My friend just lost one of her horses and another of her horses is seemingly sick now... I think he's depressed... do you guys have experiences of grieving horses?  these horses pastured together and now the young one isn't eating.. even has a fever..... I told her she should have a talk with him and tell him where his friend went.... he saw him leave but never return..... :(  I swear, he looks like Eeyore... I think he's sad.  She was laughing at me but promised to chat with him... and maybe ever have a good heart to heart sob session...

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He's at the hospital now.... and still, nobody has "talked" to him..... poor Ali...
I have experienced this same situation....we had three horses who were pastured together (1 older TB mare, 1 aged TB gelding, one middle aged draft cross mare). They all had their differences with each other within their pecking order and their share of biting and kicking. We decided to find a new home for our draft cross mare and the new owner came with a trailer and picked up the draft cross mare. The 2 older TB's would not stop whinnying for close to 2 weeks after she was gone; they were very, very upset. They would look in the direction they last saw the draft cross mare heading in (the driveway where the trailer was parked) and start whinnying. Even a week or 10 days later, they would be eating their grain, look up, and they start whinnying all over again. It was just not a short whinny, you could tell they were very upset and distressed. One horse would whinny for a few minutes and stop and then the other horse would start whinnying, kind of like a relay team. They both kept eating, but they seemed to be depressed and lacklustre for quite a while, until we got a new horse.

On the other hand, we had to put our 27 year old TB gelding down this October due to his ill health. As soon as the vet euthanized him, we pulled him out to the field. We gave our 2 mares an opportunity to see him after he was dead (sounds gross, but I thought it was important). They both reacted differently, the older TB mare walked up to him, sniffed him and walked away, whereas my 7 year old Haflinger (who had probably never seen a dead horse before) kept walking up to him, sniffing him all over, walking away, only to return 2 minutes later only to sniff him all over again. We buried our old guy just beyond their paddock fence and we have never once heard the 2 mares whinnying for him. They know exactly where he is now and they know he passed away.

Our older TB mare, who was very close to the old guy we had put down, did seem to be kind of "flat" for a couple of weeks, still ate her grain, just didn't seem to be very lively as I know she really misses him. They were like a husband and a wife. But it is important; she knows what happened to him and where he is.

So, long story short, I do believe that horses do mourn their pasture mates, but it is much easier for them if they know what happened to them and where they went. Sort of like when a person goes missing, the family never stops grieving and has no closure. So horses do need closure, just like people do! Hope this helps........
What a touching story, thank you for responding.... my horse Toby had a pasture mate and due to a long story and circumstances, he was taken away...... and died about a year later. The morning that I was going to witness his euthanasia, due to a horrible accident, my horse Toby was at the front gate.... I explained to him what happened to his friend and that I was going down to make sure everything was okay and I'd be back to report to him what happened..... god as my witness when I came back up my driveway 3 hours later my horse was crying....... he had huge crocodile tears..... I told him, Toby, I was there, he is gone now, he is at peace, it wasn't that horrible, and I am really sorry for our loss... and I stayed with him for a few hours...... I think he just appreciated that I understood that he had a loss.....

I have 2 horses, one 5 and one 29.,... only this year did I take in borders...... that way if God forbid, Toby passes away, my old guy, my sweet Oliver will at least have the support of other horses.... and I will leave Oliver and Toby together the same as you did until Oliver has a chance to say his goodbyes and vice versa if god forbid my youngster should go first..... :( Horses are so sensitive...
Hi, Jennifer, thanks for your reply. I have been continually amazed at what spiritual and deep animals horses are. I was so happy that I gave my 2 mares an opportunity to say goodbye to our old boy who was euthanized. They both dealt with saying goodbye to him in their individual ways. And it's funny you mentioned about the tears, I would swear that our older TB mare had tears in her eyes after we put our old guy down! I kept wiping out her eyes, thinking she had some type of eye irritation.

I go visit the old guy's gravesite every day and talk to him. Sometimes I will lead the 2 mares over there and see me talking to him and I tell them that it's OK, he's at peace now and he's happy and I think they seem to understand.

It's really amazing, isn't it?

Deb
There is a homeopathic remedy I used when my mother-in-law died and we took her dog. It is called Ignacia, and is for the toxic symptoms of grief, if that is what the owner is worried about. There are also homeopathic combination remedies for grief.
But not eating and with a fever? Call the vet.
Hi Jackie..... how are you? The horse in question spent many many days at the vet.... with "stress" related symptoms... the other horse died....... the older horse.... this happened in March.. isn't that sad, that Oli was so affected? Poor guy... thanks for the Ignacia tip...

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