When to turn out into the pasture? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-31-2012, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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When to turn out into the pasture?

This is Apache Moon who is about 9 months old. I bought her a few weeks ago at an auction. She's been stalled and let out in different turnouts at our barn to expell some excess energy and eat some good grass. We have a 40 acre pasture with a dozen horses on it (when everyone is out) but no young ones. She has met everyone nose to nose with a fence between them but I don't know when to turn her out in it? I'm an overprotective momma who doesn't want her baby hurt!

I would appreciate any advice you have for me.


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post #2 of 14 Old 08-31-2012, 12:59 PM
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How about choosing one of your calmer, quieter horses and setting him/her to go out with Apache together alone for a few days so they become buddies? I don't know if you can lock up everyone else but if you can, I'd put the two buddies together alone first then introduce the others one by one in order from nicest to meanest.
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-31-2012, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion. Looks like I'd be starting with the geldings first because the mares want NOTHING to do with her! Well except maybe bite and kick her....poor girl. I know she was in a pasture before, she has the scars to prove it!

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post #4 of 14 Old 08-31-2012, 01:59 PM
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She is a very pretty girl! No wonder you don't want her picked on.

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post #5 of 14 Old 08-31-2012, 02:01 PM
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I'd pick my most dominant mare to buddy up with her. The alpha mare will put her in submission and then after a couple weeks, they'll have buddied up. Once that happens, you can turn them both out in pasture and she should be ok because she'll be besties with the Big Kahuna mare and the lesser mares won't be as intolerant of her. She's still going to get her licks though, she's got to learn her position in the herd hierarchy.

Very cute too, btw!

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post #6 of 14 Old 08-31-2012, 02:03 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. Looks like I'd be starting with the geldings first because the mares want NOTHING to do with her! Well except maybe bite and kick her....poor girl. I know she was in a pasture before, she has the scars to prove it!
Worth trying. In my experience, the herd pecking order is very important to mares and they seem to be much more serious about it than geldings.

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post #7 of 14 Old 08-31-2012, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yes. They want to keep their pecking order! I just don't know if there's a right age to introduce her to it.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-31-2012, 02:14 PM
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Now is a good age. The age doesn't matter, she's got to earn her stripes.

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post #9 of 14 Old 08-31-2012, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips and the compliments! I know she's got to ear her stripes, just like the rest of them did. Our poor geldings did not fair well at first...they were out numbered!

@ Dreamcather - the big kahuna is only a pasture horse who is not our horse, is not stalled or put in a turnout. With that being said, the next in line is my mare, so I should turn them out together for a while before I let her in the pasture? What about a buffer between them. My gelding seems to be somewhat protective of her?

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post #10 of 14 Old 08-31-2012, 02:47 PM
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If she and the gelding are hitting it off well, then I'd go with him. I've had a little trouble with geldings wanting to run the youngsters around and being a little mean to them, why I suggested the mares, but if he and she are getting along I'd go with that. And yes, put them together first for a couple of weeks and then put them both out in pasture.

The reason I suggest the dominant mare is because she's less likely to feel the need to put the youngster in her place, the alpha already knows she's alpha but the less dominant ones tend to bully the young 'uns to assert their superiority. I learned the hard way about putting a young one in with the LEAST dominant mare, "OH she's so sweet, never kicks or pins ears at anyone.", UH HUH, she kicked and bit the CRAPOLA out of the youngster.

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