Safest way to introduce new mare and foal

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CrescentMinis

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I could really use some advice please......


In a week or so, we will have a new mare and her young foal joining us (very excited). I only have 3 other horses here at the moment, the fourth is coming back in mid August (she is usually the dominant mare). When I have added a horse before, we have not had any problems with the horses sorting things out quickly and peacefully; I've turned them out together in a couple acre pasture and no one missed a beat.

I guess I'm concerned since there's a baby in the picture, is it safest to keep mom and baby in an adjoining paddock for a few days and let them meet through the fence? I thought of trying putting my 2 year old filly in with them first (she is the baby here right now), or putting all 3 in a larger space without the other 2 older mares, so new mom and baby would have a buddy, if it works that way (or am I going to create a problem? The seller says the foal hangs out with another older horse a lot as it is, so I hope this could help)! Also, they will be stalled so they can all see each other at night.

What's the best way to do this?

Edited to add: misposted under Gallery...can a moderator move for me please? Thank you!
 
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CrescentMinis

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Maybe no one puts a new mare and foal together with a small herd (foal is about 3 months old)?

Should I plan on a separate area till foal is a lot bigger? Maybe let the 2-year old filly run with mare and foal for company?

Anyone?
 

ontherisefarm

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My advice to you would be to put the mare and foal in a separate paddock that adjoins the others. Something where they can see and smell each other but no harm can come to the baby. At least for two weeks.Then gradually add your herd in with the new ones starting with low one on the pecking order until all are together. Less chance of someone getting hurt that way....
 

Cara

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normaly we put the mommas out with there babys all together so they babys make friends, but if there are no other momas and babys keep them sperate from everyone else the baby could get kicked or hurt being out with the older horses, after u wean the foal you can put the mom out with the others and the baby with other horses around the same age maybe?
 

gorgeous

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We always quarantine new horses for at least ten days before adding them in with our existing herd. They are always close enough that they can see the other horses but not nose to nose just to be sure no "germs" sre brought from another farm. I would keep mother and foal separate for a time, then move them next to the herd for a time, then add one of your current horses at a time for a day until they are all together. This will take some time but should cut down on the pecking order squabbles. If there were no baby involved I would keep the mare separate for a while then just put her in with the herd and let them work it out. It usually isn't a big deal. The baby is the consideration.
 

barnbum

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I really like ontherisefarm's idea-- I had two mares with foals last year--the mare and foal are alone for 3-4 days--then I let the mares back in together--they respect each other's space--and foals--never a problem. BUT, I thought adding the 2 year olds would be fun--NOT! They did not respect the mare and foal's space--too curious--the mare's got protective and there was a lot of kicking going on--I got everyone separated asap---YIKES. :DOH! One the foals were about 3-4 months--and hay was in the picture--things went very smoothly. I'd take it very slow....

Good luck! And congrats on your additions.
 

CrescentMinis

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They're here! Arrived yesterday. I'll try to get some pictures today and post an introduction. It was pouring rain yesterday here. These 2 left Montana at 90+ degrees, arrived in western Oregon to rain and 65!

Thank you for the good advice. We are juggling the pasture/drylot and rotating the herd with the mare/foal for now so everyone gets their fair share of grazing time. The new ones want so badly to be in with the other 4, but the baby is only 3-1/2 months. I've never had a foal here before and could sit watching her for hours. So entertaining!
 

New2Minis

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CrescentMinis, I just got a mare with a 3 month old foal last Saturday. What I did was left Momma & Baby in a stall where the other Mini's (6 of them) could come up and visit them from the stall. After 2-3 days Momma and Baby wanted to play with their new friends. I let them out together and they are all best friends now!!! I LOVE MINI'S!! They love everybody...my biggies that have been together for 10 years still get nasty with each other!! LOL

Good luck with them and we are waiting for pics! LOL
 

CrescentMinis

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Thank you so much for posting that, New2Minis!

I hope these guys can integrate smoothly soon. Last night when everyone was stalled inside, I switched one of the bossier mares away from the newcomers' stall because she wasn't giving them a very warm welcome (lots of noise and "posturing" far as she could reach over the stall wall). Put the 2-year old filly in that stall next door to them instead and everything was fine. When they are outside, separated by the fence, there were only a few squeals yesterday, so I'll take that as a good sign.

My setup is 5 acres here, with about 3 of those available for the horses (split into a 1 acre drylot and 2 acre pasture), so you'd think there's enough space so they can all just get along.
 

Equuisize

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Faith,

Congrats on getting your new kids home. You must be excited as can be.

Sorry about the rain, it must have been the storm we had the day before.

Wasn't sorry to see it slide away though, we actually had puddles.

I'm sure they will all settle in quickly. These guys for the most part are

very kind once the initial curiosity is over.

Looking forward to photos of your new additions.

Have lots of fun!
 

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