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Re: Mohammed meets the Three Stooges

Howard said:
>I think it's all the mare's fault.  My sweet adorable mare, Moonlight
Princess, the horse I've loved and owned since she was 6 months old.  I've
never seen her go after another horse before; never even seen her agitated
at one.  That was until I bought Mohammed to the barn.  Now things have
drastically changed.

This is the primary reason we started segregating the mares and the
geldings. <g>  This happened years ago when our group started to enlarge --
you've never seen a cross-fence go up so fast!!  (There is just too much
competition with a larger number of mares and geldings together.)  We have
not had that kind of problem since.  We have a big, doofus TB gelding
boarder who sometimes pesters the other boys, but nothing mean or serious,
just playful.  Everyone co-exists peacefully with their pecking order

We have a firm integration policy that introduces new horses to the herd
very slowly and carefully.  When they are finally put out with their new
herd (usually about 3 weeks after they arrive) there is hardly a flicker of
notice from the other horses.  They have already decided who their buddy is
and they've already been pretty much accepted into the herd, even tho they
have been separated by a fence.  

They are first under quarantine for about 10 days after they arrive (open
the outside doors to their stalls so they can be out in their paddocks
during the day and in their stalls at night so no nose to nose contact),
then they are allowed to be out in their paddocks (attached to their
stalls) at night and in one of the larger paddocks that has a common fence
with the horses of their gender during the daytime.  After a few days we
can tell which horse seems to like them and we put that horse in an
adjoining paddock so they can get better acquainted thru a fence.  Phase 2
is about 10 days also, after which we turn them and their new best friend
out into the herd.  On that day, the owner of the horse takes the horse out
before any of the others are turned out in the morning and walks the
fenceline with that horse.  Their buddy is then let out with him, followed
by the rest of the herd...separated into different pastures by gender, of
course. ;-)  Our barn holds 12 horses and we're always full and, for some
odd reason, it's usually split 50/50 mares and geldings.  (A couple of the
mares have a permanent residence in a smaller paddock (not a bigger pasture
area) because they're air ferns and can't handle that much grass.)  This
system has worked well for us for about 15 years.


Tyee Farm
Marysville, Wa.

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