I am so passionate about this that I am not going to do my usual way of dealing with strong subjects, which is to lead people gently to understanding what’s going on with the horse.
Nope… I am standing up strongly and maybe even yelling a bit to make my point because I feel so strongly about this.
When a horse has separation anxiety, when you cannot take him away from his friends without him having a fit or being difficult – then STOP separating him from his mate as a solution.
Stop – take a breath and stop and think.
I know that separating horses is the most common advice you will get for solving separation anxiety but it doesn’t work and it’s not even logical. I’ve noticed that people say all sorts of crap when they don’t know what they are talking about, bless ’em. It’s human nature to want to help you with advice – any advice – even if it’s wrong.
You cannot solve a fear by adding more fear to it. It is impossible. When you add pressure and fear to the separation anxiety that already exists – which is what happens when you force the separation – you just get more fear.
And even worse, when you get more fear, they can get so overwhelmed that they die a little inside and THAT makes them quieter. But then you will have a horse who is tight and tense in all sorts of other situations now, because the separation anxiety is bottled up inside, ready to explode out when something else goes wrong.
Separation anxiety is normally caused by weaning them from their mother with less than best practice for their emotional needs. In fact, so much weaning takes place in a way that couldn’t do anything other than produce a horse with separation anxiety. But that’s another subject.
Separation anxiety in horses IS FIXABLE.
It’s too big a subject, with too many variable of what you may need to do,, to put the answer here. But in late November, we’re going to do an over the internet clinic – the cheapest money you’ll ever spend to make a start on changing this trauma for your horse.
And make no mistake – if they have separation anxiety, it IS a trauma…
We would be working on recognizing the different threads that contribute to your horse’s separation anxiety and clearing up as many as we can get released in the time of the clinic, plan for the future if it’s not all cleared up in the clinic itself, help you to expand your sense of feel or use it deliberately and systematically to help your horse (you’re probably already feeling your feel as upset about this subject) and understand the big picture.
Teaching like this over the net with video, is in many ways even more effective at making lasting change than teaching a live lesson with your horse, because of the way we can pause and evaluate and in the calm of hindsight notice the exact moment at which we could have done something to help them – and plan a change for the future.
Whatever you choose to do, however you choose to handle your traumatized horse. Please, please, please do not add more trauma to what is already there by separating them from their friend/s…