Mussels has clarified something in my mind. These last few days I have been bringing Chancer in for work and allowing Mussels to wander in behind him or not, as he pleases. Mussels is totally unconcerned about being left alone and sometimes stays where he is, totally isolated from the other horses. He doesn't get upset at all when Chancer goes off for a ride nor does he greet him when he comes back. Mussels knows that the world is full of horses and he has never been put in a position where he has been forced to be alone. When very young horses are deliberately isolated I think they must feel very vulnerable; it is so contrary to their instinct and they know it is dangerous. The subsequent loneliness makes them determined to never let it happen again and they form a very strong bond with the next horse that comes along and develop so-called separation anxiety. Horses need to be with other horses most of the time and benefit from the exercise it gives them and hours of mutual grooming, synchronisation and companionship. Like elephants, I think this element of socialisation is incredibly important to their mental wellbeing. Of the horses that I have worked with that live alone, 80% of their behavioural problems just disappeared when they were put in with another horse.