INTRODUCING A NEW ADULT HORSE
QUESTION: I board my older mare. I have just bought another horse,an aged gelding and am told he must go in with my mare when he arrives. She is quite cranky and the new gelding may be quite cranky? Where I keep my horse(s), the owners buy and sell horses a lot and say not to worry. The horses will sort it out between themselves when I bring him there. Shouldn't I take some steps of "Introduction" first about this?
ANSWER: Never throw a new horse in with the other one or other ones without letting them get to know each other over a fence first. They can sort out a lot of "who is who" in the pecking order safely over top the fence line for mimimum three plus days first.
Then when placing strange horses together, you must make sure the area is big enough for them to put distance between each other. No less than a couple of acres preferably for ONLY TWO HORSES. Far less kicking each other that way. There must be no hidden corners (meaning no sharp corners such as next to sheds) where the dominant horse can trap the other and injure it or force it through a fence.
They of course need to be fed in separate locations, (put distance between grain feeders and hay feeders for each/all of them).
Only one horse can be Boss. Once that is established, they usually get along good. If not, always feed seperately. NOTE: A really miserable horse that is constantly kicking or lunging at the other(s) should be kept seperate to prevent injury. In most cases, the area they are kept in is just to small. The picked on horse(s) simply cannot stay out of the "Dominant" horse(s) personal space. It won't stop until you seperate them.