Introducing a New Horse to Herd - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-19-2015, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Introducing a New Horse to Herd

We have recently introduced a Shetland gelding as a new companion for our Quarter Horse gelding and it seems to be a constant testing of the boundries for them.Any suggestions for a smoother transition? Both are more tense now.Both are confident.Bites and kicks have gone on for 7 days.
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-19-2015, 08:31 PM
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Is it just the two of them or are there others?

Generally it's best to place the new horse in a paddock with the horse intended to be it's companion for a few days and then slowly introduce new horses one at a time, otherwise it can result in lots of fighting and even injury, not to mention stress.
Of course some herds handle things better than others, but usually the slow introduction is the way to go.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-20-2015, 07:03 AM
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You are seeing common herd dynamics. You can keep an occasional eye on them, but they will need to work out a pecking order in their own language over time.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-20-2015, 09:02 AM
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You should take several months to work them in together. I find that working and trailering horses works very well. Otherwise, let them know that they will be living together. We have many different opinions on grain, but it is VERY useful in training, IMHO.
I would tie both up every evening, within eyeshot, but too far away to touch, perhaps one on each side of the same fence, and feed some grain in a bowl, so that they come to expect this every day. Oats are a very good choice, and it only needs to be about 1/2 pound. OR you could feet carrots, OR it could be their evening hay.
Then, turn them out in a dry lot where they do NOT get fed. Horses get aggressive when they are eating. It is their nature and you won't change that, but that is where you get a Vet bill.

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post #5 of 5 Old 02-20-2015, 08:42 PM
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I do it either easy or hard.

Easy) Introducing a miniature to a cob: Cob in the field, mini in the paddock. Only able to see/touch over a gate. Did this for a good week. Put mini in the field after this, and had cob on a line. Waited until both were calm and grazing before taking the line off (at which point they did the "omg new horse" run about. but both were ok with eachother so just grazed after) Any mini i added later was the same, but skipping the 7days in the paddock. Put cob ona line to make sure i could control him.

2) Hard: Let my two minis meet another mini over the fence, next day just let them out together lol (when i had big horses i took them both for a hack together, then just let them out. after untacking)

One time i had a colt in for a training session. He was NOT getting it and after an hour he still was being very difficult. I brought my own gelding in, work them both at the same time and my gelding, knowing the routine, was able to teach the colt in mins. Both had never met, but had zero issues because they had their minds on something else. They have met/penned at shows again no problem.

I try not to faff about too much. Let them sort it out.
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