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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone! I built my own barn 3 years ago and while I am a 30 year horsewoman...I am learning many interesting things when you only have 2 horses! It started with a buddy sour horse who finally had to be sold. I have had two together now for a year and they are great. Attached at the hip but both are able to be ridden individually with no problems. I have a third stall and recently my friend bought a gelding (my two are geldings as well) and moved him here. His name is Danny. Everyone got to meet in stalls next to each other. Turnout is fine with Danny and my horse Roux. However, my older horse (23!) seems to think he can only have one friend, and is very, very aggressive towards Danny. Whether it is just the two of them out, or all three of them out, Marquis wants to chase, bite, kick. I have 8 acres of turnout and my husband says let them sort it out. I agree to a point but the chase continues too often for my comfort. So now I am separating Roux and Marquis to see if I can break up this bond a bit. Roux and Danny out at night. Marquis and Danny out during the day. Separate fields would be great but expensive especially with having to get an additional shelter. Has anyone with only two horses had this much trouble introducing a third????
 

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I'm in the same boat, only I introduced a mare to a herd of two geldings. My boy decided he was alpha over all and tries to kill my mom's 33 year old gelding every chance he gets. In my case the aggression is not going away even after a year and I can't chance that they will work it out. The older guy can't take it anymore.

Thankfully I have separate pastures. The older boy will live out his remaining days in his own adjoining pasture.

Sorry I don't have more advice for your situation. It's too bad your existing setup couldn't be divided. I'm interested to see what other advice you receive.
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I don't have a lot of experience in this matter but what I've seen as new horses have been introduced in the pasture where I board is they will work it out themselves. It has taken as little as a few hours to a few weeks. Sometimes it get pretty ugly and they need to be separated for a while.

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When a new horse is introduced into one of the herds here we turn them loose after a couple of days and allow them to sort it out.
the longest it has taken is nearly 3 weeks before things settle down and that was with a yearling who was sent to be trained and weaned. After 60 days at the trainers even her dam would not allow the filly near her.
It took 3 weeks before the filly could work her way back into the herd and another 3 weeks before she could graze of or beside her dam.
Those horses are doing what horses do in a herd environment establishing the pecking order and enforcing it.
Mine are not stalled so if you do stall them at night or remove one for a day or two they will start the process all over again.
It might be hard to watch but the only wounds I have seen here are superficial. Shalom
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone. It has been 3 weeks already :( I'm going with my gut and trying to keep my original two apart for awhile in the hopes that my older guy will realize he is either alone or with the new guy. So make friends! The aggressive older guy is out with the new guy during the day so at least Danny can see well if a big chase entails. At night Danny is out with Roux, who is nice to him. Who knows...when all 3 are together eventually it may get ugly again but I hope not! I'm kind of worried to hear that swimminchikin had no luck after a year! In bigger herds it seems to work itself out better.
 

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I just went through the same thing. My mare and gelding have been together (but in separate pastures at boarding facilities) since he was born. 11 years later we finally bought our own farm last year and they have been here together since Feb. They became attached at the hip although my gelding has always remained alpha.

Last month we got a companion pony mare so that if I have one out vs the other, the horse left behind would still have a buddy. My gelding hated the pony. We even aced him the first day they were fully together so he couldn't run after her and had to get used to her. Everything seemed *ok* and she had a few nips here and there after a week, but nothing major.

He kept keeping my other mare away from her though and started protecting the field. We went out one day for a few hours, came back and the pony was standing in a corner of the field. After 15 mins she was still there so I went and got her. There was evidence that she had gone down (mud on her hip) and he grabbed her by the crest of her neck. Thank goodness he didn't do worse.

For the past 3 weeks now he's been separated in his own field and the two girls are together. They like each other, he seems very happy and content that he doesn't need to protect anyone anymore and all is well. I only have 4.22 acres, but it's laid out very well so they all have room. I do want to build another shelter at some point, but until then he can use a paddock that has one on bad days.

On a positive note, him and the pony have been nuzzling and grooming over the fence so it may just be that my boy needs more time getting to know her and see her there before introducing. They were over the fence for a week prior to me putting her in with them, but that may not have been long enough for him. Maybe it's the same with your boy? Maybe he just needs more time to adjust with him on the other side.
 

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It will take as long as it takes. Some horses have no issues from the start. Some will seem to take forever. We introduced a horse to our herd in September. The herd didn't accept him, or at least didn't stop picking on him, until February when we introduced 2 more horses.

We introduced a 6 month old weanling in the summer and he was fine from the beginning.
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Usually they will sort things out just so they have plenty of space. I did have a mare that was very aggressive and very big. She ended up kicking the shoulder of another horse so severely that the horse required surgery. I put her in with another horse, and she did the same thing to him. I had to keep her separated. Eventually I trade that horse. The new owner had horses that were more her size and she did fine.
 

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I have a similar problem too. I have an idea but not sure it will work for you or me. So I would also like some advice and it may be beneficial for both of us. I just got a 5 1/2 month Stud Colt, Registered. I also have a 12 year old Mammoth Jenny in the same 5 acre field. And a big barn. I have another field behind this one, just a little smaller. Sometimes I open the gate and let them access that field too. My north fence runs the entire length for both fields. On the north side of my fence, there are 14 horses/donkeys. 2 or 3 geldings, 3 donkeys, mares and one big bad 16h+ 1100 lb stud saddlehorse. He rules that field and leads the posse. When I let my stud colt out of the barn for exercise and he goes near that fence, the big stud aggressively runs to the fence and actually starts trying to stamp the bottom of the fence down with his hoofs and leans well into it. My colt don't understand the problem and he approaches the stud. Yesterday the stud snapped his teeth like a bear trap, missing my studs mouth by inches. I am afraid the stud will tear the fence down and kill my colt. I'm thinking of installing a hot wire on the fence. Any ideas??? For now, I have to stay in the field with my colt and run the stud away from the fence but I do not intimidate him much at all.
Thanks
 

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I have had the neighbor's stud break into my pasture and almost kill a colt of mine. I would take that situation very seriously.
 

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I might be able to off some insight, based on two of my experiences --- IF I can explain things so they make sense to more than the neighborhood JackA** :shock::?

Three of my horses have been together a minimum of 17-1/2 years. The strong Alpha and the Passive leader (happily second-in-command) have been together 20+ years. They were all geldings when I bought them.

I bought a long two year old colt in 2004. I kept him in a separate pasture until after I was able to get the vet here to geld him. I gave him a few more weeks of over-the-fence conversation, until he healed from the castration.

Everyone seemed to get along, over the fence but I still sensed something amiss with my strong alpha leader who, by 2006, was 19 years old.

I picked a nice quiet warm full of peaceful sunshine day to put Sultan in with the three old guys.

While things weren't peaceful, things weren't out of control ---- then all of a sudden they would get out of control and either the Alpha or horse #3 would be chasing the colt trying for all their worth to run him thru the fence:shock: We have 23 acres so he had plenty of room to turn until I could get to him on the 4-wheeler.

I took to keeping him separated on the days I had to work and it was literally MONTHS before there was unsettled peace in the pasture. I bought Sultan in February and it was probably August before I felt I could breath when all of them were pastured together.

I studied them every day, trying to figure out the personality conflict. My best un-educated guess was that Sultan, the new kid, had somewhat of a dominant personality and while he wasn't really fighting my Alpha for total leadership, I would see him picking at my Alpha, safely testing the waters.

When that happened my third in line (who was & still is the heir apparent to leadership because horse #2 doesn't want it), would go into Holy Fits and viciously tear after the colt. It was a toss up who was more agile of the two and it was a comedy to watch as long as the fence wasn't part of the game.

I lost Sultan as a coming 4 yo to a freak pasture accident on a rainy day. It was about two weeks after the race horse, Barbaro's accident, when Sultan fell with a shattered front leg. Every bone between his ankle and knee was splintered. He is still here, below the barn, waiting for the others to join him someday.

Hang in there, this is really is going to apply to your horses:p

On to the next #4 Horse, also a TWH, that I got sucked into buying by a friend who needed a little more cash to get her roof fixed.

Joker came to live with us about four months after Sultan's passing. He was the last horse in the pecking order at my friend's farm and has stayed the last horse on my farm. Joker has no desire whatsoever to climb over someone for herd leadership. He is perfectly content to let everyone else tell him what to do in an emergency.

The day I brought him home, I put him in the little pasture in front of the house so I could watch everyone introduce themselves and talk.

Something about my alpha's body language and way of talking made me think he actually liked and would quickly accept Joker. My horses always come in at night, so everyone had stall time to get acquainted and the very next day I turned Joker out with everyone.

To my astonishment there was no squealing, no kicking, no nothing, except "it's time to head for pasture, you stay in the back and do what we say".

That was seven years ago and things have stayed peaceful, except for those times Horse #3 decides his bullying self wants to make trouble; it's just who he is. He just seems driven to steal someone's lunch money a few times a month.

My point to that long, drawn out story, is that I'm pretty sure it's your new horse sending vibes to your alpha that the alpha isn't appreciative of.

Sooner or later they will come to terms but these are probably going to be two horses that will always need watched, so nobody gets hurt.

IMHO, it would not be a good thing to take either of them on a week's horse back vacation without the other. I'd bet money they would be right back to square one when it comes to fighting.

I hope that all made sense and is of some help:)
 

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Celeste I do take this situation very serious; serious enough to carry a side arm when I'm in the field with my Colt. I respect Mr. Dominate Stud but I will not hesitate to protect my Colt should the Stud come thru the fence and attempts to attack my Colt. That same Stud killed another stud a year ago on his side of the fence with a vicious bite to the neck. I have talked to the owner and he just said not to worry, they just getting to know one another. Old man Bird is about 79 or 80 and has been raising horses all his life but he is getting to the point health wise where as he can't spend much time with them except for feeding. His boy comes by every so often to help out. But this is the only life Old man Bird knows. And I respect that. As far as cutting a stud, Old Man Bird told me, Once a Stud Always a Stud. He told me last year when the other Stud died of the neck bite, he went out that morning and had a talk with that stud and the stud told him what to do. So Old Man Bird shot him in the head twice, the first shot put him down but he told me to always shoot twice, to make sure they dead. Then he took him in the back of his property and buried him with his backhoe on a hill.
 

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Walkinthewalk I think I understand where you coming from. Sorta sounds like something Old Man Bird might tell me. But still, a hot wire across the top of the fence? Think it might help? Or just **** him off and he comes on over anyways?
Thanks
 

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Walkinthewalk I think I understand where you coming from. Sorta sounds like something Old Man Bird might tell me. But still, a hot wire across the top of the fence? Think it might help? Or just **** him off and he comes on over anyways?
Thanks
If he's already made a habit of going over the fence, that's a tough call. I once had a QH/Arab cross mare that was tough as nails and would often push right thru an electric top wire if she decided she wanted to eat grass in the other pasture. She never fought with anyone - just would make up her mind THAT pasture was hers for the taking that day and she'd bull dog thru the electric fence if we didn't make sure to keep the ground soaked where the grounding bar was.

She would test that fence all the time - lol lol If it sat her down on her butt, she left it alone for the day; if not? Well there she went into the other pasture - lol lol lol

I also don't know what I would do as I have also seen what a hot wire does to legs when it gets wrapped around one or two of them; not the mare, above; she was far too clever for leg injuries.

If he hasn't succeeded in going over, I might put up a strand to where his nose can easily get juiced. Make sure your ground wire is on a bar that goes a couple feet into the ground and keep the ground like mud. The wetter the ground bar is, the more current goes thru the hot wire.
 

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Thank Ya...... Well he aint come thru yet so that's just what ill do. And just like you said it. The reason he aint come thru is because when my Colts out there so am I. I even took me a lawn chair and put out there and I just sat there most of the day. Every time that stud come up I chased him off. Otherwise my Colts in tha stall. But you do make me think about legs. I don't want no harm come to any of them but if I don't do something now im afraid of what may happen. I do got another field so soon as I can, Im gonna put up another fence and let him graze and exercise over there. That will put a field between the stud and my colt. I just don't got a barn over there but I will build a lean to. And I will have to get water over there. But will still take him back to the barn stall at night for now. And I know come early spring when all them studs mares come in heat more often, its really gonna get rowdy.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
For now I am going to leave Danny out during the day with Marquis (the grumpy one) and Danny out at night with Roux. This will give Marquis and Roux a little time apart so they aren't so obsessed with each other and try to make a new friend. I found a way to make a paddock that won't cost much and will allow access to my third stall so they can all 3 be out and even if weather is bad they will all have shelter. This will allow for more time for Marquis to learn to tolerate Danny. I don't think Marquis can hate Danny forever!!.....at least I hope not! Good luck to everyone else going through these issues!
 

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Update: It's been a few weeks and yes I got the hot wire up and old Hank has been zapped a few times. He comes up to the fence and runs it but he don't want no part of that wire. My Colt stays out all day and I still stall him at night. They really seem to be less interested in each other. But I still keep my guard up. My Colt did show out the other day. He went to the fence, Hank came up and they had a few words and my Colt did lower his head and moved his jaws back and forth. Then they smelled each others nose again and Hank stomped his feet and jerked his head back and yelped and trotted off. My Colt tuned around ran over to my Mammoth Jenny about thirty yards off and reared up on her rearend. She actually backed up on him but he is not tall enough to do anything. Then he got down bucked a few times and did some very very fast fancy turns and stopping and then ran around the pasture a few times. Hank watched all this commotion and I think my Colt was letting Hank know that his day is coming and soon. I checked his balls but they don't seem to have dropped yet. I can feel maybe just one little bidy small one up high but still I think it's just a little early. I bought my Colt at a nearby University and I was by there recently and the Lady that handles the Horse Unit told me they had dropped before I picked him up. But I think maybe she's wrong. Maybe not. I'm not sure. He will be 7 months the 28th of this month. Still debating on whether to cut him or not. He has a strong blood line on both sides with genes from High Brow Cat/This Cats Smart and Freckles Playboy. Anyway I feel much much better about his safety but still all could change in the coming months.
 
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