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· 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone. I just had to put one of my dearest friends, my horse Rusty, to rest today. His herd-mate, Doc, is crying and pacing for him. He usually does not have separation anxiety, but I think he knows something is wrong.

We are looking for a horse buddy to give him, but for now, is there any way we can help support Doc through his grieving? He has free-choice hay right now ... is there anything else we can give him, or do for him? He doesn't want physical comfort.
 

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Sorry for your loss. I had to put down one of my horses the other day. Very tough.

Did the two horses ever get separated or were they always together? This sounds weird, but what might help (if you still have Rusty's body), is to put it near Doc's pen or inside his pen even if possible...let him look at, smell, touch, etc. the body if he wants. This might help him realize that his friend is not coming back. If he was really attached to the horse, he will act depressed, but they get over it fairly quickly and move on. I've seen mares that have lost foals. You want to leave the dead foal in with the mare for half to a whole day to let the mare accept and understand what has happened. Once they do and you take the foal away, they are usually okay with it. If you take it away without letting them go through the process, then they are very upset. So letting Doc see his friend maybe it will help him understand what is going on and that may calm him down a lot. Once he has become more quiet, then take away the body. That can be hard for the owner to see, but really it can be healing for the buddy. Maybe give that a try if you can.
 

· 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rusty is being buried now, so unfortunately we cannot do that ... that was wonderful advice though, and thank you so much for it. Next time, I will try to see that the animals can see their friend. I can see how that would give them closure.

They were almost always together, but sometimes we would take one on a trail ride and the other would be in the pen. Doc was always the calmer being alone.

I am sorry for your loss as well, Kylee ... it is so hard.
 

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When I lost Polly, Fire literally shed tears for her and paced the field and he knew she had passed he was there when it happend and was allowed to see the body. He mourned her for a couple of years til we got another horse. The best thing is another horse, if you can't get one right away the next best thing is you. Go out and pet him, talk to him, just be with him, he is lonely and grieving just like a person. If a neighbor or friend has a horse you can borrow til you get another that would be good too. But he is going to mourn for a while, he just will....
 

· 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you. We are actively looking, but I don't want to rush, it has to be the right fit for us. He does have the goats next door, at least ... and we will be sure to give him extra love and TLC. We are all mourning together in our own ways. Even the goats are quiet in respect.
 

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Do you have a particularly confident, good natured goat you can put in with him? My Charlie was very sad and lonely when he was separated from his herdmates when he was rescued. The ppl who kept him while he was waiting for a home said he wouldn't eat much and was very depressed. From the moment her first met Peggy Sue he has followed her everwhere and he has been a very happy boy so long as he isn't separated from his goats.

So sorry for everyone's losses. :hug:
 

· 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That is a wonderful idea, Axykatt, but I'm not confident Doc would be safe for them. He's a very playful horse who enjoys chasing and nipping his friends. It's all in good fun, but I'm afraid it would hurt one of the goats.
 

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Wish you were closer, I'd let you take Charlie til you were ready for another horse. His gardening duties are over for the year so he's free to pursue horse stuff. :)
 

· Look for me in the barn...
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So very sorry, Danielle.

Do you have any Rescue Remedy? If you do, or can get some, I think that would help.
 

· Super Moderator
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I too am sorry for your loss...its never easy even when its best for our animal friends....
all great advice...I agree with lavender on his nose...it does help...lots of TLC and time..hopefully you will find a new buddy soon who will be a perfect fit for all...
 
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