Introducing a second horse-behavior questions - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-23-2013, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Introducing a second horse-behavior questions

We just brought a second mare home yesterday and would like some feedback from those who have experience.

I did expect the hierarchy behavior: The new mare at first seemed to be dominant, she squeals, kicks out and doesn't want my current mare coming near her, and my current mare would circle around her, come close, then give the new girl her space.

How long does this typically last before they settle down and become friends?

I thought they had almost worked it out because the new mare was in the run in shed with my current girl this morning, but later in the day something seemed to have switched around and the new girl won't go into the run in shed anymore.
I've tried going out and leading her into the shed, but she'll spend a minute or two nibbling at some hay, then turn around and go back out to spend time alone.

My current girl seems to want to make friends, but the new mare won't have it.

Tonight there a very cold wind blowing, and it bothers me that she won't stay in the shelter, but prefers to be out in the cold winter wind. She's got a heavy winter coat, but I still worry about her out there in the field alone when she could be inside a nice cozy shelter with some company. Am I worrying for nothing?

"To ride a horse is to ride the sky"
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-23-2013, 10:21 PM
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Yes, you're worrying for nothing. So long as she can access food and (not frozen) water, she'll be fine.

That said, you're also perfectly normal! I would probably be worrying and wanting them to be best buddies already too. Think of it like a human friendship though- you don't really want to agree to bunk with someone you just met a couple of days ago yourself do you? They'll work it out, just give them time to really get to know each other.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-23-2013, 10:25 PM
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We have a mare that does the same thing, just pretty much with every horse. We can turn her out by herself though, I'm supposing you don't have that luxury.

I say just let them be. Your horse probably won't freeze to death if she spends one of two days outside, but you might want to put a blanket on her if you're worried.

The horses will probably sort thing out within a few days. They might not ever be best friends, but they'll learn to coexist for sure. Who knows, it might just be their female hormones causing the trouble.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-23-2013, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick replies. It's great to be able to have input from more experienced people. The new girl actually has a real teddy bear look to her right now, she's got quite a thick winter coat. But you know how it is, moms still worry. LOL
There is lots of space here where the new girl can get away to, but I guess I just hate to see her out there by herself in the howling wind. One would think she'd rather be in where it's sheltered.

The hay is inside the shelter, we have a hay rack and netted bags hanging in various areas so the horses don't have to be right on top of one another to eat.

For water, we have a heated water tub outside. I haven't actually seen her drink from it, although I've seen her standing near it when the other mare was drinking.

"To ride a horse is to ride the sky"
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-24-2013, 12:07 AM
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I'd be sure to have hay outside the shed until she's comfortable being in it. Eating will keep her warm.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-24-2013, 05:25 AM
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Mares are very serious about the pecking order, and it can take a few weeks for everything to settle down. We always separate them for a week, but it sounds like you can't do that.
I would put some hay outside the shelter. Food will cause more fussing than anything else, and a shelter is a prime spot to get hurt if your new horse gets pinned in.
If you're out there and it's getting out of hand, run them off to break it up, but otherwise don't try and force them together or get involved. Just keep the betadine and neosporin handy for cuts and scrapes, but it's rare that they don't work it out.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-24-2013, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I'm beginning to see just how serious they are! LOL
No, we aren't able to separate them as we'd like to, but there is lots of outside space if they want to keep their distance from each other.

I did just that this morning..I put some hay outside for the new mare. Far enough from the shelter so she doesn't feel threatened, but close enough for the two of them to see each other.
The water is not right at the shelter, so if either of them want a drink they can keep a good distance away from each other.






Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares View Post
Mares are very serious about the pecking order, and it can take a few weeks for everything to settle down. We always separate them for a week, but it sounds like you can't do that.
I would put some hay outside the shelter. Food will cause more fussing than anything else, and a shelter is a prime spot to get hurt if your new horse gets pinned in.
If you're out there and it's getting out of hand, run them off to break it up, but otherwise don't try and force them together or get involved. Just keep the betadine and neosporin handy for cuts and scrapes, but it's rare that they don't work it out.

"To ride a horse is to ride the sky"
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