What can I do to make a new horse settle into its new home?
A few things:
- It gives that horse a little bit of a quarantine period. You know, you never know what horses are taking or bringing when they’re coming from different places and what kind of environment it’s been in, but also it helps them to kind of get acclimated into the environment before they’re introduced new horses. Not everybody has the benefit of having a pen that secluded where you can keep that horse for a little bit, but if you do, I definitely encourage that.
- Then what I encourage is one by one like bringing your horses over and introducing your horses to that new horse. That way they get an opportunity to get to know each other. They can do it in a controlled environment where you can pull that horse back if things get a little bit aggressive, but at least that initial contact, it’s supervised and you can direct the flow of how that goes and try to set them up so that they have a good initial meeting with each other. From that point on, I think it’s really important after you, they go through that initial kind of separation period. Just slowly add them into the herd.
Maybe you can turn them out for a little bit, see how they interact, then put them up and then every day maybe let them interact a little bit longer until you feel comfortable that they’ve integrated with your herd. These are things that I feel are really important.
Now, I’m one of those guys that believe that the horses should duke it out. There are exceptions. Sometimes some horses can be super aggressive. Pen a horse in a corner and just start kicking the crap out of it.
Of course, she’d want to intervene and, separate them so that they don’t get hurt. But for the most part, these horses, they’re going to work things out with each other. So there might be a couple of scuffles and things like that.
And I know we have all these little mini heart attacks when we see things going on, but for the most part, they work themselves out when we’re better off making sure that we introduce them in large open spaces and areas.
If somebody is a little bit aggressive, the other horse can move away. You don’t want to do this in a small pen or they could get quartered or hurt or there are objects that they can run into, right? We want to make sure that we set them up to be as safe as possible.