Really need some help with my horse

Ziggy_

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Yesterday myself, the other liveries and my YO all moved to a new premises. The 'yard' at the new place is fairly enclosed - there are barns on all sides, one of which will eventually house stables, one will be an indoor school, etc, and at present we have a covered tying up area.

The problem is that my horse is absolutely terrified of being in an enclosed yard. She was stabled overnight in an American barn last winter, and despite having all her friends around her took a good few months to settle overnight. I couldn't take her into the barn alone as she'd go nuts.

A year ago we were on a yard with a similar set up and had major problems - she would rear/pull back when tied up, or put her head down and pull until she got free. She moves around constantly when tied up, swinging her bum from side to side and will go straight into you if you get too close - meaning basic handling like picking out hooves is impossible unless you want to be trampled. When lead she'd try to escape, whether that be by pulling the leadrope out of your hands, barging into you or turning round and kicking if you hung onto her. She never did settle - I lasted four weeks before I moved her as she was just getting worse and worse.

She is genuinely terrified and stands there shaking and sweating; although she loads and travels happily by herself and loves hacking alone so I can't pinpoint exactly what she's scared of. Having company when indoors makes no difference, unless perhaps I was to bring the entire herd in, which isn't really feasible! Leading her around in a bridle doesn't help, and I can't give her a feed/haynet when indoors as she's too scared to eat it. Under normal circumstances she is well mannered to handle but she's always had a bolshy side which rears its head from time to time.

I know its only been a day and she's bound to be stressed and I probably sound really melodramatic, but I also know if I don't nip this in the bud she gets very dangerous to handle very quickly. She's 16.2hh and can swing me through the air on the end of her lead rope. The farrier is due later this week and as it stands, he doesn't have a hope in hell of shoeing her.

Please can anyone suggest anything that might help. Any ideas will be welcomed!
 

MrsMozart

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I hate to sound like a numpt (it happens far too often
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), but didn't you know what sort of yard you were all moving to, or has this been an emergency move for some reason?

Sounds like it's the actual building lines she is scared of. Maybe de-sensitization, but I have no idea how you would do it...
 

_OC_

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Is there any where that she can be crossed tied?
Or is there any where she can be tied up outside this claustrophobia world that so upsets her....for example outside the yard?
You could tray Badmington Feeds 'Nomad' which we have found good for stressful situations.....I wish you luck with this!
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Ziggy_

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At the risk of sounding like a numpty myself its only today that I've put two and two together and realised its the enclosed yard which causes a problem.

The last place that caused problems, that was an emergency move, it was incredibly stressful and at the time my horse was a bargy cow anyway and things just escalated; I hadn't had her long and blamed myself for the handling issues.

It wasn't until I lead her on to the yard today and she grew a hand and started shaking, that I realised it was like being back at the other place
crazy.gif


I want to solve it if I can - I like the routine, year round herd turnout etc at my current yard.
 

teddyt

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Dont panic, its only been a day. I understand why you are worried but moving unsettles horses and it can take ages for them to feel safe. I would suggest a little and often approach. Bring her in, prefrably with another horse tied up in the yard. Give her a small feed (even chaff and a carrot) and take her out again. Make sure the friend is quiet and not going to get silly when she goes though. Gradually build up to longer and longer in. You are basically going to teach her it is a nice place to be. Then progress to putting her in a stable, with the same approach.

In the short term i think it will be too much to expect her to cope with a farriers visit as well. Can you hold her for the farrier and she be shod in the field if its not raining? Your farrier should appreciate its for his safety and he will be able to do a better job if shes isnt dancing about.
 
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