I wasn’t sure where to put this, so off course it is.
I moved my three horses home about nine years ago. We have a sacrifice paddock with hay available 24/7, and two grassy paddocks directly accessed through the sacrifice paddock. Then another three grassy paddocks across our driveway. We have the gate set up so it creates a chute across the driveway to move the horses.
Last November, one of my mares passed away unexpectedly during the night. She and my 22-year-old gelding were attached at the hip. My gelding is blind in one eye, and has limited vision in the other. My other mare, who is 24, is a bit more independent. She would always go off and do her grazing independently from wherever Daisy & Duncan were grazing. The paddocks are small (all are under an acre), so she was never that far away.
This spring as we opened up the grassy paddocks, I’ve noticed my gelding seems very reticent to go into them. He seems to hang out all day in the sacrifice paddock, hunting for grass (which is very limited in the sacrifice paddock). My other mare is happy to go out into the grass for whichever paddock I have open.
I am guessing that he has lost confidence, now that Daisy isn’t right next to him wherever he goes. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help him regain his confidence that it’s OK to go out into the paddocks. Or any other thoughts on why a horse might be reticent to go get good grass versus picking around at a sacrifice paddock?
He has been vet-checked and had his teeth floated recently.