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Depressed yearling

We just moved our yearling mustang filly to our home. She had been at a friends farm for about 4 months and in a pasture by herself. She had a mare next to her for about four weeks before we brought her home. Willow was a happy, energetic filly until the day after we moved her. She stopped eating and drinking for a day or two and just moped around the pasture. She has horses in the field next to her but they aren't close to her. I have never been around a depressed horse and wonder what I should do for her. She is eating and drinking fine now but still looks like she is sad.

I miss her little attitude!
Thank you, Pat

Hi Pat,

It is not uncommon at all for a horse, especially a young one, to go through symptoms as you are describing when a big change such as location or pasture mates occurs in the life of the horse. It is a trauma for the horse for sure. As equines live very much in community and are so very social what you are experiencing with your horse is to be expected considering the circumstances.

To help her move through this time of readjustment I would spend more time with her than normal. Play ground games and spend some quality time just hanging out with her, nice and easy with as little stress as possible. As with a human child it generally takes a while to adjust to a new situation. Perhaps a few months would not be unusual for her to become more like her old self. With your patience and kindness towards her, you should have your old filly back in the near future. Allow a few months of some special TLC by you to help her recover. Keep me posted please and thanks a lot for your question.

Sincerely, Franklin

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