Archives MAIN PAGE

Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

Professional support for you and your horse!

Separation Anxiety and How to Cope

Hi Franklin,

I have a 25 year appaloosa. She has been at the same barn for at least 17 years. It has aprox. 50 horses. I want to move her to a friends house that has 2 horses. I am concerned about how she will react. She has 2 beaus at the stable and has been with the one for probably 15 years. My question is, can I move her without it having bad results. I don't want to upset her taking her away from whats she's used to.

Sincerely, Charlotte

Hi Charlotte,

I think you have asked a very thoughtful and caring question. Thank you! I am happy to offer some, hopefully, useful input into your situation. Just as with humans, horses can form deep attachment to another horse and occasionally with a human and even some other animals. Horses are extremely social and relationship orientated. They exist best in a harmonious, group/herd environment. Changes in their environment such as a new location, changes in feeding and activity routenes can upset a horse (make him fearful because of not feeling safe with the new changes). Some horses do better with change and others not so well.

The best procedure I have found for making those sorts of changes in a horses life is to do so as gradually as possible. Take the horse to the new place for a day and then home. Or, even for an hour or so, and then home. I would repeat this process as much as possible and gradually lengthen the time at the new place. Perhaps even give the horse s feeding or two there. Walk it around, in hand, and slowly introduce your horse to it's potential new herd of friends. Do it over a fence where possible and not with any horses lose. There is a special way of handling this procedure so, be careful. But if you do this over a month or two, it will make things go much smoother for your horse (and you).

Please keep in touch with me and let me know how it all goes.

Sincerely, Franklin

Look for: