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Reducing Separation Anxiety

Barn sour or herd bound -whichever term you want to use - having a horse that is reluctant to leave the paddock, calls constantly from the show ring or trail, or jigs, bucks, rears or bolts not only makes riding frustrating, but dangerous. For the horse, the cause of these behaviours is much more than just a temper tantrum or sheer stubbornness. There is a deep-seated, innate psychology at work that creates this anxiety about leaving his herd, a particular buddy or a physical location. The equine brain is hardwired to know that there is safety in numbers. Hundreds of years of domestication have not erased the fear and stress of separation from the herd that is ingrained into the amygdale (a prehistoric part of the brain) and, there is nothing you can do to eliminate your horse's need for that sense of security. It is possible, however, to have your…

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