Turning out in season mares with geldings

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Turning out in season mares with geldings

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  • Should mares in heat be separated from geldings
  • Will a mare & gelding turned out together bring her in season

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    05-26-2012, 09:13 AM
Turning out in season mares with geldings

Sorry for my ramble...

We moved about 3 weeks ago to a beautiful 11 acre farm, and we decided to turn out our 3 full sized horses (2 geldings, and my mare Roxy) with the 2 minis the old owners left us (1 mare, 1 gelding.) Our full sized geldings were turned out together where we boarded, and they had both been turned out with Roxy a handful of times before on show nights, as well as being ridden together etc. When we turned them out together they were fine; a few bites and kicks but nothing unusual for horses who haven't been together much. They also get along great with the minis, so fortunately no problems there.

However, they're all getting a bit herd bound. Plus the two big boys are completely attached to Roxy. They'll follow her all around the field and kick at each other if they think they're trying to take their mare. We currently only have one field and a ring because the other big fields are being hayed (we're going to talk to our neighbor who cuts it this weekend and tell him that we will be needing them. They should be cut in a week or two I think.) so it's difficult to keep them separated. We have a barn, so I've been trying to bring Roxy in for a couple hours away from them during the day, then at night I turn her out by herself in the ring so they can all see each other and smell noses but there's some space there. Also, she came in season a few days ago. Normally she's just a little more high strung, but this week she's been "squirting" and squealing and prancing all around the field. She used to be in a field next to geldings, but still separate from them.

So my question is, do you think the herd-boundness and Roxy's obnoxious mare behaviors will resolve with time, or is there something else that would help them? It's a manageable situation, but we want to be sure we're not creating bigger problems. Thanks in advance!
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    05-26-2012, 02:52 PM
I try to turn one gelding out with multiple mares, mostly because we have a late gelded gelding who gets possessive and does not like other horses and hates geldings. The geldings can get squirrel-y around the mares in heat. That said, I have a gelding who is with three mares and has no problem. He is also the low man on the list. I would think that if you could separate them into mares and geldings that might be good. That being said our gelding were all about the mares the first month they were together. Then the realized that they could not do much about it and the mares would come in heat. It took about a month and a half and then they all sort of gelled.
My only fear about taking hay field and turning it into pasture is how rich the field is and how much that is going to impact winter hay. If you are buying your hay from your neighbor who is using the fields your price per bale will increase. That being said you don't want anyone to get hurt due to a the mare being in heat.
    05-26-2012, 06:04 PM
Thanks for the advice. Hopefully they will be like yours and calm down after a month or so. They've only been together about 2 weeks so far.

We don't actually have to pay for the hay; He cuts and bales it and will give us as much of it as we want (we'll probably take about 60% of what he gets) and he keeps the rest. But we need the fields because the area they are in now is too small to keep them in for too long. We're planning on keeping one smaller field for him to continue growing hay and then we'll use the rest as horse fields only after first cut. So it will be rich at first, but there's not really another option.

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