Never kept more than one horse at a time; new horse and donkeys coming - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-08-2013, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Never kept more than one horse at a time; new horse and donkeys coming

I've kept my own horse on my property for about 3 years now, and have at least two donkeys coming to join the farm, probably another horse as well. The donkeys are easy-going, fairly blank slates that don't have much an opinion about people, I've already met them and they're a hilarious, sweet bunch. The horse in question is a young mare, 6yo, and is quite flabby. She doesn't have many miles on her, but for the very short sessions of riding or exercising she's had, she shows a laid-back personality. I have been told, though, that she acts up tracking one side (I forget which) and that doesn't bother me.

My horse of now is a 12yo dominant mare, not aggressive but simply assertive toward other horses and confident by herself. When my mare meets other mares, she tends to sniff for a minute, then squeal and stomp. With bossy mares, she lifts a foreleg high and strikes the air, bashing the other mare's head with her jawbone. I've never seen her bite or kick, even after a gelding snuck a bite on her rump once, but I'm wary about how to introduce her to a pasture-mate. She certainly needs a buddy, I've tried other animals, I haven't tried sheep, cows, or horses yet.
I could keep the mares separate, as I have two available pastures, two paddocks, and four stalls, but the mares would still be in such a proximity that if they hated each other, they could probably get a few licks in.

My question being, how do you introduce mares with the best influence to a good relationship? What should I expect? What are acceptable behaviors when they meet? My mare is a 15.2hh Paint, the incoming mare is a 15hh Quarab.
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-08-2013, 12:51 PM
Green Broke
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The best and safest way for them to meet the first time is with a sturdy fence between them. They may do a combination of sniffs, snorts, nips, squeals and strikes - all standard in the horse world. One will likely lose interest first and wonder off and the other may stay where she's at and watch her. Later, when the other one comes back up again, the same things will probably happen but with each meeting the intensity starts to diminish. When greetings become nonchalant between them you can look at turning them out together. Be prepared for some action between them the first time they are actually together - there may be some kicking involved. Once again, it's all part of how horses interact with each other during the getting to know you phase as they discover who wants to be alpha and how hard they will work at getting there.
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-08-2013, 02:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
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When introducing them, leave at least a week where they can get to know each other through a fence. When you do introduce them, maybe leave them together for a short time, like half of a day and keep an eye on them. I wouldn't leave them together overnight right away until you're confident they won't hurt each other.
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