Still panicked in stable

Silke

Some of you know my woes with Oz.

He's a box runner.

A little background: From what I was told (second hand) the guy who had him before I bought him (and the breeder bought him back due to mishandling) Oz was locked in a barn, on his own, in the dark, pretty much for 3 months solid. (With one hour or so out, a day)

I think because of this, he has PTSD. He box runs incessantly if he's on his own, and even with another horse it can be dicey. It doesn't matter what type box it is. American barn style, divided by a half high wood wall, full wall with top open, big stable with paddock -- if there's a stable involved, he freaks as soon as the doors close. (Although he tends to be okay-ish when there's two of them in the box.)

I've never really managed to get him over his panic. Separation anxiety is also a factor. He can't be in a field on his own either.

I bought a foal (who is turning 8 months old in a couple of days) which is pretty darn laid back, loves the stable, hangs out with Oz...but when Oz is in the stable, Stormy may as well not be there for all the notice Oz takes of it.

At the moment I am feeding in the box (with Oz's door open, and Stormy's door closed, or Oz will liberate all of Stormy's grain) He takes a mouthful of food, runs to the door, looks outside, runs back for another mouthful, back to the door (even outside) and back in...lather rinse repeat.

When it gets cold here (and it gets COLD here) they have to be in overnight.I am starting the feeding now, so they are used to the stable when they do have to come in.
No problem for Stormy, but Oz...is my problem child.

I've had him nearly 5 years, and in all that time I haven't been able to cure him of this. I doubt I ever will, but I'm willing to try stuff I might not have thought of.
Mirrors don't work either with him.

I am planning to feed in the box when they have to be in, and when they are done with the hard food (Oz only gets a little so he's not jealous) I will open both boxes and let them roam the whole stable. It's half a barn. 2 big boxes at the back, and a large "walking" area in front, then another set of doors. That way at least he might not feel quite as trapped.
They will be out during the day, in winter, but come in at night.

Any ideas?

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