Adding a 2nd Mini

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hylights

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Hi,

So in late Nov I got my mini who is 32" 4yrs old and still a stud, but super mellow and excellent manners. He lived in a little herd with geldings.

It turns out he is very lonely and hated the goats he has an adjoining stall and turn-out with. When I let one of my does into his pasture he chased her with bared teeth and then cornered her and whirled around to kick at her.

So I have been looking for another mini gelding, and I wanted one trained to drive and 36", go figure i found one! I am going to see him tomorrow, though I can't believe after talking to his current owner and pouring over albums of pictures of him that I would not want to bring him home. This gelding is currently living with both mares and geldings.

Both previous owners describe the boys as very good with other horses and middle to lower herd members.

My horse area consists of a 10 X 12 (modular steel and wood,2" hemlock, for the big horses) stall and attached acre turnout fenced with 5' no climb horse fence.

So How would you introduce them? Oh it is very much winter and frozen here in Maine, I can't enter the pasture except through the stall, and the pasture is crusty snow except the paths the current mini has made.

If I should make the current stall into 2 what would you use to divide it?

Turn them out together and let them run?

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Minimor

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So your guy is still a stallion, or have you gelded him since you got him?

I would not just turn the two out together; I would har them in adjoining enclosures until they know each other and only then put them together. Be very careful if the one is still a stallion; I probably would not put them together at all in that situation, and if I did it would be only while I am there to watch--and not just for an hour--they could be fine for an hour or two or even a day and then suddenly the stallion could turn on the gelding. Just because your horse was in with geldings previously--i assume a group setting--does not mean he will be good with a single gelding now. One horse, a different horse that he doesn't know--in different surroundings, maybe a smaller area--it could be a whole different thing. The stall could be a disaster for the other horse if they both got in there and one decided to kick the other one through the wall.
 
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hylights

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I realize I left out some things in my post, and during my drive home and barn chores in arctic freeze, I had time to think out a plan.

It's just too cold to build a wall, so I am thinking of using farm gates to divide the stall, the regular tubular gates with closer spacing at bottom, or the wire mesh filled?

I didn't mean they would have access to the stall , when they are introduced in the pasture it would shut off.

So my plan is , 24 hrs with the gates between them where they can sniff and get to know each other, then only the new guy would be turned out to learn the pasture, when he seems comfortable with that I turn the current resident out and close off the stall. I would stay Out in the pasture until I see them settle, then give them several piles of hay outside . I would keep them separate in the stall.

That is the way I have introduced big horses in the past, then after a time (weeks at least) the stall would become a run-in shelter and they would have free access.

All the minis I have met seem far more common to be kept in herd situations than saddle horses , and these have both been raised that way, so hoping they will buddy up.
 
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rabbitsfizz

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The problem you will have is with the "flight distance" The resident horse will have a distance within which he will not be comfortable with the new boy coming. You have quite limited turnout for this as the resident boy will not be able to put the new boy outside his comfort zone and have him stay there, as he would if the area were bigger. I do not think your time frame is realistic, I think you are going to need at least a week before you can even think about leaving them in the stall together, and I think that is tight, too. The stall and turnout you have is more than adequate for two minis, btw, I am not suggesting it is not, but for introducing two horses, both male one entire? Not so much! I only have two out of my seven boys who could be put in a stall together- the others would definitely fight, even though they get on well in the pasture. I would look to having a way of keeping them separate, maybe a hotwire down the middle of the paddock, until you are 100% sure of them, and I would not even then shut them in together. I have had to separate two fighting boys on more than one occasion and I can tell you it is NOT my idea of fun! I would also work out a way to make the stall divided on a permanent basis, and maybe make the partition easy to take out when you are sure they are OK?
 
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Marty

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In my humble opinion for what its' worth, I think you should abort this mission completely. You are not ready at all to have another horse because your stallion is not gelded yet. That should come first. Then you need a larger stall area. A 10 X 12 is good room for one horse to lay down and move about. To divide that would be close, really close and as said, no room for flight. I think you should build on to your existing space rather than trying to find a way to cram them both into a smaller space safely. And you should also cross fence in case you have to separate them for good, which of course can easily happen. To me, its just not worth the risk to rush into it. As I said, just my humble opinion.
 

Minimor

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I maintain that it is not sufficient to stay and watch them only until they appear to settle -- I know for a fact that in some cases they can appear to settle and then an hour later one will start going for the other. Sometimes they fight immediately, sometimes they have to think about it for awhile!

What has worked for you in the past will not necessarily work this time, all horses are different, and especially now with one being a stallion: I am all for herd settings for horses but in some situations it just is not the best thing.
 

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