View Full Version : Do you have "mixed" herds?

Jun. 16, 2010, 01:36 PM
How do you handle yours herds in pasture situations? We have always kept our mares with foals, our barren mares, and our young horses in different pastures. Does anyone keep them all together and if so, how do you begin this?

I have always been worried that the single mares will interfere with the mare/foal pairs, but my husband disagrees.

What do you think? Thanks!

Jun. 16, 2010, 01:40 PM
I've always pastured all my horses together. Mare with foal, maiden mare, geldings...everyone gets along. When introducing a new horse I've always done so slowly by pasturing in adjoining fields for a few weeks and then introducing the others one at a time. In fact until reading some of the posts on this forum it never occured to me that some people separate by gender. I should add that I've had the same horses together for a long time and rarely add another.

Jun. 16, 2010, 01:45 PM
The horses get separated because there isnt enough space for them all in one place! Other than that, there isnt really any rhyme or reason to how they are separated. For your kindof question about maidens/open mares in with mares and foals... it really depends on the mares temperment. good mares will be fine. extremely agressive or dominant mares will not. (at least that has been my experience)

Jun. 16, 2010, 01:48 PM
All together mostly. Mares, geldings (although these are rare on my place!), foals, ponies. IME the period of working-out-drama is no longer or shorter with either gender or age groups, and depends entirely on the temperaments of the individual animals.

Right now I do have a pregnant mare that just came in turned out only with my "boss mare" for a few days, since they are previous herdmates from the winter at my trainer's barn and I know they get along well. The mare is in her last month of pregnancy, a maiden, and I want to ease her into the herd (which also contains one rather obnoxious young mare with a suckling at her side) as gently as possible. With Bonnie as her "sponsor" I'm hoping she won't be bullied as much by crazy-mama.

Jun. 16, 2010, 01:59 PM
We had 2 mares together with 2 geldings. One gelding was recently sold and a pregnant mare brought in.

Now we have a mare and a gelding together. We have a skinnier tb who can go anywhere, with the rest of the herd, with the new horse, or out alone. The pregnant mare is in her own paddock though she gets along well with the skinny tb. The mare foaled yesterday and is obviously protective of her foal. So they get their own paddock.

Jun. 16, 2010, 03:36 PM
I've only ever had my mare at boarding barns, never a breeding facility, so there was never "maiden" and "barren" mares, it was just "mares". :lol:

That being said, she's lived in mixed gelding/mare herds, and only mare herds. I do prefer mare only herds, if it can be done. There just seems to be less fighting and picking at each other, when they're not competing for girlfriends and boyfriends. ;)

Jun. 16, 2010, 03:56 PM
I used to keep geldings and mares together. It never mattered up until a month ago when an experience broodmare came to the stable and promptly went into heat. She convinced the 4 year old gelding (by putting her butt in his face, slamming her butt into him, etc) that it would be a good idea to mount her, which he did. He caused her a UTI and later when she went out of heat and the young gelding didn't understand this, she kicked him hard enough he had to be on stall rest for 2 weeks. So, now its mare pastures and gelding pastures.

Jun. 16, 2010, 04:05 PM
I've always pastured all my horses together. Mare with foal, maiden mare, geldings...everyone gets along. When introducing a new horse I've always done so slowly by pasturing in adjoining fields for a few weeks and then introducing the others one at a time. In fact until reading some of the posts on this forum it never occured to me that some people separate by gender. I should add that I've had the same horses together for a long time and rarely add another.

I do this also - with the exception of course of the stallion and I have an alpha mare that I don't put in with foals/yearlings.

Jun. 16, 2010, 04:09 PM
Depends on the specific horses.

Normally, I leave a mare and foal together alone for turnout for a good 3-4 weeks, then integrate back in with my herd.

Right now I have all mares (four for four fillies born at my place, go figure) but I have had mixed herds with success as well, mares and geldings.

Jun. 16, 2010, 04:10 PM
I separate by hind shoe status.

I put mares and geldings together as long as no one has hind shoes. I have one gelding that has to live alone, but he's a little goofy and has a wicked side kick on him that I think is responsible for a broken leg on a mare of mine a few years ago when they were all running around the field. After that incident I started keeping my show horses (i.e. horses with hind shoes) in their own pastures.

Watermark Farm
Jun. 16, 2010, 05:12 PM
I used to have mixed herds but now separate mares and geldings. It just seems like there is less drama among the horses. Also, I had a gelding mount an elderly mare and penetrate her, which tore her up pretty badly and required many stitches. That was the end of mixed herds for me, and life has been much more peaceful since.

Jun. 16, 2010, 05:52 PM
of my 9 groups, 4 are mixed, 2 are all mares, 3 are all boys. i separate the horses based on personalities and what they eat (most of ours live out 24/7, so they eat in the paddocks, and if there's 1 in a group that gets a lot more or a lot less...can cause issues). i have bigger problems with the 3 broodies that live together than any of the coed paddocks.

tabula rashah
Jun. 17, 2010, 08:26 AM
I have 5 horses at my house- all of which are mine.
One field is 3 mares and a gelding. The other is 1 gelding. Everyone is quite happy this way- Gelding by himself seems to prefer being by himself and gets about 4x's more feed than the others which are all easy keepers (they eat in the field together)

Zu Zu
Jun. 17, 2010, 09:32 AM
I generally separate by sex and also by "hind shoe status" ~ as I just HATE vet bills.:eek::yes::lol:

Jun. 17, 2010, 10:03 AM
I keep mine seperated. Gelding, stallions and colts go out together. Mares, fillies and babies together. I have had to many geldings that WOULD mount and penetrate any mare in season and viciously fight other "stallions" for "breeding rights" not to mention to many mares that WOULD kick the crap out of any dumb ass gelding. Mares are hussys and gelding are dumb, only the stallions in my life seem to know whats-what! For that reason there is no co-ed in my pastures, lols :lol:

Jun. 17, 2010, 10:27 AM
So for "hind shoe separators"--does each horse with hind shoes get a separate paddock, or do all the hind-shoe-wearers go out together? If so, how does this reduce the risk? :confused:

Jun. 17, 2010, 02:34 PM
We mix at the barns I've been at. Generally no preggo mares, but def mix geldings and mares. My gelding is currently out with two mares. But has previously been out with 4 mares and 2 other geldings. I've worked at barns where they did not mix sexes though. As long as everyone gets along I see no issues.

Jun. 17, 2010, 04:13 PM
So for "hind shoe separators"--does each horse with hind shoes get a separate paddock, or do all the hind-shoe-wearers go out together? If so, how does this reduce the risk? :confused:

My horses with hind shoes go out alone.

Only horses with no hind shoes live with other horses on my farm.

So of my [small] herd now I've got 1 gelding in his own pasture, 1 mare in her own pasture, and 3 geldings that live together (I just sold the mare that ruled the roost among the geldings, but up to that point it was 3 geldings and a mare in that field). The 3 geldings are all barefoot and the mare had front shoes only.

Zu Zu
Jun. 17, 2010, 05:49 PM
Hind shoe wearers go "solo" ~ barefoot behind horses same sex go out together.

Jun. 17, 2010, 06:54 PM
I've mixed herds.

I've one herd that's all male but the rest are mixed sex herds.

They range between 5 and 11 in number in a herd and the majority are shod.

Jun. 17, 2010, 10:31 PM
Well I only have 3 at home - which is my mare and my 3 y/o gelding and my boarders gelding. My mare has always gone out with mares and geldings. At one barn where I worked, we tried putting her out with 2 other mares but it wasnt peaches and cream if you know what I mean. My mare does much better with geldings in the mix but is ok with other mares as long as there are geldings too.

My mare has hind shoes but I know her personality and am comfortable turning everyone out together. But it is all based on the individual.

Jun. 18, 2010, 09:25 PM
the old training barn i was at had both mixed and all-gelding. The OTTB I was riding had to be in the all-male group... he got a leeetle bit crazy when he had a woman to obsess over.

Ever blow up a balloon to the limit and then let go of the open end? That's what it felt like to ride him once he spied his Lady Friend from across the farm. :eek: (Make that on the day of a show, right before the pleasure division... it was a joke) Once he had the restraining order placed on him, he was much easier to get along with- it was like night and day!! But abt 99% of the other horses got along in co-ed groups, so I blame it on my guy's social ineptitude.

They would also have a foal every year or so @ the farm, and the mama and baby would live in a smaller paddock with an 'old man' who seemed to act like a great babysitter :)

Jun. 21, 2010, 11:23 AM
Sep. by sex. I owned a gelding who thought he was a stallion. He actually did better at the farm where he wasn't even on the same side of the property with the mares. At the last barn I had him at they could touch noses over the fence and if I was riding him and a mare peed in the arena watch out! He wanted to dump me--this from my solid-citizen, calm, older guy. I think he was actually miserable and stressed when the girls were around.

Also, I have a friend who turns them out together and at shows (but not at home) when she would take her mares away the gelding would scream for them and kick down his stall. When she went to ride the gelding he was SO NAUGHTY that the EMT called the other EMT on the property over so they would be "ready" for what was going to happen.

Finally, my friend (different one) almost lost her life (no joke) when a mare came into heat and tried to roundhouse kick the gelding she was leading out into the pasture, but connected with her skull and liver instead. If the mare had had hind shoes on I'm sure E would have died.

It's just not worth it.

Pennywell Bay
Jun. 22, 2010, 10:00 AM
Depends on personality. Generally I have mixed, shod and un shod together.

Jun. 22, 2010, 03:30 PM
Well, I only have two horses here at the moment. One mare, one gelding. They both have shoes all round, and go out together. Then again, they're both pigs and would rather eat than do anything else.

Jun. 29, 2010, 01:14 AM
Our 'big' horses have a roughly 15 acre pasture. Our 'herd consists of 1 gelding (Blue), 1 maiden mare (Princess) 1 brood mare (Dee) and her 2 month old foal (Taxy). Dee and Taxy went out into the pasture when Taxy was 1 month old. Taxy MUCH prefers hanging out with Blue and Princess and pretty much only goes over to Dee when she's hungry. Anyone watching would swear that she belongs to Princess:lol:. Blue on the other hand is busy teaching her important things like "ALL the best grass (mind you the pasture has grass to their knees and we cut it every two weeks) is on the OTHER side of the fence", and "if you roll around right HERE, you can turn this lovely shade of mud!" :cool:

Jun. 29, 2010, 01:38 AM
We have all sorts of groups, whatever suits the individual horses. Right now we have the "little boys" (a yearling colt, a yearling gelding and two 2-year-old geldings), the "family unit" (mare with 2-month-old filly, plus a yearling filly and a 2-year-old filly... though the two older fillies are not related to the mare and foal), the fatties (dry lot or tall tough grass), the skinnies (close to the barn so alfalfa can be snuck out to them!), etc.

Our biggest herd (8) has seven mares and a gelding. He'd like to THINK he has a harem but they treat him more like an annoying brother. I think if he tried to mount one of them we'd find him in the next county.

Jun. 30, 2010, 10:34 PM
lol, my gelding used to get t/o with the rescued calf. They seem to attract the other rescue at the barn, a bird hand raised by the owners. Usually it perches on my geldings back when I got out to bring him in. Then it hops over to the cow.

Now my guy is out with another gelding, the cow's alone save for the birds occasional company.

Jul. 1, 2010, 07:49 AM
Some of my horses lived in a mixed herd of 1 mare and 3 geldings until we lost the mare a few weeks ago. (at age 33) She was the only mare on the farm.

There were never any issues with the mixed group, although since she's gone the boys are reverting to their true lazy eating machine natures. The mare was the queen bee, nanny, and mother hen all rolled into one. She always had the crew near the gate at feeding time and was pretty effective at keeping the group together in our large pastures. Without her the boys are happily living on "island time," out munching grass until we call them in for meals. Then they slowly stroll in . . . eat . . . and wander back out to find favorite grazing spots scattered all over the field. No one is upset or stressed, they just seem to have mellowed with no one to boss them around!

Haf N Haf
Jul. 1, 2010, 05:18 PM
My BO does mixed herds. My gelding, however is a stallion, in that he was gelded very late (was a stud for several years) and fights a lot with other horses. He only gets along with mares. So I bought him a mare companion. All is well except a bit of separation anxiety when I work with one and they separated. However, he did mount her this last time she was in heat. My vet looked at her and wasn't too concerned as his aim was a bit off, but my BO kept talking about "the rape." :eek: :no: :lol: