blending 2 'herds'... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-15-2013, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: michigan
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blending 2 'herds'...

Our BO is reconfiguring her pastures and making one very large pasture from what used to be 2 smaller ones, and putting all the boys in one pasture. ( the mares are separate ) We used to have a boys pasture with 3 or 4 boys, and another with (my) 3. Now they are all together. Apparently they are getting on fine, but the BO said the alpha in 'our' herd spent a frantic morning trying to keep 'his' guys safe and separate from the others. When I was over last evening they were eating off separate round bales on opposite ends of the pasture... still in their own separate 'herds' (although the others did run thru at one point just for giggles...) Any idea how this usually works out? Im fine with the mix, no problems. Just wondering how this usually works out. To make it more interesting we are getting a new boy this weekend... will be intersting to see which 'herd' he joins!
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-15-2013, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Wisconsin
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With geldings, (I assume there are no studs? It wouldn't make a whole lot of difference if they are mild mannered, but still something to consider,) I don't think there is a whole lot to worry about. I have one alpha gelding and then the rest of my herd is mares. I introduced a very submissive gelding into my herd and the first few weeks were rough because the new gelding wanted nothing more than to follow the herd around. Most of the time a horse would just give him a dirty look, but my gelding would chase him all of the way across the pasture and leave him there. So for the first few weeks the new gelding spent all of his time way in the bottom of the pasture. He then started to bond with another Paint, who used to be my gelding's 'favorite' mare. After a while he warmed up to my gelding's newest favorite who is a quite a bit younger, and now him and my gelding are best of friends.

I would wager that they'll probably stay apart for quite a while, but sooner or later you'll notice the other ones wanting leadership from the gelding who keeps chasing them away, unless there is a more dominant one in their herd. Might be some cuts and bruises from learning how big their 'personal bubbles' are, but other than that in the end it will probably end up as a good thing.

As an added note, every time I add a new horse to my herd it usually takes quite a while for things to level out. Most it has ever taken was a few months with my 3rd horse. But since her it only takes a few weeks and they are all good.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-15-2013, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: michigan
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As of this morning, the BO said they were still in separate herds- but my son and daughter rode this afternoon and when they put em back in the pasture my daughters gelding went to check out the others. MY boy, who is the bottom of most every pecking order he has been in, was met at the fence by the dominant gelding in our group and carefully escorted back to 'his' side of the pasture. Kind of interesting dynamics- that gelding apparently is guarding my boy, and protecting him. Clearly takes his role very carefully. Makes me feel better tho!
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-16-2013, 12:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Brandon, Manitoba Canada
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I find it very interesting how horses interact with each other.......just to sit and watch a herd you can learn so much!

My horses are the joy in my life.....
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-16-2013, 01:25 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
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As long as someone keeps an eye on them they will likely be fine. I assume they are not foreign to each other before the merge, and shared a fence line.

Just keep an eye this week, some squabbles will be normal, just make sure it doesn't get crazy.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-16-2013, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: michigan
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They have not shared a fence before, but have ridden together a bit and of course have smelled and heard eachother... my son said yesterday when he brought my boy back into the pasture after riding, the 'alpha' from our herd came over to escort him back to 'his' side of the pasture... the dynamics are really interesting to watch! Am anxious to spend some time there today and see how things are shaking out!
Since my daughter rides with the owner of the alpha, my boy has been alone in his pasture ( with only one horse he could kind of see..) when they rode, so I am happy that he will have others- he gets very nervous when he is not in sight of other horses...
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