Managing changes in the herd
We have had some changes in our "herd" over the last week and a half. We started out with 3 horses (a 10 yr old Appaloosa mare, a small painted pony, and an elderly white horse) in one corral and 2 mares in the other, one of which had to be returned to the farmer that we bought her from bc of bad behavior. She was a bully and totally unpredictable. We replaced her with a 13 yr old gelding who is calm and sweet for the most part. The mare and the gelding started out ok, with an occasional kick or bite.
Sadly, this last weekend, the old white mare passed away. We decided that we needed to combine them all so they could be in the larger field, where the grass was plenty. Now, the two mares surround the little pony and will not let the gelding close to them. The gelding keeps his distance, but occasionally tries to enter in. The mares will not let him close. Luckily, they aren't really fighting, but the mares will bite and kick if he tries to come close. Also, we have noticed that the mares will try to kick us if we try to walk up to them at the field. They didn't do this before the changes. Will this situation improve over time? Would appreciate any advice. I hate to pull the pony out by herself, but I do think the mares think she's a baby. And I hate to remove the gelding bc he'd be alone.