Current situation: Paint gelding, age 7, and standardbred mare, age 21, in paddock together. 2 draft mares, age 6, in next paddock.
The goal: turn all out together in the nice big pasture.
Constraints: STBD mare intermittently lame from old track injury. Lameness flares when she overdoes it. Let her and gelding into a new bigger paddock and she lamed herself running around following the gelding as he bravely explored it. I probably should have put him in there alone to explore it first.
Draft mares are confident types and will be at top of pecking order. Paint gelding is compliant, does what mares tell him.STBD would probably become 3rd down in pecking order. History of becoming lame when in a smaller pasture with a group, due to having other horses tell her where to go/not go.New pasture is much bigger, plenty of room for all to eat and have personal space.
Any thought or hints on how to make this transition better for the mare? I thought of putting her in it alone to explore first, but she is the type who will just stand by the gate and cry for her friends.
I have seen mares chase other mares and not stop chasing even when the other one is clearly trying to get out of dodge. She may follow gelding all over the pasture on any given day and over do it.
Since they are all acquainted with each other I would put them all out and be ready to pull her out if it is too much for her.