Anything I need to know about...
moving Breeze to a different farm?
So on Tuesday next week, my boss and I am going to go out to the farm and pick up Breeze, well, see if she will load in the trailer first... and if she does, she will go to the farm where I work the same day... if not, a few days later. Anyways, our plan was to get her in her own little pen when she gets there, she will have no contact with any other horse until she settles down a little bit.
A few hours later we will start moving horses in beside her, one by one, so they do have contact with her, but not in the same pen... and then get Breeze use to going in a stall (may take a few days to have her in for the whole night) and get her use to her new surroundings and stuff... eventually we are going to have her in with all the horses, but we will put them in one by one... there are 6 horses that she will be living with.
I am asking if there is any other thing I can do to make her feel more at home there, settle down faster, and ways to get her in with the other horses faster... we are going to take our time, as there is no rush, but any tips are great!
Before she is in with the others full time, she will be put beside them, then in a stall next to them, then just times where she will be able to interact with 1-2 horses at a time before being put in with all 6 of them.
Also, on friday I am getting some grain from my boss, to feed to Breeze before she comes, so she will be use to it by the time she gets there, I know I have to gradually give her more and more each day, mixing it with her regular food so she doesn't colic, but how much should I start off with?
As I was reading this, I was going to suggest a gradual grain change, but it seems you have this covered.
You are over thinking it a little, your horse will be fine. Betcha $10.
I think everything will be fine.
I've always just put my horse straight into a paddock with others, unless its evening where I yard them over night. Never really had a problem. Horses belong with other horses... they work it out :-)
There will always be a little drama the first few days, while they work out the pecking order, but that's too be expected.
To be honest I don't think introducing them one by one will make any difference at all. When a new horse enters a herd its not so much about them "knowing" the horses individually, but their place in the herd, and their relationship with the herd. The sooner she works that out the sooner she'll settle in.
Sounds like you have a plan:-)
I used to keep a new horse separated by a fence for a couple of days, then put the friendliest, most happy-go-lucky in with the new one, another couple of days, then let the new one and his new friend in the new pasture/paddock first, so he knows where fences are, then let the herd in. Usually to laps of running and it was done. I never had fights or injured horses like that. They will have to get the pecking order straightened out, but that always went fast and uneventful this way.
For changing him to new feed, replace a couple of handfuls first, and a little more every day. For about a week.
Thanks Guys!!! You are all helpful, I think I will talk to my boss about just putting the lowest in the pecking order with her first, letting them out in the pasture or whatever after a few days, and then put the other 5 in after! Thanks! I cannot wait to bring her over... Hopefully she loads the first time on Tuesday, so we won't have to come back a few days later (if that happens, I will work with her everyday with the trailer, she will be leaving it there)
I tend to agree with Saskia... the first couple of places we boarded (took a while to find the right one...) they did the whole " separate them, then gradually introduce them" deal... the latest barn just tosses em all in together. And to be honest I dont really see a difference. As long as there is enough hay ( in several piles so they dont all go for it together ) and enough room, they seem to work it out fine. Being on opposite sides of the fence lets em see and smell eachother but until they actually have to 'share' space, it does not seem to give an idea how they will actually get along. There will be squabbles til they settle into a pecking order. The hardest thing is to watch em work it out if yours is on the low end of the food chain... its that mom in us I think...
Thanks, I know they will have there issues at first, but me and my boss both think that Breeze will be higher in the pecking order, as, even though she will be the youngest, she is the only mare there, and mares tend to be higher then geldings...
As for the grain... I fed her a little bit, about 1 cup or less yesterday, and she did fine, today I gave her more, and I will gradually build it up, then give her a normal serving or grain when she gets there... she still isn't sure how to eat it (she hasn't had any oats or grain before) but she really likes it... we will be giving her a little grain, about 1 cup a day, with her normal servings of hay (she will be going from free feed, to servings, but the servings are a little more then normal) and add some oils to it, give her minerals and a salt lick. She will be fed good, but not overly fed, and will be taken care of well... after a bit, we will probably be giving her less grain, maybe half of a cup, if she has too high energy.
So Breeze is really starting to like grain! Now everytime she sees the bucket, she instantly knows what is coming and will nicker, pace the fence line, and trot circles around near the gate until I come to her. The last 2 days I have taken her out of the pen to feed, because one of the other horses is a little food aggressive and will chase her away, or kick her or something, but other then that, she is catching on to how to eat it.
Yesterday I mixed a little bit of grass in with her grain, and she liked it that way too (I thought it would help her eat it better, and it did) and today I cut up an apple and mixed it in, and she actually ate around the apple peices to get the rest of the grain!
Okay, but I also have a question... Were she is now, I don't have a round pen, arena, or even another pen to work with her in... just her regular corral, and in the yard... but where I am taking her I will have a round pen, out door arena and partial indoor arena. I was wondering if you guys thought it would make a difference in her behaviour, if I have a seperate pen to work her, rather then in with the other horses like normal?
When we get there, and she settles down, after a couple of days the first thing I would like to do is shove her in a round pen and do join up (I know how to do it, and what signs to look for) and then just work with her in the round pen a few days, teach her how to lung the proper way (she knows that lunging is circling me, but she will only go a certain distance away from me right now) and just do the basic ground work all over again with her. Then once she is good in the round pen, take her to the outdoor and indoor arena and play around with her, do ground work, let her play and stuff like that. Eventually she will settle down and be in with the others, going in a stall during the night and stuff (until it warms up, then staying in the pasture for the night)
But do you guys think it will make a difference having a round pen and stuff?
If anything she will be more concentrated. But make it a routine best from day one at the new place, so once she goes in with the herd she knows work is roundpen/arena, paddock/ pasture is play.
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