Introducing horses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-13-2014, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Introducing horses


As I mentioned in a previous thread my family recently acquired two new quarter horse geldings rather suddenly. A little background the two geldings have been pastured together for years and one is clearly dominate over the other (though they don't fight) . Our mare is is a 23 year old who also has a dominate personality. So far we have been rotating the two geldings and the mare between our pasture and the enclosure. However, last night some one neglected the gate latch and they all ended up together. Thankfully, they were all fine. The problem know is that the mare and the gelding seemed to have bonded and the mare keeps chasing the subordinate gelding away. My question is will they work it out eventually and is there anything we can do to hasten the process.

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post #2 of 4 Old 09-14-2014, 02:18 AM
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Hi & welcome Kona,

Yes, horses are herd animals, so it's great that your mare is no longer alone. As with any new group of animals(or horses separated & reintroduced) there are 'politics' while they sort out their relationships. Horses are pretty peaceful animals & tend to settle down quickly, *if they're allowed - see above. Sometimes you can have the odd 'bully' that keeps it up or is unnecessarily 'bossy', but mostly...

So, if your mare is used to being with other horses previously(those that have been kept socially isolated often don't know how to be reasonable), and this 'subservient' gelding heeds her 'bossiness', they'll settle into their spots without much issue.

The problem is, that may mean that one gelding may be told to keep away from you - in her eyes, you belong to her, she doesn't want to share with him. So I handle this by assuming leadership whenever I'm in the paddock, and the 'manners' I expect include no horsey politics while I'm in the vacinity. I will strongly drive off or otherwise punish any horse for 'telling off' another, whether that's reasonable in-herd behaviour or not. I can go into the paddock of 10 horses with a bucket of feed(most aren't mine so only get a small taste, if that) and safely feed my horses & ask them to take it in turns from one bucket(they only need it for supps).

Funny, cos the 'bully' of the herd, who's just dying to drive everyone away, usually hangs back & looks confused - he doesn't seem to know what to do if it's not hassling someone. He's a very friendly, 'in your face' horse whenever he's allowed & he waits for me to come to him & offer him a taste.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-14-2014, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Actually she does not get possessive of us instead she gets possessive of the other gelding. No issues when we enter the pasture we can approach and catch everyone fine, but she she will not let the poor subservient gelding get within 10 ft them out in the pasture. I just feel bad for the poor little guy who just wants to be part of the group. Like you said Im hoping that she eases up on the boy once she made her point on who is queen of the pasture.
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-14-2014, 02:05 PM
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We've always had two horses and we board them. From what I've seen, when you have three horses together, you usually have one horse that's "left out." Two will buddy up and the third, usually at the bottom of the heap, is on his own. Watch when they come up for feeding. The pair will arrive first and the odd one out will trail behind. How this works out depends on the personality of the third horse. Most of the time it isn't an issue. It becomes an issue if the odd horse is driven off food or water. Watch yours and see what happens. Just be aware.
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