Introducing new gelding to herd - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-30-2014, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Colorado
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Introducing new gelding to herd

Hello all,
I'm not new to horses but new to this situation. In the past I have had my horses in a barn/corral and not out in a pasture with others so Im not as familiar with herd dynamics.

I'm getting a new horse and will be pasture boarding him near my house. My thoughts on introducing him would have been to have him in a holding pen next to the pasture for a while before going in with the group but this facility just wants me to open up the gate and throw him in with the herd from day one, they don't have a holding pen. They said the horses will figure it out. The facility is nice and all horses look well cared for so maybe they know what they're doing?

Is that safe? He's 6 and has always been at pasture with a herd so should be used to it but these other horses belong to other boarders and I know nothing about them. I think there are 5-7 others, mares and geldings of various ages. I just don't want him to be totally overwhelmed and stressed with the move and new group. I'm also afraid of being rushed by the others when I bring him in.

Any advice would be appreciated!
Chicknshrimp is offline  
post #2 of 9 Old 11-30-2014, 02:29 PM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: TX
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At my barn we have a round pen that also acts as fencing for one side of the pasture, so his horses were able to check out mine and vice versa for a few days when she first got there. I didn't have her turned out with them until recently, which is now 6 months later, and they still fought it out.

It doesn't matter how used to him they are or they aren't, they will establish pecking order. It's been a consistent two weeks now and my mare is not getting kicks or bites anymore that I can see. Things just take time to settle.

To ride a horse is to ride the sky.
SummerShy is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 12-01-2014, 12:15 PM
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Michigan
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While it sounds mean to just throw your new horse in with a herd of completely new horses SummerShy is right, whether you keep the horse in a paddock near the pasture or whether you introduce him right away the horses will still have to establish the pecking order. It is always nice to have a corral or paddock to keep a new horse in for a while, but it's not always possible. I was in the same situation as you when I moved my gelding, they will work it out, it may not be pretty at first, but they will.
haileymiller7 is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 12-01-2014, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
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i just got a horse this spring and i had part of my arena as their lean to and i let him in the arena so they could smell and what ever they wanted and after some time i let my quarter horse in with him and put food out and then i took him out and let my paint in and then mom horse and they all seemed fine so i let them all out and they all were fine together he got picked on some but not much. i took my mom horse out of there because he was getting very mean to him but we sold him and now there is some fighting but not much when i feed oats theres small fighting but just more of him getting herded away by the other two and ive only seen a few marks in the past few months.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-01-2014, 02:39 PM
Green Broke
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Location: North Dakota, USA
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Do they have a smaller pen or different pasture that you could put him in for a few days with one or 2 of the other horses he will be turned out with? That is what we usually do instead of just throwing him into the mix.

There will be shuffles even if he is introduced over a fence but there are usually less that way.

When we first had our horses with us and no longer being boarded, we had a few people keep theirs with ours. We only had one fenced in area. We had to throw any new horses into the mix. Most settled after a few day. One did take several (6) months, until we added a couple more horses, until he was left alone.
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usandpets is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 12-01-2014, 08:06 PM
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more than likely the horses will 'figure it out' but...the introduction of a new horse into a herd should always be supervised for at least the first day by the barn manager. They don't want injuries any more than you do so my guess is they are downplaying the 'introduction' to make you not be stressed out, while they know it can be a very stressful situation for the horses. Adding the stressed out owner to the mix never helps. So, as long as the situation is carefully monitored and adjusted as necessary, not all herd situations work all.. then you have a plan. My gelding has only had one bad experience in his 21 years with a gelding entering his herd, but it was really really bad. It could not be worked out. So you do need to pay attention but remain cautiously optimistic is my advice.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-01-2014, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Colorado
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Thanks everyone, that makes me feel better, at least I know I'm not a terrible person just chucking him in there. There are no other pens so I have no other choice.

Second question... the pasture is just a dirt lot, no grass, and the horses are fed free-choice grass and have a shelter large enough for 15 or more horses. The pasture is about 2-3 acres I would guess. How many horses can be in there safely? They look to have 8-10 now.

Heres the pasture, whats visible is about 1/2 of the pen.

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post #8 of 9 Old 12-02-2014, 03:41 AM
Green Broke
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As long as your horse has enough room to get away from the other horses, he should be fine. We have about 1 1/2 acre pens and 8 horses in each. No grass will grow and we have to feed hay all year long but they are still able to escape the other horses when needed (if they don't get caught in a corner). Is there more than one feeder for your horse?
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-03-2014, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Colorado
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Originally Posted by usandpets View Post
Is there more than one feeder for your horse?
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Yep looks like 3 o 4 feeders. I think he has room to get away, thanks!
Chicknshrimp is offline  

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