Here is some background info first:
Gelding: 15 yr. Old quarter horse. Former Champion racer before being gelded.. Very large and strong. Laid back easy going sweet demeanor. Arrived on property first. Being bigger and stronger he is the big bully.
Stallion: 8 yr. Old Paso Fino. Much smaller, but feisty, energetic personality. Arrived 5 months after gelding. Being smaller, he is trying to show he can hold his own & be the little bully.
Both have been pastured separately for all 7 yrs. On the farm. When separated by a double fence they are always seen resting near each other. When separated by a single fence they start to do what I "think" is playing....but maybe it is fighting? It consists of biting, rearing, kicking. But never has there EVER been any damage or injury. It is almost like when kids start out gently punching or slapping. We usually go out and put a stop to it fearing the worse can happen before it progresses further.
There are no other horses on the farm. Just the two boys. Occasionally a neighbor will turn out a mare on the adjacent property.
Only time they were together in a pasture: After a storm the fence came down and the mare wandered over to the pasture that housed the stallion...much to his delight. Unknown at the time, another fence also came down where the gelding was pastured and HE wandered over to the other 2. Stallion did what he is suppose to do and the 2 went at it. Eventually the gelding had enough and kept his distance. He eventually came up to the stables unharmed. All 3 were in the same pasture all day. No more trouble ensued as long as the stallion stayed between the gelding and the mare.
Now fences are fixed and the mare is gone for many months now. The two are still separate. Whichever horse is in the smaller pasture, all they do is stay up by the gate ALL DAY LONG and look sad, and unhappy. They refuse to go back down into the small pasture. NOTHING is wrong with that pasture or has changed. We just moved the gate. To be fair to each horse, we switch them out every 3 days. It seems they prefer the larger pasture.
So....To make them happy and make things easier on us, we would like them to live in harmony TOGETHER. So I am asking for advice:
- can the two ever get along
- how do we go about getting them to live in the same pasture peacefully
- will they fight to the death or severe injury
- do we just take a chance and let them go and see what happens?
- Or should we try it out in a paddock with each horse on a line so we can separate them easily and see how it goes?
Being herding animals, I just think they would be happier together...am I having wishful thoughts?
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.