Help!!Tips on integrating new horse into herd/barn

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Help!!Tips on integrating new horse into herd/barn

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    06-19-2012, 11:11 PM
Help!!Tips on integrating new horse into herd/barn

(not exactly a trail question but its what I do so its going here )Ok soooo here's my situation. Sorry so lengthy!

My 11 yo 3/4 QH 1/4 arab gelding will be coming to live in my town, at the barn I work at part time, in a few weeks. I've never boarded, he's never been boarded. The barn is small but very nice and the BO also is an APHA breeder primarily and really knows her stuff. There are 7 other horses boarded there. He will make 8. 20 acre pasture. 2 of the BO's riding mares stay out in 24/7. Right now 3 horses are turned out during the day and stalled at night. Then the other 3 are turned out at night in stalled all day. Horse # 7 is a stallion, and he's stalled all day/night except for several hrs daily turnout in a separate paddock.

My main concern is that my gelding's never been in a large herd environment. Nor has he ever been stalled daily. I've owned him since he was 9 months and I know where he was born (same family did some of his training). The largest group he's been loose with is 2 other horses both mares. The last 5 yrs he's been the same mare and she pushes him around.

The barn protocol is that new horses stay stalled for 2-3 days to get accustomed and settle down, but I'm not sure if this will settle him or make it worse? On top of the fact that his stall is between the stallion and the barns notorious 23 yo brat that exhibits horrible habits (weaving, head bobbing, ect)

What would y'all do????
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    06-19-2012, 11:31 PM
If there's a small paddock, I'd put him in there with the calmest horse of his new herd and leave them together for a few days so they'll buddy up. On moving day I'd lock everyone up, let him and his buddy out. When they're calm, introduce the horses in order from nicest to meanest, giving them time to settle down before putting out the next horse.

As for the weaver, I wouldn't want my horse stalled near one.
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    06-20-2012, 12:14 AM
Horse owners don't allow their babies to be stalled next to those with bad habits!

I just toss them out with all the horses at once so long as the pasture is big enough for them to get away and it sounds like it is at your barn. Yeah, he'll likely have kick and bite marks but that's all part of working out the pecking order and you can't prevent it anytime you toss two or more horses together.
    06-20-2012, 12:23 AM
Horses are naturally herd long as there is plenty of room they usually are able to work it out..if he was at the bottom in a small herd he may end up there again & be content with his position...sounds like the bo has a system going with turn out/in if you are concerned with stall placement why not just talk to her
    06-20-2012, 12:25 AM
I honestly never thought of letting him buddy up with someone first! That's a great idea, I guess I was so set on him being stalled it didn't occur to me. I'll have to talk to the BO and see if that's possible. There is ONE open paddock but it shares a fence line with the turnout pasture so that may not be an option. :(

I'm hoping my guy and the weaver will be on opposite schedules so theyre never in the barn together but if not, are bad habits like that a learned behavior? The weaving horse has anxiety also so he frets in his stall and doesn't eat his hay in the slow feeder. I'm hoping also that since my horse is pretty laid back, he'll ignore hm and just munch his hay all day.

Gee, this sure does involve a lot of hoping :-D
    06-20-2012, 12:29 AM
Oops dbl
    06-20-2012, 12:35 AM
Yes I guess I could ask her about a different stall, but it would involve switching with someone because I have the last spot in the barn :(

Do any of y'all know if there's a real possibility that these bad habits could rub off, or be learned??
    06-20-2012, 01:15 AM
Horses can pick up a bad habit in a manner of minutes, OTH some never do.
    06-20-2012, 09:29 AM
Sharing a fence line is not bad. If he and his buddy are in the next field they can still meet but have the fence between them so it keeps the drama down. When the "big day" comes it helps to have "met".

Weaving is a habit born from boredom, stress or anxiety. It's comforting. Horses develop it and can easily learn it from others. Horses like to mimic.
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