her back right away and of course if the foal is not quality she will not be breed again. And of course it would give me a horse to ride since Coal might not be ridable any more.

Well it has been great the past few months with only two horses to buy stuff for two mares don't make a broodmare band and that is part of the plan. I want to get back into breeding and showing more with a focus on the good solid foundation stock, using type horses.

Letting her work it out on her own is what I figured I would have to do and I know that is about all I can do but that doesn't make it any easier. I guess I just need someone to tell me to stop trying to baby her and let her be a brat about it. It has helped to see how she is going on that leg. She never picks up the one lead and kind of does a hop with those hind legs when she runs. I'm the only one that see it but I know her and how she moves. It's slight but it's there. I hate to be a hard nose about this so I feel bad when she is having a fit.
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Red Hawk

5092 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2006 :  3:10:54 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Could you do ground exercises with her that wouldn't work her up into a sweat but still be enough to focus on you and make her think? Just something that comes to mind.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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1630 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2006 :  11:27:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Forgot the turn questions! I would forget my head if it wasn't hooked on so tight.

I have a 'network' of paddocks and pastures for the horses. In the past what I have done is let them out for about 15 minutes by themselves the first day or the second day. Then build that time up until the foal is strong enough and I know that the mare is going to be okay with it. Then I always had my old mare to put out with them. She was a great babysitter and even though she was a very bossy type mare she worked great for this. Depending on the horses I had at the time I would work them into more horses. I believe that foals need to grow up with more then mommy so that they learn how to live in a herd and be horses. The loss of my old mare is one reason I'm having a harder time. It's not that I have never dealt with this type of thing just if was a case where I had to get one horse away from the other and that one was so bad it was a health problem I had another horse to put with them until I could slowly get them a part. Since I can take either out and work with them it's not something I can work on that way which is normally the case. She only gets up set when Jazz goes into the barn.

This time I'm going to use the round pen for Jazz and the foal since we will have a ton of snow still. It's right on the fence line of where Coal is and they can nose through the fence.

Both Coal and Jazz have been around foals and pastured with them so it's not like they are totally new and never seen one or been with them. Neither mare is really the boss and if need be they stick up for what they want.


I have been doing some with her but at lunch today she some how got a strap unhooked from her blanket and I didn't have a halter so I just grabbed her mane and made her stand. She did and I got it fixed. Tonight she actually came up to me. Before it was like she didn't even see me. Tomorrow I'm going to leave Jazz in a little longer in the morning and work with Coal.
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