I have a 12x12 box stall with attached paddock that I am considering putting two pony mares in together (14.3hh & 14.1hh). Would it be okay to put them in together (as long as they get along, obviously), or should I put in a half wall and divide the stall into two (6x12) standing stalls? My reasoning for the standing stall idea is that my one mare is an alpha, and I would be concerned about her getting a bit aggressive at feed time, and they would only be closed in at night or when the weather was really bad. On the other hand, if I keep the stall open, they can go in and out as they please. Opinions? Has anybody kept more than one horse/pony in a box stall together? How did it work out? What are the logistics of it, besides the potential for an extra dirty stall? Thanks!
Last edited by Dressage (Pea)Nut; Aug. 18, 2009 at 03:56 AM.
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I'd be fine with letting them both have access to the stall, but I'd never lock them in there together. Those are not tiny ponies- it will be cramped to fit them both in a 12x12. Plus, with the one mare being dominant I would definitely worry about her cornering the other mare, and there is no way that would end will.
Can you shut one in the paddock and one in the stall at feeding time, and leave the paddock open the rest of the time? If so, and if they really get along well, that should be fine. But I think 12x12 is too mall for two large ponies. We do it occasionally for two weaners that size, but our stalls are bigger.
Recently did that, but it was only for a couple of weeks and the times they were locked in together varied... longer to shorter.
Moved some of my horses to a nice pasture and they needed time to acclimate to the green grass. More horses than stalls. All of them had been together for some time and get along well. Since two mares have foals, that left them w/ their own stalls and only one left, the larger of the three, 12x12 also. 23yo gelding (15.3hh), foal babysitter and king of the mares (in his mind he's GOD to them) and a 2yo colt (about 15hh) that's been around since birth. Typically old gelding is not fond of other males horses of either gender, but he seems to take a shine to this colt for some reason, which made things a lot easier and less stressful on everyone. Gelding is a food ho big time and protective of it, so colt was fed outside in the turnout grass paddock until after everyone was finished and then he was let into the stall w/ my gelding. They had a manger full of hay, fresh water and a fresh bed if so desired. At first they were in there all night and some part of the day giving them about 4 hours at first on the lush pasture and the rest of the time in the smaller eaten down grass paddock outside the stalls, which were left open so they could/can come and go as they please. That first night, my friend went out and checked on them several times during the night to make sure everyone was getting on well w/ this new stall life (all are used to 24/7 turnout and some had never been in a stall before.)
It worked out well, they got along famously being locked up together and even better now that they're not roommates anymore. I know feeding them their grain/pellets seperately helped or it could have been ugly. Hay not a problem at all. They share that at home all the time on round bales so really no different.
Putting them in a space that size is just waiting for a tragedy. No matter how well they get along, horses do sometimes bite and kick at each other and there is not enough room for one to get away from the other.
From the aggressor's point of view, the other is refusing to move far enough away even though she was warned, which will call for more aggression. They can't say....'she is as far away as she can get because I told her to go away and the fence or wall is right there'.....distances and responses are hard wired.
All 3 of my mares (2 horses and a pony) share two 12 x 12 stalls, which are kept open all the time. Hay is fed OUTSIDE so there's no competing for food in a closed space. I do feed grain inside (the alpha mare in one stall, other mare and pony at opposite corners of the other) but grain meals are very small, once a day, and supervised. As soon as they're done, they're right back outside eating hay again.
Sometimes in the winter I go down to the barn and see all 3 mares snuggled up in one stall. Yep, they could all kill one another, but the risk/benefit ratio works for me and after 3 years I've had only one bumped hip from my dopey young mare barging out of the stall by herself.
We regularly had ponies at our barn share stalls and we did it for years without incident but then one pony decided it didn't want the other pony around at meal time (I think it was a newer "pair") and chased the other pony till it attempted to jump out of the stall.
46 stitches later we made the decision that everyone gets tied up for meal time and the "chaser" in that pair never shared a stall again.
If I was in that situation, I'd go with the two tie stalls (nothing wrong if they're done right) and leave the ponies in the paddock for a good portion of the day or night. Just make sure you do a proper "log and safety knot" (think 1925 USPC manual) so the ponies can lay down but can't get a leg over the rope.
We had a feeding barn of tie stalls for the school horses. They lived out most of the time but came into the tie stalls for meals, before lessons and in bad weather. They'd get pretty comfy in there!
I agree with those who say sharing a stall is an accident waiting to happen. Might do fine with babies (maybe) but I would never put 2 fourteen hand ponies in one stall. That's waaaay too small and just begging for it.
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Our horses often manage to fit 2 1/2 16.2h Irish Draught Sport Horses in one 12x12 stall. Our three horses share a 4 stall barn with overhangs and a center aisle that we leave open all the time. Each stall has a door on two sides for easy escape. I would never lock more than 1 horse in a stall. However, if there are two always open doors I would have no problem letting two horses share a stall.
I had two 16.1h mares (warmblood and TB) that shared a 12 x 12 stall for several months (day time). They were best friends, but neither was dominant though. They usually lived out in a run in shed, but I had one stall available with a fan for the summer, so brought them in. They were quite comfortable.
In most cases, locking them in would be an accident waiting to happen though.
I would not close them in at all. They would probably be fine hanging out in that area together, with feed/hay outside.
I have a mare here that I put in with her lifelong stablemate in an emergency; he was 14.3 and she is 15.2 - the stall was 12x16 and they had a small paddock with hay. They are the only two I would do that with out of the horses here now.
Even our two mini mares don't do well in a 12x12 during feeding time, and they are both under 10h.
Do you have to close them in? Straight stalls/standing stalls might be hard to maneuver in and out of if built into the stall.
Best of luck!
Depends on how much they like each other. I did it successfully for years and years with two mares, 14.2 and 14.3, in regular size stalls. They even ate together, out of the same bucket, with no squabbling. I've done it with other ponies as well, from 10h to 13h or so.
However, right now my BF has one mare who is a bully. My pony mare won't even go out in the stall that leads outside from inside the barn if that mare is in the entrance, and that stall is ~12 by 18, or maybe even larger. More of an enclosed run-in. And while there have been no fights between the bully mare and the gelding, I wouldn't put them in a stall together either. My pony mare and the gelding would get along with no issues, but he's a tank and would be a worst case "crap the fence is down and the cows are out, throw Bud and Pink in the stall, tie Piggy here, run get the cows" type of situation that would make me put them in together.
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