PLEASE HELP ME!! Separation anxiety!!!!

by lilylovespebbles
(Australia)

Hello!! I have a beautiful 13hh appaloosa mare. She is always brilliant to lead, groom, tack up (although she is a bit girthy ..... Any tips on that ??), catch and anything else on the ground but when I get get on her it is a different story.

Pebbles has separation anxiety. She will bolt over to her buddy and if I can stop her and turn her around to get her to go back up to were we were before, she will back up or buck or both!! She will also not take the lead on trail rides if I am on her but if I am leading her she certainly will!! She loves me on the ground, we do have a very special bond, but this one problem is in the way.

I plan to do sporting with her which is a problem because if she is not in an arena (so she cant bolt) I cant take her in the same paddock as my sister and her horse who like to jump. Pebbles is useless at jumping (I don't mind) she refuses to walk over it and when she does she bolts away afterwards.

By the way ... When I say bolt I mean canter bolt (so not really a bolt)

thanks for reading and please comment!! Just tell me any random idea, it might help!!!!

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Dec 01, 2014
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Some help
by: Alyssa the horse gentler

Okay about grooming try to brush her fave spots and leading and etc on leading pet while you are leading her! Okay about riding first make sure you have a good bridle the does not bother her and have some one start leading you for a little bit also do not ride with other horses around for a little bit until you both feel good about it! also ride bareback do be scared she can sense that be happy and ready for a ride! DO NOT SELL HER she can be fixed!

Aug 08, 2012
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Me Too
by: I<3Diamond

My horse diamond has the problem with her and her son what I have been doing is putting diamond in the round pen and letting the son out in the big pasture. It is working for me.

Aug 01, 2012
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Thanks heaps!!
by: lilylovespebbles

Thank you so much for all the tips!! I haven't been able to try them yet as the paddock is oh so squishy! We still do trail riding and all that... it takes a bit to get pebbles in the front but she does do it eventually!

Completely off the subject, wouldn't it be cool if horses could talk!!

Aug 01, 2012
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Make it Harder Work
by: Anonymous

I once rode a really buddy sour horse and what I had to do with him was when he was near the other horse I had to make him work fairly hard and when he was away from the other horse he could take it easy and just rest.

Dodge, my horse, used to be really barn sour, so he would bolt(like actually bolt) back to the barn. What I did to break him of that habit was essentially the same thing. If he ever pulled me back to the barn or attempted to pull me back to the barn we would canter the opposite direction(this was before I had a ring and I just rode in an open field) and after a while he just stopped doing it. He realized it was actually a lot less work to actually listen to me than it was too much work when he thought for himself.

You could contact your trainer for ideas that would work best for your horse. I called my trainer about Dodge and the training method stated above is what he told me to do. It worked really well for me. Hope that helps.

Good Luck and Be Safe!

Jun 21, 2012
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Hello
by: Katie

I had problems like this with my mare. She wasn't herd bound but she bolted everytime I tried to canter her. This helps with a lot of horses. If she tries to rear, use a crop and get her going forward, she can't rear if she's moving forward, and if she tries to buck, do a hindquarter turn. (bend her head and kick her hind end in a circle) If you take out that hind end, she can't buck because that hindend is out of function. Also, do these things then get off. You may think this is crazy, but groundwork is essential to establishing the dominance. Do hindquarter turns on the ground (walking towards her hind end in a circle and making her pivot on her front foot, moving it over). Change directions and do it again in the opposite direction. If you get on her and she tries to bolt again, do a one-rein stop. Where you bend the head in and kick that hind end out. She can't move anywhere if that hind-end is out of function. English riders do this too (I'm one) even though it sounds western. This is not violent to the horse, how do horses establish dominance? They are firm and defiant to keep their place. You have to be the same way. You have to be firm and defiant to establish your place. It may take awhile but it works, promise! My horse was also very good on the ground, but the lack of disrespect is shown under saddle. Also try to separate her and her friend from each other for awhile.

Jun 07, 2012
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but...
by: lilylovespebbles

yes it will but she will be using all her energy in a good way!!!! i don't care if she gets hyper i just don't want her to bolt.

Jun 06, 2012
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Not sure
by: Sienna

Hey!!! I'm not sure this will help but I talked to Elle, how you are going to get Pebbles into like Barrel Racing. Is that right? Anyway, she said it might just make her more crazy.

Your best friend Sienna :)

Jun 05, 2012
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Hi Lilylovespebbles
by: Unicorn

Pebbles sounds really sweet! That's a cute name, too. I also have a very sweet mare who has separation anxiety. There are more names for this disorder than I can count - "herd bound" or "barn sour" are just two of them. And there are equally many methods to cure it.
I eventually managed to get my own horse over the worst of her nervousness away from others, but for me it just boiled down to gritting my teeth and being the most determined of the two of us. She needs to know you're part of the herd too and will be her "lead mare", which means that you will keep her safe, but also keep her in her place. Ever watched a herd of horses grazing in a pasture? Imagine something comes along to spook them - a dog or a plastic bag in the wind or anything really. The horses all start and turn around to stare at whatever is scaring them, and then they look to their lead mare. She will analyze the situation and if she decides it's not a threat, so will they; if she bolts, so will they. They understand that they must obey the boss mare in order to be safe. If you can establish that you're the boss, Pebbles will begin to trust and obey you.
Don't get sympathetic. It doesn't help. Discipline her. This doesn't mean you need to beat her up. It just means you mustn't give in. This is incredibly hard especially when they bolt or rear, but it was the only thing that ever worked for me. Take it slow; don't make her trot or canter at first - take baby steps and you'll get there.
However, this is just the personal experience of an amateur speaking. I've only ever worked with one herd bound horse once in my brief years of horse training, and it worked for her and for me but not necessarily for you and for Pebbles. Bottom line? A professional trainer will be best able to help you and Pebbles learn, have fun, and stay safe. Ride carefully and always wear a helmet! (On that you can trust me, amateur or not!)

Unicorn

P. S. Please let us know how it goes!

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