My First Horse (First Day) Getting Kicked By Other Horses
I could really use some advice. I purchased my first horse today! I was so excited! I have experience riding and was leasing for a while, but this is the first horse I have ever owned. We got her back to the stables where she is being boarded. It is a couple of large fields with about 9 horses on it and, unfortunately, one gelding (who tends to be a little bit of a bully), started harassing/biting her. She kicked at him in defense a number of times. I understand (when I called later) that she has a wound from a kick now. No lameness or tenderness. I'm guessing it is not serious. I will have to see in the morning how significant it is. I understand that it is normal for horses to work out the "pecking" order, but I am worried about her being seriously injured. Will this settle down shortly? Do I need to worry? I would appreciate any information. Thanks!
It is usual to not put a new horse directly into the herd, for this very reason. It's best to put them into a neighboring paddock for a couple of days, then move one horse from the herd in with the new horse for a couple of days, then move the two new friends back in with the herd. This helps to lessen the disturbance that is bound to happen when a new member joins the herd.
My horse just came back from trajning today and even though he knows all the horses in his pasture I won't turn him out until he has been in the arena first for a few hours so they can reequainte(sp?)
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And even when you keep them separate for a few days, they go through a period of time where they get bit, etc......just part of establishing a new hierarchy in a new herd. One new horse upsets the whole apple cart, so to speak.
Poor management indeed.
A horse new to premises should be quarantined for 3 weeks to manage risk of infectious diseases.
Then introduction to the herd should be managed ordinarily staying adjacent with fencing between.
Just keep an eye on the wound and keep it clean and it should heal up alright.
It is normal to keep a new horse in a seperate padock so it can stay away form flying hooves and teeth but not everywhere does if there is only 1 or 2 other horses in the padock. In my opinion though, a 9:1 ratio is tough on the newbie!
hoopla, I thought quarintine is only nessiccary if the horse has come from a different country? Just curious :) I do understand lots of bording centers do request the horse to be properly wormed (and vaccinated) before being put on pasture though?
Any professional, well managed centre will quaranrine new horses and because of risk of such as strangles which has an incubation period and makes no difference whether or not the horse is vaccinated. Other things as well though.
The fact this place hasn't and furthermore has just chucked out a new horse with 9 others to fend for itself, is highly indicative and evidential of their (lack of) basic standards of care.
When I bought my horse, he was only 10months at the time, he was turned out into a pasture with about 8-9 horses as well. He got bullied quite a bit, especially by the lead gelding, and the lead mare. He'd come in with bite marks, hair missing, kick marks, new wounds every day for about a month or so. Soon after though, he started to get "in" and was best buds with not only the lead gelding, but the lead mare as well.
I know it can be hard, I was beyond nervous about letting him out there, but they do seem to work it out :D Good Luck!
Turning a new horse out with nine other horses is called POOR management and asking for trouble. Iam sure glad i dont have to board my horses.
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