Introducing a newbie to the group. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-23-2013, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Introducing a newbie to the group.

I have two geldings currently in my field and have recently acquired a Shetland pony with the intention of keeping him with them.
I have no idea how to start introducing him to them though.
I've been told to just stick him in and let them fight it out and eventually they'll work out a herd dynamic but he is a fair bit smaller than them (arguably a bigger personality!) and he's still very young.
Any advice would be much appreciated. :)
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-23-2013, 10:26 AM
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^Just for the record, how old is "very young"? For the most part horses will be able to work things out on their own. But if he is /young/ (less than two years, I'd say) you don't want him getting any booboos that could mess up his development.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-23-2013, 11:04 AM
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I'd get them used to seeing each other for awhile over the fence. Then introduce the pony to one of the horses out in the field for a day or two ad then introduce the second.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-23-2013, 11:05 AM
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I 100% agree with the above post. You should just let them get used to each other on their own. Horses are good at sorting this type of stuff out. But like zexious said if he's under two then introduce him to the other horses with your help.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-23-2013, 11:12 AM
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Let us know what you decide and how it goes!
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-26-2013, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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He's only six months old and a Shetland which was my worry. His head is pretty much at their hoof height!
I'll let you know how it goes when he's weaned and I finally have him!
Thanks :)
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-26-2013, 11:44 AM
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A lot depends on how much area they are in. If they have a large area where he has room to escape, at least a few acres, he should be fine. If you just have small pens, definitely introduce over a fence.

We just introduced a 4 month old filly to our mares. The first few days were over the fence. After that, I walked her in the herd on a lead rope with me carrying a stick/whip for about 1/2 an hour. Each day I would increase the time she was with them. However, I know I have their respect and can move them away with a look or wave of the stick. After a few days of leading, I let her loose but still supervised for about an hour before taking her back out. There was still some ear pinning and chasing away. Now a week after the first introduction, she is out on her own with the herd.

Some horses will take longer and some will be fine sooner. You have to watch the other horses reactions.

We introduced a gelding to our herd almost two years ago. That was in September and he was still chased around until February when we introduced two more. Then the other horses left him alone.

Last year, we introduced a colt to our geldings. After a few days, he was accepted into the herd with no issues.
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