Methods of helping a horse thru stress

Sierra pachie bars

Queen of the Lost
11 Years
Nov 8, 2008
We recently put one of two horses down that were rescued together. Both were in a small pen together for maybe 10 years. Both in poor health, skin and bones. So needless to say they were very close and since we put the one down the remaining one is stressing. He is calling , and pacing. The vet is on stand by and already said I can call her anytime if he needs her. I'm watching him closely, taking extra time to brush and take him for long walks. I am giving him treats like apples and carrots more then normal. He has gained weight and got a clean bill of health. I do not want him to take a step backwards. He's older but right one looks less then half his age! He looks great and is the biggest sweetie. Is there anything else I can do to help him thru this ? Vet said to give him. Special treat but is that enough?


14 Years
Jul 8, 2008
Washington State
I am not horse expert, but this may apply to horses, and if he was MY horse I would apply this right away. I would start doing some fun training with him, not like riding training or sacking out or anything formal. Maybe teach him some tricks like bowing, or taking a hat off your head or weaving through some traffic cones, going to a target spot, pawing on command, nodding on command. This works well with dogs in stressful situations, gives them some positive interaction and some "work" to do. I am certain more of the horsey people here will have some good suggestions for you
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Sierra pachie bars

Queen of the Lost
11 Years
Nov 8, 2008
He's got a very bad leg injury . So I have to baby him. His vet gave me a big bottle of bute so I can give him before then take him out maybe to the river bed. Maybe the bar ? Lol I thought about setting some obstacles for him since he appears to have done trail at one time. He works to open and close gates. He is a old school peanut roller. So he's been handled hard. I really think he was something on the quarter horse circuit at one time only because he seems to know a little of everything which you would expect to see in a horse that did all-arounding. He spins like a reining, had a headset of a peanut roller, and appears to have done showmanship. He sets up and squares when I ask him too. I don't have his papers, only know he is a sonny dee bar bloodline. If i recall that was very popular late 80's ?? I think that might be a good idea as long as i take it easy with him. I was walking him today only because I cant saddle him without help. We walked all over but he would stop to call. Broke my heart . I so need to get myself a synthetic saddle those leathers ones are to darn heavy for my bad hands. I have a new set of clippers coming so he will love that he loves being groomed. He likes when i work on his mane or tail. Maybe if it would warm up i could give him a bath. I want to redo his tail but need to find some cheap bed sheets.
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9 Years
Mar 31, 2010
Is he now the only horse? That's going to make it hard, no matter how much human attention he gets. I had to put an injured horse down last week. I was worried about his best buddy. While I have another horse besides, the injured horse and his buddy had come from a place where they had been alone together. They tended to ignore my old guy in favor of each other's company. The vet gave me Acepromazine. The remaining horse is a young TB, powerful enough I was concerned about him running through a fence in a panic or something. The Ace was enough to take the edge off while still allowing him to graze, etc as normal. I administered it for a day and a half, then took a wait-and-see approach. He's doing very well. Better than I had expected.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
Yeah, I think his best bet would be a companion, perhaps there is a rescue in your area who would place an old/quiet foster with you if you do not want to actually "get" another permanent horse yet?

In terms of giving him things to do, it doesnt have to be athletic things. Just a long grooming session, focused not so much on cleanliness as just friendliness and bonding, is comforting to many (tho not all) horses. Or teach him to touch things with his nose. Not random things I mean
-- teach him to nose-target a stick or a plastic lid, clicker-training-style. Or teach him to do carrot stretches, gently and gradually. Or even just talk him out on the leadrope and let him graze (if you have any ground showing - most horses will 'graze' on dead grass even if nothing is growing yet) or just let *him* take *you* for a walk wherever he feels like exploring.

Condolences and best wishes,



11 Years
Jul 18, 2008
Central Florida
I agree with a companion! We have a mini donkey with our horse. The donkey is very cheap on feed and hay :) My gelding loves to just "be together". I can sit out back and read and he is right there - usually napping over my shoulder or very close. I also take him out to our front yard - Beautiful Grass! and just sit in the lounger and he grazes on his lunge line all around me. You can really see a difference in his personality when we have spent a few after work evenings like that. Just yesterday my mother called me at work to ask if anything could be wrong with him - he was running and bucking and snorting for no reason - well the reason was - he was happy :)


9 Years
Jul 26, 2010
Horses do not always bond well to goats and they don't always like them at all. Several of mine as well as other horses I know of, have attacked goats and almost killed them, and they get absolutely no companionship out of them at all. You don't know if your horse will accept or find companionship from a goat - since many horses don't I wouldn't waste my time or risk the horse's (or the goat's) health with anything that may or may not be successful.

I would recommend another horse and do so quickly as an elderly animal pacing and calling is going to wear itself out, dehydrate and colic very easily.

Horses generally stress very severely if alone, especially if they have never been alone before. Some phlegmatic horses adjust, but many do not.

You can pick up a pony very cheaply, but ponies do often require restricted grazing as they founder very easily. If you cannot restrict grazing don't get a small pony. These days it is also very easy to get a free horse or a very cheap one.

A better choice would be a horse similar in size and age to the horse you have.

However, be careful. Be sure the animal is up to date on shots and has a negative coggins paper that was done within the last 6 months. A veterinary exam of the potential companion will help to prevent that animal from bringing in any disease that may further stress your already forlorn horse.

Don't worry about trying to match the lost companion exactly. But a similar age and size will reduce conflicts.
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9 Years
Jan 14, 2011
Could his diet be causing some of his stress? Is he eating grain? If you would like to try a companion, PM me.

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