Question: I have a 7 year old Trakehner mare that gets very anxious whenever another horse leaves the stable, even if there were still other horses there to keep her company. She starts jumping about and it is safer just to leave her alone for a while to calm down rather than get trampled on in her stable. But this makes my life pretty difficult because I have to organize that there is another horse and as little traffic as possible in the stable when grooming and handling her. I cannot get any contact to her when she gets nervous. She is virtually impossible to bring to the stable alone. But she behaves completely differently when ridden, I have no problems hacking alone, and in general she is much more calm when ridden that when handled from the ground. That is why I am hoping that this habit could somehow be pruned. How could I teach her to keep calm in the stable when other horses leave, or perhaps even to stay alone in the stable?
Answer from April Reeves: You have a long road ahead of you, and one that will be time consuming. However, being a 7 year old mare, you may have no choice. If she was never bred, this behavior could develop into something more serious. The herd instincts of mares are strong.