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Horse Psychology Question
#1
My 2 Mustangs are boarded now and each has another horse for company in the pasture. My two do not always get along, thus in separate pastures. I purchased horse property and will be moving them over in about a month but only have .53 acre and need to keep them separate in the beginning. They will still have room to run and will have several horse neighbors. Does socializing over a fence satisfy the horse's need to be with a pack?
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#2
Well...maybe not, but horse-keeping varies greatly, depending upon the facilities. For example, when living in Colorado, my horse was kept by herself in a paddock with a shed. There were horses on both sides of her, and I rode her with other horses, but she went for several years without being turned out with another horse. And that was quite a common way to keep horses in that area at that time. My mare seemed happy enough, and was fine when ridden with other horses.

EZ2SPOT
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#3
EZ,

It's funny how they seem to differ in their needs to socialize. One of mine feels insecure when the other horse is taken out of the pasture for a while. The other just keeps himself happy with horses on the other side of the fence. Some that are boarded do well in just the stall and pen but one of mine gets extremely antsy if locked up for more than a few hours. Thanks for the input.
Linda
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#4
Even though the "preferred" state for horses is to be in a herd, there are millions of them out there that get along just fine by themselves. I think as far as the one that gets insecure when left alone, it will probably just take a period of adjustment for him to get better at being alone. I think the period will be even shorter if he has a friend just across the fence.
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


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#5
Some trainers like to keep a horse in for training separate from the rest so that the horse will focus more on the trainer for leadership and guidance rather than another horse. In this case the trainer becomes the alpha horse in a herd of two... the horse and the trainer. So, a horse kept alone from other horses may very well develop a closer bond with his/her human[Wink].

There was only one place that I kept my first horse, Wimpy, without another horse in the same field, but the adjacent field always had two or three horses in it. Wimpy became attached to the neighbor's gelding, and I always found them standing side-by-side on their respective sides of the fence.

One day, Wimpy wouldn't let me catch her when I wanted to go trail riding for the day. The neighbor girl was home, and I convinced her in bringing the gelding over and letting him stand just outside Wimpy's stall where she could see him. It worked like a charm. The neighbor girl led the gelding back into Wimpy's stall and out the other side. Wimpy came into the stall to look for him, and I slammed the door shut. Unfortunately, I knew this would only work once, because Wimpy would remember it if I ever tried it, again[Sad][Wink].

"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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#6
quote:
Originally posted by hmeyer

Even though the "preferred" state for horses is to be in a herd, there are millions of them out there that get along just fine by themselves. I think as far as the one that gets insecure when left alone, it will probably just take a period of adjustment for him to get better at being alone. I think the period will be even shorter if he has a friend just across the fence.




hmeyer,
There are 6 neighbor horses, 3 on each side of the corral. One has pole fencing. The other I was going to pull out the barbed wire and replace with electric fencing, but on second thought I may just do pole fencing instead so they can have more socialization with their neighbors ... without the electric fence dividing them. They do seem to adjust to all changes very quickly, I just wonder about the herd instinct being so much more pronounced in Mustangs. Hopefully by two boys will get along again. Thanks for your input.
Linda
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#7
quote:
Originally posted by Red Hawk

Some trainers like to keep a horse in for training separate from the rest so that the horse will focus more on the trainer for leadership and guidance rather than another horse. In this case the trainer becomes the alpha horse in a herd of two... the horse and the trainer. So, a horse kept alone from other horses may very well develop a closer bond with his/her human[Wink].

There was only one place that I kept my first horse, Wimpy, without another horse in the same field, but the adjacent field always had two or three horses in it. Wimpy became attached to the neighbor's gelding, and I always found them standing side-by-side on their respective sides of the fence.

One day, Wimpy wouldn't let me catch her when I wanted to go trail riding for the day. The neighbor girl was home, and I convinced her in bringing the gelding over and letting him stand just outside Wimpy's stall where she could see him. It worked like a charm. The neighbor girl led the gelding back into Wimpy's stall and out the other side. Wimpy came into the stall to look for him, and I slammed the door shut. Unfortunately, I knew this would only work once, because Wimpy would remember it if I ever tried it, again[Sad][Wink].





Red,
Thanks for your thoughts. I've been thinking of isolating the big Mustang, formerly "Brownie", just renamed "Magnum" for a while, before moving the other over because of what you mentioned: giving me the opportunity to more easily be the alpha. He is herd bound and because of that we've had to work on some jiggihg home and hard mouth problems. Also trouble leaving the ranch for a solo trail ride as he feels secure only when he has another horse next to him. I think having him there alone for a while would allow him to establish more trust in me and help eliminate that insecurity. That's funny about Wimpy and his buddy. My little Mustang, Bo, has one right now where I am boarding and I hate to split them up. They huddle together throughout storms and are constantly side-by-side. His buddy is still wild so I kind of wonder what they talk about when I bring Bo back from a round pen session.
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Linda
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