Monday, May 24, 2010

New Pasture, New Herd

Opening up new pastures around here used to be easy...when we were the only ones with horses. Not so anymore. There are six mares in the neighboring pasture, one baby, two geldings (I hope) and a stallion in a pen--it's chaos around here.

My mares are going crazy wanting to get to them. They have my old geldings working overtime with the discipline. Not that it's working, but they try. Tonight one of the mares broke an inner fence.


So, we locked up the geldings, walked over to the fenceline in the East pasture and haltered the mares, led them home and locked them up, then let the geldings back out.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Should I keep the mares off of the fence line that runs alongside the other's pasture? There's about ten feet between the lines, but it's still too close. So, should I just keep them in the West pasture...maybe let the geldings only on the East side?

Does anyone else have these problems?


  1. I am a big fan of the 1" electric fence tape. Good visibility, easy to set up as a temporary measure, can't cut your ponys and with a good fence charger, raises a horses IQ a couple points.
    And it rolls up small and can go on a road trip with you in the trailer.


  2. How long have the new horses been there? I think if you were to leave the mares in a different pasture, but still in sight of the new horses, they'd all get used to eachother. Then it'd be more old news when they get to be closer across the fenceline. And maybe also not turn them out into that pasture until they are hungry so they are more concerned with filling their bellies than interacting with the others. Hopefully they don't turn the stallion out into the pasture ajoining yours!

  3. We have 12 feet of space between us and the others and they do sometimes stand near eachother, but it seems to be enough room. Plus mine REALLY respect their electric fence...and they only have 2 strands on their side. The others have 3 strands.

  4. All good points. Thanks for the suggestions!

    I had thought of letting them get hungrier before releasing them again--I may just do that now that you've confirmed it. As it is, they don't seem interested in eating at all.

    The new horses came about two weeks ago, so they've seen them. Today, though, they released two new geldings in there--thus the chaos. I think this family has 18 all together, but so far, I've only seen 10. Whew! Still seems like a lot.

    Mine weren't respecting the fence, but I found a weak spot in it and fixed it, so maybe it will deliver more of a shock now.

    I have the mares locked in right now, hoping they'll rebond with their herd. They keep whinnying for the other herd like it's theirs!! Disloyal!! All of the geldings are fine--it's just the mares. (I've been releasing Beautiful into another pasture alone until this all gets worked out.)

  5. Sheesh, those pesky neighbors!

  6. Just because you know those other horses aren't your herd, doesn't mean your horses ever will. As far as my horses are concerned the neighor's horses are part of our herd too. That's just the way it is.

    Having the fence hot enough to keep them off is important but may not be enough if a mare has taken a special liking to another horse. Distance will be your only ally in that case.

  7. While the pictures are indeed beautful with all those horses hanging out together, I can imagine it's one big headache. Good luck!

  8. Good point RR--they don't know they're not in the same herd. Hmmmmm. I guess that answers my question. It's interesting that it's only the mares, though. The geldings are quite happy on their side of the fence.

    And yes, Joanne and Jennifer--the neighborhood horse arrangement isn't all that fun. I was pretty spoiled before.

  9. It is hard when new neighbors bring in new horses - I was worried about that when we moved in here but they settled in pretty quick. I take the girls to a friends house and their neighbor has a stud and I worried about that but they usually settled down pretty quickly. I would think taking them away and putting them back out there and not being a constant might be an issue - just a different perspective. I know when you take a horse away and even bring them back a few hours later they all act a little wierd at first. Good luck!


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