A little bit of preparation and a LOT of stress goes into introducing new horses to an already-established herd. Just like the new kid at school, many thoughts are present… “will they like me? …accept me? …try to eat me?” The answer is maybe – to all of the above!
Last week at The Green Barn, we welcomed the addition of 2 horses, Chief (a gorgeous 16.3hh draft/x gelding) and Becky (beautiful 16.1hh TB mare). It’s been my job this week to watch, watch, watch the behavior of the new horses and the behavior of the existing herd and establish the best way to do the introduction(s)! It certainly hasn’t been all moonlight and roses, but after 3 days of “buddy-pairing” (turning horses out with each other in different combinations) we are definitely getting somewhere. Becky’s poor little hind end is healing from where Outlaw bit a chunk out of her (“heyyyy!!! stop running away and pay attention to me!!!”), Serenade and Chief are planning their honeymoon on the Riveria and everyone else is effectively starting to nicker at each other when they cross paths…
Here’s some great tips (which I follow!) regarding introducing new horses to an existing herd.
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